In addition to being managing partner and chairman of the firm, John Morrell has a full-time commercial and bankruptcy law practice. Within a practice balanced between creditor and debtor representation in insolvency matters, he expertly handles Chapter 11 reorganization cases as both Debtor in Possession Counsel and as Official Creditors’ Committee Counsel. Mr. Morrell has experience representing secured creditors in complex cases and draws upon his expertise in commercial transactions, including real estate, sales of goods, securities, secured personal and real property transactions, and other issues directly related to business operations.

Mr. Morrell started the firm’s Chapter 11 practice in 1985 after completing his federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Ralph G. Pagter, United States Bankruptcy Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (1984-1985). A partner with the firm since 1991, he has been the lead attorney in some of the firm’s largest cases.

Crediting his success to valuable mentorships, Mr. Morrell understands the long-term benefit of nurturing less experienced attorneys. “It is through mentoring that new lawyers pick up skill building and client development awareness,” he said in a recent article titled Building Relationships from Within in San Diego Lawyer (Jan/Feb 2015). “We show our attorneys—and by extension our entire firm—how to build sustainable and recurring practices through the development of meaningful relationships with clients and prospects,” he explained. Along with other partners and attorneys at HFM, Mr. Morrell has turned this passion for coaching into a formal mentorship program at the firm. “Doing so showcases the expertise and value of our lawyers and gives our clients exposure to our firm’s first-class operation and capabilities.”

Mr. Morrell received the United States Bankruptcy Court’s Mediator of the Year award in 2007, the University of San Diego School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni award in 2015, and the San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO award in 2011 and 2015. He is a 2013 graduate of LEAD San Diego and president elect of the Downtown San Diego Rotary Club. He served as Vice President of the San Diego County Bar Association in 2003 and served on its Board of Directors from 2001 through 2003. He also served as President of the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum in 1997 and was on its Board of Directors from 1996 through 1998. He is the proud father of two Eagle Scouts and a third generation San Diegan.


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Video Resources:

  • Writ of Attachment

    I’m John Morrell, managing partner of Higgs Fletcher & Mack but also a commercial lawyer. I’ve been practicing in this field for thirty years. If you owe money to a company or individual, one of the things that might be involved is a writ of attachment, you want to be aware of this because if a writ is taken against you, you may not be able to access your bank account or other property. You might not be able to refinance it or sell it, so you want to be able to get into see us so that we can help you with regard to this immediately.