John Morrell has been admitted to the California Bar since 1984.

He continues his insolvency practice in an of counsel relationship with Higgs Fletcher & Mack.  Mr. Morrell holds the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus, having previously served as the firm’s Chairman and Managing Partner for over a 20-year period.

Mr. Morrell started his private legal career with HFM following his position as Law Clerk to the Honorable Ralph G. Pagter, United States Bankruptcy Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (1984 to 1985).  Having joined the firm in 1985, he was responsible for establishing the firm’s complex bankruptcy practice concentrating in both creditor and debtor representation in Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 cases.  Mr. Morrell’s insolvency expertise includes both federal and state law remedies, including plans of reorganization, debt adjustments, adversary actions, claims and avoidance litigation, assignments for the benefit of creditors, receiverships, consensual liquidations and work outs.

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 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 a 2013 graduate of LEAD San Diego and was the 2016-17 President of the Downtown San Diego Rotary Club. He is the proud father of two Eagle Scouts and a third generation San Diegan.


  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • California Banker’s Association
  • San Diego Rotary Club No. 33