Charles J. Tabb

Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Chair in Law

Professor Charles J. Tabb, the Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Chair in Law, has taught at Illinois since 1984 and is considered one of the nation's leading bankruptcy scholars, specializing in bankruptcy, contracts, and commercial law. Professor Tabb served as interim dean of the College during the 2007-08 academic year and was the associate dean for academic affairs from 2003-05.

Professor Tabb earned his bachelor's degree and graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia, serving as a member of the Virginia Law Review and Order of the Coif. After graduation, Tabb recorded the highest score of over 1,400 successful candidates on the Texas state bar examination. Before joining the Illinois faculty, he practiced bankruptcy and commercial law in Dallas, where his cases included the Braniff Airways and Continental Airlines Chapter 11 reorganizations. He currently is of counsel with the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP in Chicago.

In his 31 years on the Illinois faculty, Professor Tabb has been recognized with a Best Professor award from the College and as the 2L Professor of the Year, as well as with a campus-wide Outstanding University Professor award. He has also served as a visiting professor at the universities of Texas, Colorado, FGV in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Tillburg University in the Netherlands; as a visiting scholar at Cambridge, Nottingham, and Shanghai; and as the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgia State University. Professor Tabb is a member of the global law faculty at Católica Global School of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, in Lisbon, Portugal, where he teaches Transnational Bankruptcy Law.

Professor Tabb has published eleven books and scores of articles and book chapters on bankruptcy law. His books include a 1,500-page treatise, The Law of Bankruptcy (West Publishing, 3d ed. 2013); a casebook on bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Law: Principles, Policies & Practice (with Brubaker) (LexisNexis, 4th ed. 2013); A Debtor World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Debt (ed. with Professors Brubaker and Lawless) (Oxford University Press 2012); and Bankruptcy Anthology, an edited collection of scholarly works on bankruptcy law (Anderson Publishing Co., 2002). Tabb is also one of the lead editors for the multi-volume treatise, Bloomberg on Bankruptcy (2014), and was the editor for Best of the ABI: The Year in Business Bankruptcy (2014).

In 1993, he was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He was later appointed by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar as a commissioner for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and served from 1997 to 2001. In 2002, Professor Tabb traveled to Beijing, where he advised the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on the reform of the Chinese bankruptcy law, which went into effect in June 2007. 

Professor Tabb is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and was a member of the Board of Regents, and a member of the American Law Institute.