On His Retirement, Barnes Recognizes Collaboration With Byrne

DCW wishes to recognize my retirement as a lawyer after 50+ years, all with Baker & McKenzie1 and including 30+ years working on letter of credit law/practice papers and projects in collaboration with DCW’s founder, Professor James E. Byrne.

Here I wish to recognize that collaboration, briefly summarized in my In Memoriam to Jim Byrne published in the Fall 2018 BUSINESS LAWYER and chronicled in my article, Internationalization of Revised UCC Article 5 (Letters of Credit), 16 NW. J. Int’l. L. & Bus. 215 (1995), in which I named the LC bankers and lawyers who so helpfully participated in UCC Article 5 revision. And to remind DCW readers of the infrastructure that Jim Byrne built with many of the banker and lawyer names listed on page 2 [the DCW Editorial Advisory Board] of DCW and others who have contributed to DCW and IIBLP conferences and papers.

That infrastructure (particularly IIBLP) embodies Jim Byrne’s push to mind-meld LC lawyers and bankers on LC law/practice topics, initially when forming the Task Force that preceded the 1990s’ revision of UCC Article 5. Thereafter, it drove the drafting of ISP98, official comments, annotated standby forms, and regular programs and papers on standby topics. I am immensely proud of my initial and continuing collaboration with Jim and so many lawyers and bankers focused, in particular, on ISP98.

Jim Byrne and I co-wrote a number of law review articles, court briefs, comments on draft regulations, and other papers. In recent BUSINESS LAWYER annual surveys on LC cases and developments,2 Carter Klein has replaced Jim Byrne and will replace me on the next one. So, Jim Byrne’s legacy continues.

I have teased DCW with the possibility I might write a bit of the history on my collaborations with Jim Byrne (and Boris Kozolchyk) at UNCITRAL, and maybe the ICC Banking Commission too.


  1. 30+ years as a partner and thereafter 5+ years as a senior counsel on a slow rolling retirement path limited to LC matters. (My first LC matter involved reviewing and revising a mid-sized bank’s LC application and related forms in light of the mid-60s passage in Illinois of original UCC Article 5. My longest running LC matters involved protecting corporate applicants for LCs before the Iranian revolution.)
  2. Barnes and Byrne started co-authoring law review articles in 1992. We rarely disagreed on substantive LC issues, but we had different writing styles. (Byrne preferred epics; Barnes preferred sonnets.) We would decide who would be primarily responsible for drafting and then note that in the article.

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