Mikel R. Bistrow


Mikel has a vast practice that includes commercial finance and lending, real and personal property secured transactions, Uniform Commercial Code, creditor’s collection and related remedies, bankruptcy, insolvency, work-outs and restructurings. Her finance clients include lenders and borrowers in documenting, negotiating and restructuring real and personal property loans and secured transactions. Often these include revolving lines of credit, asset-based loans, securitized credits and construction financing. Mikel also represents creditors, debtors and court-appointed trustees in business reorganizations, workouts, debt restructurings, insolvency and bankruptcy matters, including in chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases.

She is a seasoned lecturer and published author. Mikel is a former member of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and its Uniform Commercial Code and Business Bankruptcy committees. She is a former co-chairperson of the Commercial Transactions Committee and former member of the Executive Committee and treasurer of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California. She was a founding member of the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum and a former member of its Board of Directors.  She also serves as a mediator for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California and has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. Mikel is board certified in Business Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification.


  • University of Michigan Law School  (J.D., 1981)
  • University of Michigan  (B.A., 1979)

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


  • American Board of Certification
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference – United States District Court for the Southern District of California lawyer representative (2013 - 2017)
  • State Bar of California/CLA (as of 1/1/18)
    • Business Law Section 
    • Executive Committee (1994 - 1997)
    • Treasurer (1995 - 1997) 
    • Commercial Transactions Committee, fka Uniform Commercial Code Committee (1991 - 1994, 1999 - 2002, 2011 - 2014), co-chair ( 2001 - 2002)


  • Best Lawyers®
    • Lawyer of the Year" Litigation – Bankruptcy (2012)
    • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    • Litigation – Bankruptcy
    • Commercial Finance Law
  • California Super Lawyers®  (2007 - 2021)
  • Best of the Bar, San Diego Business Journal (April 2015)
  • Top 25 Women – San Diego Super Lawyers (2007, 2009 - 2014)
  • San Diego Top Attorney - Real Estate & Construction Transactional, San Diego Daily Transcript (July 2014)
  • The Best/Top Lawyers in San Diego, San Diego Magazine (2005 - 2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in San Diego, SD Metro Magazine (2010, 2012, 2014)