Michelle Yokoyama

Senior Counsel

Michelle Yokoyama

Michelle Yokoyama focuses her practice in government contracting, procurement and corporate matters with a specialization in aviation industry transactions.

Prior to joining Chico & Nunes, Ms. Yokoyama served as legal counsel for the Chicago Department of Aviation, where she oversaw the Department’s transactional legal matters. Her responsibilities included:

  • Drafting RFPs, RFQs and competitive bid solicitations for various types of professional services including: concessions/food and beverage, property management, facilities operation and maintenance, architecture and engineering, advertising and consulting agreements.
  • Providing counsel and oversight with respect to evaluation committee activities for the evaluation and selection of respondents to the Department’s competitive RFP and RFQ solicitations.
  • Negotiating and drafting term sheets and contracts for various types of public transactions, including reimbursement agreements, professional services agreements, management and operations agreements, leases, right-of-entry and other real estate agreements.
  • Structuring various real estate, development and professional services transactions in compliance with FAA standards as well as City of Chicago procurement policy and MBE/WBE/DBE/ACDBE compliance participation rules.
  • Assisting with the development, drafting and review of airport rules, regulations and policies.
  • Providing guidance regarding compliance with federal grant assurances as well as revenue diversion activities.
  • Advising the Department on issues related to advertising funding and allocation of advertising funds accordance with FAA guidance.
  • Responding to bid protests, contract compliance and audit disputes on behalf of the Department.
  • Preparing sole source contract requests and presenting those requests to the City of Chicago’s Non-Competitive Review Board.
  • Drafting and presenting submissions for City of Chicago City Council approval of large scale revenue producing transactions, including concessions agreements, leases, and development agreements.
  • Preparing responses to audits from the FAA and the United States Department of Transportation.
  • Acting as liaison between the Department and the Office of the Inspector General.

Ms. Yokoyama also has extensive international experience, including practicing corporate law in Tokyo, Japan where she represented publicly and privately held companies in transactional, corporate, and securities matters, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the representation of fund sponsors and institutional investors in connection with the formation of venture capital and other private equity funds. She has assisted public and private companies in successfully conducting internal reorganizations involving the reallocation of significant assets and subsidiary operations.

In addition to assisting public companies with ongoing reporting requirements and other securities compliance, Ms. Yokoyama has represented issuers and other investors in private placements and public offerings of debt and equity securities and exchange offers. She has also served as borrower's counsel, bond counsel, and underwriter's counsel for tax-exempt and taxable financings located throughout the United States.


  • Illinois

Language Proficiency

  • Japanese

Professional Associations

  • Chicago Bar Association, Member
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law Diversity Committee, Member


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois, J.D., magna cum laude, 2003
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and International Studies, 1999