- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1982
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. (Agriculture), with highest distinction, 1978
Bar & Court Admissions
- State of Illinois
Dennis R. Wendte
Dennis is one of the partners in charge of the firm’s Financial Institutions Group. He concentrates his practice on representing financial institutions on a wide range of corporate and regulatory matters and has over 25 years of experience in the area.
Dennis regularly advises clients on the mergers and acquisitions of financial institutions, the raising of additional capital through public and private offerings of equity and debt instruments, and other strategic activities and initiatives. He has a wide array of experience in structuring corporate and financial transactions. Dennis also provides counsel to boards of directors on issues of corporate governance and regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.
Earlier in his career, he represented federal bank regulatory agencies in the receivership of over 75 savings and loan associations. This has provided him with valuable practical experience in his current representation of troubled banks and also healthy organizations bidding for failed institutions. During the past 10 years, Dennis has also represented the organizers of over 100 de novo banks across the country, including those forming banks in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Indiana and New York.
Dennis is a frequent speaker at schools and seminars for bankers on issues of financial institutions law. He was an adjunct professor of banking law at Northwestern University School of Law.
The Financial Institutions Group was again named as one of the top financial institution groups in the nation in the U.S. News & Best Lawyers 2015 report.
- Bank Mergers and Acquisitions
SNL Securities rankings has listed our firm as one of the top firms in the nation in number of announced bank and thrift merger and acquisition transactions during the past 10 years. For the last decade, our firm ranked #1 in the Midwest. In total, we have represented buyers and sellers of financial institutions in more than 200 mergers and acquisitions.
- Debt and Equity Financings
Represented numerous financial institutions in private offerings of debt securities to enhance current capital positions. Successfully structured acquisitions of troubled banks through use of preferred and convertible instruments, including buyer price protections
- Formation of De Novo Banks
Counsel to over 100 state and national de novo banks and bank holding companies across the country. The breadth of our practice has yielded a unique ability among our lawyers to gain familiarity with the laws and bank regulatory agencies of multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States. Established first Illinois state bank organized as a limited liability company.
Professional Activities and Honors
- Northwestern University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Banking Law (2001-2013)
- Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2005)
- Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2011-2014)
- Phi Delta Phi Honorary Society
- Order of the Coif
- Client Alert: Respond With Caution to Community Group Questionnaires
- Client Alert: New Law Helps Recovering Banks Pay Dividends
- Client Alert: Don't Lose Your Bank's Domain to a Competitor
- Client Alert: Basel III in Bite-Sized Pieces
Events & Speaking Engagements
- 2013 Illinois CPA Society Financial Institutions Conference (Oakbrook, IL)
- 2013 WICPA Financial Institutions Conference (Appleton, WI)
- 2010 Legal Update for Community Bankers (Chicago, IL)
- 2007 A Primer on How to Form a de Novo Bank (Rosemont, IL)
- 2007 Subchapter S Capital Structure (Rosemont, IL)
- 2007 What de Novos Need to Know to Survive (Rosemont, IL)
- Annual Conventions of Community Bankers Association of Illinois, since 1995
- Iowa Independent Bankers’ Association Annual Convention
- Illinois Bankers' Association School for Bank Compliance
- Panelist, Midwest Regional Bank Seminar, “Implementing Merger of Equals Transactions”
- McGladrey & Pullen National Training Institute
- De Novo Bank Seminar, Community Bankers Association of Illinois
- Fidelity Information Services Envision Forum, Charleston, S.C.
- CMC National Symposium, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Represents Midland States Bancorp in Year-End Deal
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Represents Anchor Bank in Twin Cities Deal
- First District Appellate Court Ruling in Favor of Southport Bank
- Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group Enhances Upper Midwest Focus
- Eighteen BFKN attorneys named Top 5% in Illinois by Leading Lawyers
- Fifteen BFKN attorneys named 2010 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars