Practice Areas
  • 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
Best Lawyers Award Badge

Dennis R. Wendte

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T. 312.984.3188
F. 312.984.3150

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.

Representative Matters

  • 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

  • Selected, Banking and Finance Law, The Best Lawyers in America® (2017)
  • Selected, Leading Lawyers Network (2011-2016)
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Banking Law (2001-2013)
  • Selected, Illinois Super Lawyers (2005)
  • Phi Delta Phi Honorary Society
  • Order of the Coif


Events & Speaking Engagements