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Barack Ferrazzano announces new partners; welcomes new associates

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, a Chicago-based full-service law firm, announces the elevation of three former associates to partner, and welcomes five new associates to the firm.

The new partners are:

Michael R. Hall, who concentrates his practice on commercial real estate. He serves as primary leasing counsel for a broad range of clients, including real estate investment trusts and private equity investors. His practice involves all aspects of real estate law, including acquisitions, dispositions, development and financing.  

Shermin Kruse, who concentrates her practice on intellectual property disputes, antitrust litigation, and complex commercial contract disputes for domestic and international clients in federal, state and appellate courts throughout the country. She is the co-author of the 2006 and 2008 editions of the Contract Law Handbook, published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She is also a columnist for Chicago Lawyer magazine, advising younger attorneys on ways to succeed in a large law firm environment.

Kruse is an active corporate partner of the National Association of Women Business Owners, where she advises women business owners on every aspect of their business. Kruse is also a frequent lecturer and commentator on NPR on foreign policy issues. In addition, she works with a number of non-profit pro bono agencies on both civil and criminal cases, and received an award in 2008 for her pro bono work on behalf of an indigent defendant.  Kruse serves on several non-profit boards, and has formed her own non-profit entity to promote cultural exchange. She has also published creative writing pieces in several national anthologies.

James R. Whitney, who concentrates his practice on general corporate and securities matters. He has experience in a number of substantive areas, including corporate finance, public offerings and private placements, contract negotiations and mergers and acquisitions of both public and private companies.

Joining the firm as new associates are:

Matthew C. Stone, an associate in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group, concentrating his practice on bank regulatory and troubled bank matters.  He has more than ten years of experience in bank regulation and banking prior to attending law school.  Stone served as a bank examiner for the Iowa Division of Banking, as well as holding relationship management, credit administration, and compliance positions with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and two Iowa-based banks.  Prior to joining Barack Ferrazzano, Stone was an associate for three years in the banking department of a large Chicago law firm, where he counseled state- and federally-chartered financial institutions and holding companies on merger and acquisition, capital markets, and general regulatory compliance matters, and drafted and negotiated banking-related service agreements and credit-related documents for commercial and private banking loans.

Adam Oyebanji, who joins the firm as an Associate in the Litigation department.  A commercial trial lawyer with extensive litigation experience in both the United States and Great Britain, Oyebanji trained originally as a barrister in England.  He has tried several hundred cases of varying size and scope on behalf of individuals, municipalities and large corporations involving issues of breach of contract, fraud, products liability, due process, torts, property rights and others.

Finally, the firm welcomes three (3) recent law school graduates as Associates. Brad A. Kopetsky, a 2009 graduate of University of Wisconsin School of Law, joins the Corporate and Financial Institutions practice groups; Nicholas H. Callahan, a 2009 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, joins the Litigation department; and Sarah Z. Hoffman, a 2009 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, joins the Corporate and Financial Institutions practice groups.

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Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP provides a wide range of business-oriented legal services to some of the most respected companies in America and around the world.  Founded in 1984 by two highly regarded law professors at Northwestern University and two former members of a prominent Chicago law firm, Barack Ferrazzano has grown to approximately 100 lawyers from some of the most renowned firms and law schools in the U.S. 

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