Barack Ferrazzano is pleased to welcome Real Estate partner Joseph D. Lambert and Intellectual Property (IP) partner David H. Bluestone.
Joe Lambert Rejoins Real Estate & Corporate
Joe, former Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at Ventas, rejoins the Firm as a partner in our Real Estate and Corporate & Securities Groups. Joe first joined Barack Ferrazzano as an associate in 2000. In 2006, he left the Firm to join Ventas, an S&P 500 Company and a leading healthcare real estate investment trust with an approximately $32 billion enterprise value. Ventas – a longstanding Firm client – is led by CEO and Chairman of the Board Debra Cafaro, a former Barack Ferrazzano Real Estate partner. From 2006-2017, Joe’s team at Ventas managed and oversaw all legal aspects of Ventas' corporate and real estate transactions as well as its asset management, securities, and executive compensation matters.
"Joe is a fantastic lawyer, and his time as in-house counsel with Ventas gives him a perspective that is invaluable to the Firm and our clients. His first-hand knowledge of the business of one of the largest and most successful public REITs and of what general counsel want from their outside counsel will help us continue to raise the bar for client service." - Suzanne Bessette-Smith, Co-Chair, Real Estate Group
Joe is the fourth attorney to join the Real Estate Group in 2017. The cornerstone of the Firm since its founding, we've earned the reputation as one of the premier real estate practices in the country – consistently recognized as a top Firm by both Chambers & Partners and U.S. News & Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" ranking organizations.
David Bluestone Expands Patent Law Services
David, a patent litigator and counselor with more than 18 years of experience, joins the Firm as a partner in our IP, Corporate & Securities, Financial Institutions and Litigation Groups. David's extensive experience and engineering background will be an asset to our clients as he leads the Patent Law section of the Firm's IP Group, and expands our services to include utility patents in a wide range of industries, including electrical, software and mechanical technology.
"We're thrilled to have David join the IP Group. His technical experience in utility patents complements our longstanding design patents services. With the talented partners who have joined since 2016, we will continue to elevate the type and level of services we provide to our clients." - Wendi E. Sloane, Chair, Intellectual Property Group
David is the second IP partner to join the Firm in 18 months – preceded by Scott J. Slavick – who also is a former colleague of David's. Scott, known for his business-focused advice and counseling, brings more than 17 years of experience in trademark law centered around U.S. and international trademark prosecution and litigation.
Unprecedented Organic Growth
It's been a big year for Barack Ferrazzano. In 2012, we were holding steady with just over 90 attorneys in our then-single office in Chicago, Illinois, which at the time we considered to be a large number of attorneys for our Firm. And five years later, we're approaching 120, with the organic addition of 17 attorneys across all of our services in 2017 alone – more than double our growth in 2016.
"It's an exciting time for the Firm. In the last two years, we've grown by 25 attorneys. In May, we renewed our lease at 200 West Madison through 2032. We are in the middle of updating our space to add new technology and create additional offices to accommodate our recent – and future – growth. In recent years, we've experienced a significant increase in new client matters across several practices. I think our growth speaks volumes about our continued commitment to providing comprehensive, top-notch services to our clients, as well as the talent we attract and retain at Barack Ferrazzano." - Howard J. Kirschbaum, Barack Ferrazzano Managing Partner
Financial Institutions Group #1 in the Midwest; #3 in U.S.*
In 2013, the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) strengthened their Midwest services by establishing a presence in Minneapolis, Minnesota – our second office. And in 2016, Stanley F. Orszula joined our Chicago team as part of our effort to expand our FinTech and Cybersecurity services. In July, our client USAmeriBancorp, Inc. entered into a merger agreement – one of the larger banking deals announced this year and valued at an estimated $816 million – with Valley National Bancorp, expected to close in Q1 of 2018. Just last month, Old National Bancorp announced it will acquire Barack Ferrazzano client Anchor Bancorp, Inc. This is the FIG's 8th bank M&A transaction in 2017, and 7th in the Midwest – the largest publicly announced Minnesota bank M&A transaction in the past decade. And four years later, our Corporate and Litigation services have increased as well from this second location.
"We continue to have one of the largest financial institutions practices in the Midwest, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a law firm with more experience in the industry. In the last three years, we've advised on more than 40 bank transactions in the Midwest – more than any other law firm during that period.* We appreciate the opportunity to serve our banking clients and the industry generally." - John E. Freechack, Chair, Financial Institutions Group
Tremendous Growth in Litigation Group
Barack Ferrazzano is hired by some of the world’s most prominent companies to represent them in their most significant legal disputes. Since 2016, the Litigation Group has welcomed 12 attorneys – 10 of whom joined the Firm in 2017 – including partner Matthew A. Bills, who brings 15 years of complex commercial litigation experience to the team.
"The litigation group has seen unprecedented growth driven by the addition of the highest caliber trial lawyers and consistent results for our clients across the country.” - Roger H. Stetson, Co-Chair, Litigation Group
Motor Vehicle Transactions Expansion
Continuing the trend of expansion reflected in practice areas throughout Barack Ferrazzano in 2017, the Firm's Motor Vehicle Group welcomed two attorneys to the expanding practice, including transactional partner Kate E. Kim, who brings more than a decade of experience representing public and private companies in cross border mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions across a number of industries.
"We are very pleased with the continuing growth of our practice, and are happy to have bright and dedicated attorneys join our Group. As the work we do for clients has expanded, this calculated growth allows our practice to evolve along with our clients needs. Our clients will benefit greatly from the skills and knowledge they bring to the Firm." - Sarah M. Bernstein, Co-Chair, Motor Vehicle Group
This expansion is preceded by the Motor Vehicle Group’s 2016 addition of litigation partner Maile H. Solís – bringing with her nearly two decades of experience in complex commercial litigation. The Motor Vehicle Group's partners represent an impressive 300+ years of combined experience in complex franchise and commercial law matters.
- Chambers (May 2017): newsroom-news-288
- Best Lawyers: http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/profile/barack-ferrazzano-kirschbaum-nagelberg-llp/overview/31997
- *Source S&P Global Market Intelligence in 2016
- Valley National Bancorp To Acquire USAmeriBancorp in $816M Deal (July 2017): newsroom-news-302
- Old National Partners With Anchor Bancorp in $300M Transaction (August 2017): newsroom-news-308
About Barack Ferrazzano
Founded in 1984 as an alternative to the traditional large law firm, Barack Ferrazzano aims to provide extraordinary service in a wide range of industries for each of our core practice areas: Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights, Compensation & Employment, Corporate & Securities, Environmental, Fashion, Luxury & Retail, Financial Institutions, Intellectual Property, Litigation, M&A, Motor Vehicle, Real Estate, Tax & Business Planning and White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement. Without the overhead of large, multi-office firms, we have the flexibility to serve our clients in a global capacity — when, where and how they need us. In doing so, we favorably serve large multi-national corporations in all manner of legal transactions and matters. Our business model is predicated upon having a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses and the development of long-lasting relationships, which yield great efficiencies. Our lawyer retention rate is extremely high, and as a result, we’re able to provide a consistent team of professionals, enhancing our client relationships and allowing us to become increasingly cost-efficient in addressing our clients’ legal needs.