BFKN is thrilled to celebrate another year of success as it proudly maintains its prestigious standing as a leading law firm according to Chambers USA 2023. BFKN’s Real Estate Group, an integral part of BFKN's foundation, is celebrating an impressive 20th consecutive Band 1 ranking in Illinois. Additionally, the Intellectual Property Group received a Band 2 ranking in Illinois, while the Litigation and Corporate & Securities Groups earned Band 5 rankings in Illinois. For the 4th consecutive year, the Financial Institutions Group achieved Band 4 ranking in the U.S. for Financial Services Regulation. This continued recognition underscores BFKN's unwavering commitment to excellence in diverse legal fields.

For the first time, Chambers USA individually recognized Nathan Q. Rugg (Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Band 5) in Illinois.

  • Nate is the chair of BFKN's Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Group. He has extensive experience in all aspects of business reorganizations, workouts, and bankruptcies, inside and outside of court restructurings. This includes the representation of creditors, suppliers, equipment lessors, lenders, landlords, OEMs, and asset purchasers in small to large, complex Chapter 11 cases. Nate draws on over two decades of insolvency and workout experience to provide practical and insightful advice to clients. He builds relationships to obtain favorable results in both transactional and litigation matters.

Chambers USA also individually recognized the following attorneys nationwide and in Illinois, many of whom have been named for several years:

  • Dennis A. Ferrazzano (Real Estate – Senior Statesperson)
    Dennis is a founding partner of BFKN, and is highly regarded by both peers and clients for his tremendous knowledge in a broad array of real estate transactions. Throughout his more than 50 year career, Dennis has represented clients in commercial real estate transactions, as well as corporate, securities, and business planning matters. One interviewee said, “He is incisive and hyper-pragmatic" and “is phenomenal; he's very efficient to work with."
  • Howard J. Kirschbaum (Real Estate – Senior Statesperson)
    Howard is a founding partner of BFKN and former co-chair of the Real Estate Group. He has more than 40 years of experience in commercial real estate transactions, business planning matters, and real estate related litigation. One interviewee describes him as “an excellent attorney and a great lawyer” with “a very good reputation."
  • William J. Barrett (Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Band 3)
    The former co-chair of the Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights Group, Bill has more than 30 years of experience handling virtually all types of complex bankruptcy issues. Respected for his substantive command of bankruptcy law, Bill represents secured creditors, landlords, franchisors, suppliers, avoidance action defendants, and asset purchasers in Chapter 11 cases and other insolvency proceedings. One source describes him as “smart and a good advocate for his clients.”
  • Suzanne Bessette-Smith (Real Estate – Band 3)
    Suzanne is a co-chair of the Real Estate Group. She concentrates her practice on commercial real estate and related corporate, securities, and business planning matters with an emphasis on the industrial, hospitality and office sectors, as well as REITs. Throughout her more than 35-year legal career, Suzanne has been lauded by clients and peers for her business acumen and industry knowledge, described by a source as “outstanding to work with” and “incredibly pragmatic, we could cut to the chase and get the deal done."
  • John E. Freechack (Nationwide Financial Services Regulation: Financial Institutions M&A – Band 3)
    John is the founder and co-chair of BFKN's Financial Institutions Group and has advised hundreds of financial institutions on strategic, corporate governance and other matters for over 30 years. His extensive experience includes the representation of numerous public companies, as well as regional and community banks. John spends considerable time counseling institutions and their boards with respect to mergers and acquisitions, bank regulatory issues, corporate governance and securities law matters.

  • Scott J. Slavick (Intellectual Property – Band 3)
    Scott is the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Group and has more than 20 years of experience representing high-profile clients in all types of intellectual property matters. Whether devising unique strategies to provide maximum international trademark protection, searching and clearing new global brands on a rushed timeline, reviewing new marketing programs, or advising on risks with respect to social media marketing, Scott gets the job done efficiently and cost-effectively so his clients can get back to business. One interviewee describes him as “detail-oriented and extremely responsive…. very knowledgeable and always looking for ways to creatively help clients.”
  • Matthew Kim-Miller (Real Estate – Band 4)
    Matt is a partner in BFKN’s Real Estate Group. Matt’s deep and varied transactional experience is backed by first-chair work in real estate and land use litigation and administrative proceedings, foreclosures, and workouts for lenders and borrowers, the representation of public and private entities in bond issuances (including special district and homeowner association bonds), and the real estate aspects of wind and solar projects. Matt applies his experience to clients’ bread-and-butter deals, as well as their ventures that feel like a stair-stepper contest. He values his longstanding client relationships and enjoys building close relationships between BFKN and his clients’ internal teams.

To view BFKN's 2023 Chambers USA results, visit: https://chambers.com/law-firm/barack-ferrazzano-kirschbaum-nagelberg-llp-usa-5:66923

About Chambers USA

Chambers USA, a Chambers & Partners publication, is the definitive resource for businesses seeking external legal counsel in the U.S. Chambers USA bases its rankings on the research into the strengths and reputations of law firms and individuals. Each year, a team of researchers conducts thousands of in-depth, confidential interviews with lawyers and their clients worldwide. Chambers assesses the results and ranks law firms and lawyers according to the criteria most valued by clients. In a survey independent of Chambers, more than 50% of 20,000 in-house counsel around the world chose Chambers as the "go-to" source to identify law firms and lawyers. To learn more about Chambers methodology, click here

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