Dennis is an innovative and creative thinker who helps clients find the best path to their desired goals. He has more than 35 years of experience over hundreds of transactions in the strategy, structure, and successful execution of mergers and acquisitions and other capital transactions.

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 the representation of troubled banks and also healthy organizations bidding for failed institutions. 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, and he served for several years as an adjunct professor of banking law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.



  • State of Illinois


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1982
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. (Agriculture), with highest distinction, 1978


Dennis has been a leader in the Financial Institutions Group, serving as a trusted counselor to over 300 financial institutions, and as a mentor to the more than 30 attorneys practicing in this area. The wide variety of transactions with which he has been involved provides a valuable roadmap for clients considering strategic moves.





  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2017-2024)
    • Banking and Finance Law
  • Leading Lawyers Network (2011-2023)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers (2005)
  • bl_wendte_2024


  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Banking Law (2001-2013)
  • Phi Delta Phi
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