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Chicago Legal Partners Honoured as Notable Minorities in Law

Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the United States Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Centre, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. 

For the second consecutive year, Crain’s Chicago Business has named partners Zulf Bokhari, Roderick Branch, and Robert Fernandez to its Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting, and Law 2020 list. The honourees are recognised for having “overcome challenges and bias to rise to the top of their professions” through both their practice work and efforts to advance diversity and inclusion.

Bokhari, a member of Latham’s Banking Practice, represents leading commercial and investment banks in the syndicated loan markets, often advising on cross-border financings for working capital, acquisitions, and other purposes. A profile published by Crain’s highlighted his recent representation of a major United States bank on multiple transactions, including as lead agent / arranger and lender in US$2 billion revolving credit facilities for a global health care company and related financings for its European operations. Crain’s also noted his role on the advisory board of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Branch, a member of Latham’s Capital Markets and Latin America Practices, advises on capital markets transactions, with a focus on securities offerings by non-United States issuers. His published profile featured Branch’s recent representations of IEnova, Mexico’s largest private-sector energy company, in an US$800 million bond offering, Aon in a US$1 billion senior note financing, Hyatt Hotels in bond financings of US$1.65 billion, and Cars.com in its debut US$400 million high-yield financing.

Branch is the immediate past Chicago office leader of Latham’s Hispanic/Latin American Lawyers Group, and he leads the firm’s International Visiting Associate program, through which law firm associates join Latham full time for a year. In 2020, Branch was also named to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra board of trustees.

Fernandez, a member of Latham’s Real Estate Practice, specialises in financings, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, commercial leasing, and real estate development. His profile in Crain’s noted his recent advise to institutional investors on joint ventures in connection with multifamily, student housing, industrial, and large mixed use developments.

For example, he advised a hedge fund in connection with a large office tower lease in Chicago, and a real estate investment and hospitality management company on a joint venture to acquire a Las Vegas hotel and casino. Fernandez is a member of Latham’s Global Diversity Leadership committee and is Chicago office leader of the firm’s Hispanic / Latin American Lawyers Group. He also serves on the Civic Federation board in Chicago.

In addition to the trio being selected among the 2019 Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting, and Law honourees, Bokhari and Branch were also previously included in Crain’s predecessor lists of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago in 2017 and 2018.

Cathy Birkeland Featured in Chicago Law Bulletin

Cathy Birkeland has been featured in the inaugural Women in Law report by the Chicago Law Bulletin, which profiled “50 exceptional women leaders in the law”.

Cathy helps issuers, underwriters, and investors execute successful capital markets transactions, and advises public companies and boards of directors on corporate governance and securities law matters.

Her published profile highlighted both Birkeland’s leadership roles in Latham’s Chicago office and her market-leading practice as a member of the firm’s Capital Markets Practice.

Latham’s Chicago office, on the ground for more than four decades and more than 200 lawyers strong, provides a full scope of services to United States and global clients across virtually every industry while connecting seamlessly with the resources and reach of the firm’s worldwide platform.

It also cited her dedication to mentoring young lawyers and deep commitment to diversity, as well as her active involvement in the Chicago community — including her current leadership of Latham’s Chicago Taskforce for the Commitment to Racial Justice and Economy, which is dedicated to fighting racial injustice and promoting equality through pro bono efforts, programming, and financial support for Chicago-based organisations.

Latham is dedicated to working with clients to help them achieve their business goals and overcome legal challenges anywhere in the world. From a global platform spanning 14 countries, Latham lawyers help clients succeed.

Home to top-ranked lawyers from the full spectrum of corporate, finance, tax, and litigation practices, our Chicago office routinely advises on high-profile mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, public company, banking, restructuring, real estate, and shareholder activism matters.

And our nationally renowned Chicago-based trial lawyers regularly set precedents affecting entire industries, from high-stakes securities litigation and cutting-edge intellectual property matters to make-or-break investigations, class actions, and environmental matters.

American Law Firm Sponsors GLAAD Spirit Day

Spirit Day is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on the third Thursday in October. Started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan, it was initially created in response to a rash of widely publicised bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi.

Kirkland & Ellis is proud to sponsor GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day for the eighth year in a row. GLAAD is the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organisation.

Spirit Day, which takes place this year on October 15, 2020, is the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that aims to accelerate the acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day inspires millions of people around the world to wear purple or “go purple” online in a unified stance against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth.

Kirkland has been a proud official international sponsor of Spirit Day since 2013.

Each year, the Firm demonstrates its support on Spirit Day by encouraging Kirkland employees worldwide to wear purple, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and continue important conversations within the Firm, the legal profession and the community.

Kirkland also contributes to GLAAD’s Spirit Day Fund, which supports GLAAD’s year-round efforts to combat bullying, protect LGBTQ youth and garner participation in Sprit Day each October.

Kirkland is an American law firm. Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, Kirkland is the largest law firm in the world by revenue and the seventh-largest by number of attorneys, and was the first law firm in the world to reach US$4 billion in revenue.

Four DLA Piper lawyers join WILEF leadership

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that four of its lawyers have joined the leadership of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF). Ellen Scordino, a member of WILEF’s Global Advisory Board, will now also become a WILEF Boston co-chair, and Mariah DiGrino, Colleen Carey Gulliver and Holly Lake will join WILEF’s Global Advisory Board.

Scordino, a Boston-based partner in DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice, focuses on patent litigation, commercial matters and client counselling in the pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostics, biofuels and medical device industries.

DiGrino, a Real Estate partner based in Chicago, concentrates her practice in the areas of land use and zoning, public-private financing, public incentives, historic preservation, and community and economic development, as well as general real estate.

Gulliver is a New York-based partner in DLA Piper’s Litigation and Regulatory practice. Her practice includes the defence of class actions in various substantive areas, such as consumer, privacy and securities litigation, for many different industries, including consumer goods and retail, transportation and technology, as well as corporate litigation and counselling, business litigation and securities enforcement matters.

Lake is a Los Angeles-based partner in DLA Piper’s Employment practice. She is an employment litigator and advisor. She has a breadth of experience defending clients across industries, not only in single/multiple plaintiff cases, but also defending employers in wage-and-hour class, collective and private attorney general representative actions under California laws and the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. She also advises clients on all matters related to employment, including OFCCP compliance and affirmative action program development.

WILEF is the premier organisation for women in law exclusively dedicated to women from the largest law firms and corporate law departments in the United States.

Duane Morris Welcomes Corporate Partner Anastasia N. Kaup

Anastasia N. Kaup has joined Duane Morris LLP as a partner in the firm’s Corporate Practice Group in its Chicago office. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Kaup practiced at Mayer Brown LLP.

“Anastasia is a hard-working, highly skilled lawyer with a strong commitment to her clients and her fellow attorneys,” said Matthew A. Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Duane Morris. “She is a great fit with our collegial and collaborative culture and the level of client service we strive to achieve at the firm.”

“The addition of Anastasia to our strong and growing Corporate Practice Group will deepen our bench in our very busy national commercial finance practice,” said Brian P. Kerwin, chair of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group. “Her skills and sophisticated transactional experience will be very beneficial to our private equity practice as well.”

“We’re excited to welcome Anastasia to the Chicago office and the firm,” said John Robert Weiss, managing partner of the Duane Morris Chicago office. “She has an impressive skill set, a team-oriented approach and she’s an excellent personality fit with our office, which has been recognised as one of the best places to work in Chicago.”

Kaup has represented financial institutions, funds and other corporate clients in financing transactions across the private equity, real estate, hedge fund, private credit and distressed lending spaces. Kaup structures, negotiates and documents complex financing transactions domestically and internationally at all levels of the organisational structure, with specific focuses on fund finance, sponsor finance and financing in distressed situations. Her fund finance experience covers a wide spectrum of transactions to meet the financing needs of various types of funds at every phase of their existence. She also assists with the analysis and negotiation of investor documents with institutional, governmental, high-net-worth and sovereign wealth investors. Kaup has represented private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in nearly every industry, as well as lenders to such entities, in a wide array of financing transactions. Kaup also has significant experience counselling clients in distressed situations, in bankruptcy as well as out-of-court restructurings, and has represented clients in some of the most complex restructuring cases in the last decade. She has negotiated and documented countless transactions involving multiple creditors and has substantial knowledge of intercreditor and subordination arrangements and agreements. Kaup’s experience with transactions during downturns as well as growth cycles distinctively positions her to assist clients with a broad range of financing-related needs at any time.

Kaup is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2010) and the University of Utah (honours B.S., cum laude, 2008).

Kirkland advises GTCR on minority investment in CAPTRUST

Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised GTCR regarding a 25 percent minority growth investment in CAPTRUST. The investment reflects a $1.25 billion valuation of CAPTRUST, an independent registered investment advisor, as the firm continues to grow and add services and capabilities.

Read the GTCR press release

The Kirkland team was led by transactional partners Ryan Harris and Chris Thomas, and associate Kyle McHugh; and tax partners Russell Light and Polina Liberman.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is an American law firm. Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, Kirkland is the largest law firm in the world by revenue, and the seventh largest in terms of number of attorneys. Kirkland & Ellis is the first law firm in the world to break US$4 billion in revenue.