Sidley Austin LLP Elects Eight in Chicago to Partnership; 33 Promoted to Partner Throughout the Firm
Law Firm Announces New Partners in Chicago Office’s Complex Commercial Litigation, Employee Benefits, Global Finance, Healthcare, M&A and Private Equity and Products Liability Practices
Chicago – Eight lawyers in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP are among the 33 lawyers elected to partnership in the firm. Effective January 1, 2012, the firm has 670 partners in offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. The new Chicago partners are Kenneth K. Bellaire, Global Finance; Elizabeth C. Curtin, Products Liability; Meenakshi Datta, Healthcare; Joseph M. Manicki, Employee Benefits; Melissa K. McGrory, Employee Benefits; Charles K. Schafer, Complex Commercial Litigation; Luke J. Valentino, M&A and Private Equity; and Mark D. Werner, Global Finance.
“Welcoming the new class of partners is a great privilege and one I look forward to every year, ” said Thomas A. Cole, chair of the firm’s Executive Committee. “This is a talented and dedicated group of professionals.”
“Our new partners are committed to the ideals and values that are core to Sidley’s mission and represent the diversity of practice, background and geographic location that make Sidley so strong,” added Charles W. Douglas, chair of the firm’s Management Committee. “I am pleased to welcome Kenneth, Elizabeth, Meena, Joseph, Melissa, Chad, Luke and Mark to the partnership.
Kenneth K. Bellaire, 33, is a partner in the Global Finance practice. He represents agents, lenders and borrowers in single-bank and syndicated credit facilities for companies across a broad range of industries, including senior, second-lien and mezzanine financings, acquisition financings and cross-border financings. He advises clients with respect to work-outs and debt restructurings, debtor-in-possession financings and bankruptcy exit financings. He also represents lenders and borrowers in financings of funds of various types, including funds of hedge funds and closed-end mutual funds.
Mr. Bellaire, formerly an associate, received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.S., summa cum laude, from Northwestern University.
Elizabeth C. Curtin, 36, is a partner in the Products Liability practice. Her practice emphasizes mass tort litigation, including complex litigation, class actions and the coordination and defense of pharmaceutical product liability cases in federal and state courts. Her experience in these cases includes all aspects of litigation, including depositions, fact and expert witness preparation, court appearances, strategic planning, motions practice and trial.
Ms. Curtin, formerly an associate, received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.S. in Biology from Duke University. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Curtin served as a law clerk for the Honorable Norman K. Moon, Western District of Virginia.
Meenakshi Datta, 33, is a partner in the Healthcare practice. She has substantial experience in various areas of healthcare regulatory law including healthcare reform; fraud and abuse; government price reporting; federal healthcare program coverage and reimbursement issues; healthcare compliance programs, including drafting policies and procedures, counseling on implementation issues, and conducting audits and internal reviews; managed care contracting; HIPAA and HITECH implementation and compliance; and federal and state transparency and reporting laws, including the Sunshine Act and similar state laws.
Ms. Datta, formerly an associate, received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. from Brown University.
Joseph M. Manicki, 33, is a partner in the Employee Benefits practice. He counsels clients in a wide variety of industries with respect to the design, implementation and administration of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. Mr. Manicki has experience with qualified and nonqualified plans, health and welfare plans, equity compensation plans, governmental plans and multiemployer plans. He also represents clients with respect to employee benefits and executive compensation issues arising in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.
Mr. Manicki, formerly an associate, received his LL.M., with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center and his J.D., cum laude, from Tulane University Law School, where he served as Senior Managing Editor of the Journal of Law & Sexuality. He received his B.B.A., summa cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago.
Melissa K. McGrory, 40, is a partner in the Employee Benefits practice. She represents and advises clients on all types of employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including the design and administration of qualified retirement plans (including the correction of plan operational defects through the Internal Revenue Service Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System); the design and administration of non-qualified retirement plans, welfare plans and fringe benefit plans; and the design and administration of equity-based and other incentive compensation plans. Ms. McGrory also advises clients with respect to the treatment of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements in corporate transactions, and benefits considerations in drafting and negotiating executive employment, retention and separation agreements.
Ms. McGrory, formerly a counsel, received her J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law, where she served as Notes and Comment Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. She received her B.A., with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from University of Iowa.
Charles K. Schafer, 33, is a partner in the Complex Commercial Litigation practice. He has handled a diverse range of civil litigation matters in both state and federal courts. His concentrations include class action defense, focusing on consumer fraud actions, mass tort actions, securities claims and federal statutory violations, as well as defending a variety of breach of contract claims and prosecuting and defending both trade secrets and tax liability claims.
Mr. Schafer, formerly an associate, received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his A.B. from Stanford University.
Luke J. Valentino, 33, is a partner in the M&A and Private Equity practice. His principal areas of practice are mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investments, corporate finance and strategic counseling/corporate governance. Mr. Valentino has also represented issuers and underwriters in a variety of public and private debt and equity offerings and investors in venture capital financings.
Mr. Valentino, formerly an associate, received his J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Northwestern University School of Law, where he served on the Northwestern University Law Review. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis.
Mark D. Werner, 35, is a partner in the Global Finance practice. His principal areas of focus are structured finance and lending transactions. His structured finance and asset securitization practice focuses on the financing, acquisition and sale of various traditional and non-traditional assets, including trade receivables, credit card receivables, structured settlements, lottery prize receivables, pre-settlement advances, assignable annuities, student loans and merchant advances. Mr. Werner’s lending practice involves representing borrowers, lenders, agents and letter of credit issuers in a wide variety of financing transactions.
Mr. Werner, formerly an associate, received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Virginia Law Review. He received his B.S., with highest honors, from University of Illinois.
Sidley also named the following to partnership in its other offices: Dallas - Mark A. Dodd; Hong Kong - Janney Chong, Sherlyn Lau and Raymond Oh; London - Simon Fawell, Benjamin M. Klinger and Rachpal K. Thind; Los Angeles - David R. Carpenter, Andrew J. Dunbar, Olivia M. Kim, Jodi E. Lopez, Nitin Reddy and Jeremy E. Rosenthal; New York - Matthew E. Fernand, Alex J. Kaplan, Diane C. McEnroe, Michele (Miki) Navazio, Jonathan A. Nunes and Alex R. Rovira; Washington, D.C. - Peter S. Choi, Elizabeth L. Howe, Peter V. Lindsay, Christopher M. Lyons, Quin M. Sorenson and Angela M. Xenakis.
Sidley’s Chicago office, with more than 500 lawyers, traces its origins back to 1866. Chicago office lawyers work on a broad range of litigation, transactional and regulatory matters. Lawyers in the litigation practice have trial and appellate experience in virtually all areas of litigation, including antitrust, bankruptcy, class action litigation, criminal, corporate takeovers, directors’ and officers’ liability, employment, environmental, government contracts, immigration, insurance coverage, intellectual property, lender liability, products liability, real estate, regulated industries, securities litigation, tax and white collar. The office’s transactional lawyers advise clients on corporate and related areas, including mergers and acquisitions, banking and commercial finance, corporate governance, corporate finance, investment funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and other pooled investment entities, insurance, securities regulatory and enforcement, broker dealer regulation, bankruptcy and restructuring, commodities, real estate and REITs, intellectual property, project finance and tax. Highlights of the regulatory practice include representation of insurance companies, life sciences companies, utilities, telecoms and banking and financial institutions.
Sidley Austin LLP is one of the world’s premier full-service law firms, with approximately 1700 lawyers practicing in 17 U.S. and international cities, including Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Repeating its performance in the inaugural 2010 survey, Sidley received the most first-tier national rankings of any U.S. law firm in the 2011/12 U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey. Sidley was also named the U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in both Corporate Law and Securities Regulation in the 2011/12 survey (the first year of such designations). BTI, a Boston-based research and consulting firm, has named Sidley as one of only three firms to have been in the top ten of the BTI Client Service rankings every year since the inception of those rankings in 2001, and as number one in three of those years.
For more information:
, Director of Practice Development, 212.839.8797
, Rubenstein Associates, 212.843.8007
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