12th June 2019
MSI's Illinois law member Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC is pleased to announce that Crain’s Chicago Business has recognized Laura Friedel, Robert Romanoff, Eileen Sethna, William Schwartz, and Russell Shapiro among its Notable Gen X Leaders in Law. This list represents some of the top practitioners in Chicago.
Laura Friedel is leader of the Labor & Employment Group and chair of the Women’s Initiative. She works with companies to maximize their most important and often trickiest asset – their employees. The employment policies and practices that Friedel works to develop with her clients are more critical than ever in light of the #MeToo movement and the current social climate. Her constant objective is to help clients reach their larger goals by protecting their investment in their people and minimizing legal risk. When issues arise, Friedel works closely with clients to target a response to meet specific business goals. She particularly enjoys counseling accounting and other professional services firms, for whom “people issues” are at the very core of the business.
Robert Romanoff is a partner in LP’s Trusts & Estates Group and has served as Chairman and Managing Partner since 2013. Romanoff has helped design and implement an innovative client engagement model, burnishing its reputation as one of the top midsize firms in Chicago. Under Romanoff’s leadership, LP’s revenue has grown almost 55 percent and the firm’s profitability has increased by over 90 percent over the past five years. Over the past year, Romanoff has counseled various high net worth individuals, owners of closely held businesses, and their families on an array of estate, gift and income tax planning, and business succession planning. Romanoff is active in charitable and civic matters in Chicago, and is closely involved with LP’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, forging partnerships with an array of impactful community organizations.
Eileen Sethna joined LP this month as a partner in the Banking & Restructuring Group. At her previous firm, she led the 28-attorney banking group in Chicago and New York where she served as an advisor to banks, hedge funds, real estate investors and small business owners. She’s managed national litigation, conventional, commercial, asset-based and real estate lending as well as workouts and bankruptcies. Since 2006 she has represented the office of the Illinois State Treasurer and, to litigate on behalf of the office, was appointed to serve as a special assistant attorney general. In her philanthropic work, Sethna is a fundraiser for Special Olympics and Misericordia, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing services and support to children and adults with physical and developmental challenges.
William Schwartz is a partner in the Banking & Restructuring Group, where he represents borrowers and lenders in financial services, litigation and workouts. Over the past 18 months, Schwartz has represented borrowers in refinancings of $100M and $75M credit facilities, and handled several warehouse loans for lenders (as a borrower). On the lending side, he represented lenders in financing the 95th Floor of the Hancock Building, several Fulton Market properties, and the old Motorola complex. Schwartz is a legal innovator, often developing new financial structures to help achieve his clients’ business goals, such as a creative, hard money loan model that accelerates the foreclosure process. As the department chair for three different practice groups, Schwartz has mentored countless attorneys. Schwartz is a past president of the Illinois Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, where he has served on the board for 10 years.
Russell Shapiro is a partner and department chair of the firm’s Transactional Group and is one of the leading corporate attorneys in the greater Chicago area as well as nationally. Also a certified public accountant, Shapiro has deep experience representing accounting firms. In 2017 and 2018, he was named to Accounting Today’s “100 Most Influential People in Accounting.” Shapiro has worked on dozens of significant accounting firm mergers, including Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador’s combination with Mueller & Co, as well as several Chicago-area firms’ combination with Wipfli (including Horwich Coleman Levin, Steinberg Advisors and Weltman Bernfield). Shapiro is actively involved in the firm’s recruiting efforts and client engagement initiatives through his membership on its Executive Committee. He serves on the board of directors and audit committee of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership and the executive council of CARA, an organization that provides life and career skills training and employment opportunities.
Recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the nation's most innovative mid-sized law firms, Chicago-based Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC provides legal and business counsel to sophisticated clients across a broad range of corporate, tax, real estate and litigation matters.
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