October 03, 2012 // Franchising.com // Chicago, IL - Roetzel & Andress is pleased to announce the continued expansion of its Chicago office with the addition of six attorneys, significantly bolstering the firm's services to the financial industry as well as its presence throughout the Midwest.
Joining Roetzel in Chicago are partners Mark D. Belongia, Benjamin P. Shapiro and Richard K. Hellerman, and associates Harry O. Channon, Pierre Cristache and John J. Tufano, Jr.
"We are extremely fortunate to be able to expand our footprint in Chicago with the addition of these very talented attorneys," said Jeffrey J. Casto, Roetzel's Chairman and CEO. "These attorneys' broad-based experience, with particular depth in litigation, regulatory and transactional work, is a great addition to our firm. Our clients will greatly benefit from this influx of legal talent."
Mr. Casto explained that Roetzel's expansion in Chicago is consistent with the firm's commitment to the city and the Midwest in general since opening that office exactly one year ago, as well as to sustaining growth for all of Roetzel's offices. These new attorneys will greatly strengthen Roetzel's financial services capabilities, particularly in the Midwest, Florida and Mid-Atlantic regions.
"The addition of these six attorneys is in perfect alignment with our strategic plan to grow key practice areas and service offerings in order to continue meeting and exceeding our clients' legal and business needs in our complex economy," Mr. Casto said.
Mr. Casto added that Roetzel will continue to focus on growth opportunities in Chicago and all of its markets, including attracting other prominent, seasoned attorneys who possess entrepreneurial spirits and are committed to providing the highest possible levels of service to their clients.
Mr. Belongia is a highly regarded litigator with extensive experience in banking and commercial law. He has successfully litigated cases throughout the country for clients that include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions and individuals in complex commercial and tort litigation. He has successfully litigated cases throughout the country and has vast jury trial experience. Mr. Belongia's knowledge as a commentator has been sought out by numerous high-profile media outlets, including NBC's "Today Show", NBC5 Chicago News, WGN-AM Radio, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago, ABC News, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and more. Mr. Belongia earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and a B.S. from Drake University.
Mr. Shapiro is a leading bank lawyer with a distinguished background. He has previously served in the legal department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and was Regional Counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), serving as chief legal counsel in the FDIC's Midwest region. After leaving the FDIC, Mr. Shapiro entered private practice where he had headed the bank regulatory practice group at Sidley & Austin and practiced at other local firms. Mr. Shapiro's service to financial institution clients has involved helping to organize new banks, representing buyers and sellers in bank sale and merger transactions, representing troubled banks before regulatory agencies, negotiating regulatory enforcement actions and providing general business, regulatory and compliance advice to his numerous clients. A frequent lecturer on banking topics, Mr. Shapiro also has a business interest in M.B. Advisors, a firm that assists minority-owned financial institutions. Mr. Shapiro earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois.
Mr. Hellerman is an experienced trial lawyer who focuses in the areas of commercial, product liability and other tort matters, employment, bankruptcy and tax litigation involving issues that include the nature and extent of attorney-client privilege in tax shelter litigation. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and small businesses in a wide range of commercial disputes in states including Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. In addition, his work has involved practicing before the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Human Rights Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mr. Hellerman received his J.D. with distinction from Emory University School of Law and a B.A. from Washington University.
Mr. Channon focuses his practice in the areas of business and commercial litigation, financial litigation, commodities and futures litigation and insurance counseling and litigation. His experience in all phases of litigation includes state and federal jury trials. Recently, Mr. Channon successfully represented an insurance company against a multi-million dollar claim for breach of coverage and bad faith. Mr. Channon earned his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and has a B.S. from Purdue University.
Mr. Cristache concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation and residential real estate. He has represented clients in the federal courts of both the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. Mr. Cristache earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign and has a B.S. from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Tufano concentrates his practice in business and commercial litigation and insurance litigation. While in law school, he served as a judicial intern to the Honorable John Donovan, Civil Court Judge for Harris County, Texas, and interned in the international projects division of JAMS International ADR Center in Rome, Italy. He is a member of the Corporation, Securities & Business Law Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association, in which he co-chairs the Young Lawyers Society International and Foreign Law Committee. Mr. Tufano received his J.D. from South Texas College of Law and also has a B.A. from the University of Dallas.