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Press Release

Blank Rome Expands to Chicago with Addition of Four-Partner Group

Chicago Spotlight

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that the Firm is expanding its national platform to Chicago, with the addition of a four-partner group. The Firm expects the new office will launch this week, upon the completion of certain regulatory requirements.

The Chicago office will be led by Kenneth J. Ottaviano. Prior to joining Blank Rome, Ken served as a partner in the insolvency and restructuring group at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP where he recently served on Katten’s Board of Directors. Also joining from Katten in Chicago are Karin H. Berg, William J. Dorsey, and Paige Barr Tinkham. Ken, Karin, and Paige join as partners in the Firm’s Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group. Will joins as a partner in Blank Rome’s Corporate Litigation group. They will also be members of the Financial Services Industry group, which has welcomed eight attorneys to date in 2019 and has more than 100 attorneys throughout the United States. Collectively, the group’s experience spans the financial services sector with Ken, Karin, and Paige focusing their practices on financing, insolvency, and restructuring transactions, and Will focusing his practice on commercial finance litigation, real estate disputes, and contested merger and acquisition transactions. 

“Ken, Karin, Will, and Paige are outstanding people and we are thrilled to have them join us as the founding partners of our new Chicago office,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “They are the epitome of Blank Rome lawyers—premier practitioners in their fields who work collaboratively in teams with a singular focus on clients’ needs. Providing truly exceptional client service is our top priority, and we are committed to expanding our depth, breadth, and capabilities across offices to continue to serve our clients at the highest levels.”

Since its founding in 1946, Blank Rome has grown through a number of significant acquisitions, combinations, and lateral hires. The Firm has been particularly successful in opening new offices through the hiring of entrepreneurial-minded lateral groups, and effectively integrating the attorneys and professionals to allow for ongoing growth. In the last decade alone, the Firm opened its Los Angeles office in 2009 with the addition of five laterals and has grown to nearly 60 lawyers; in 2011, the Firm opened its Houston office with five lawyers from Abrams Scott & Bickley, L.L.P, and now has nearly 50 lawyers in Texas; and, most recently, the Firm opened in Pittsburgh in 2015 with five partners, which has grown to more than 20 lawyers. Additionally, the Firm experienced significant growth in 2016 when it welcomed more than 100 attorneys previously with Dickstein Shapiro to its Washington, D.C., and New York offices. 

“With strong roots in Chicago and an exceptional national reputation, Ken, Karin, Will, and Paige are the perfect team to anchor our entrance into the market,” stated Lawrence F. Flick, Chair of Blank Rome’s Financial Services Industry group. “Blank Rome has a number of clients who are based in, or do business in Chicago, so having an established presence in the city with a stellar group of attorneys will help us provide enhanced service to our clients. In addition, the team’s significant experience in financing and restructuring in the healthcare industry will further expand our strong healthcare finance capabilities.”

“Blank Rome has a proven track record of opening new offices across the United States through the hiring of lateral groups, and we are very excited to join that legacy,” said Ken. “In talking with Grant, Larry, and other partners from the Firm’s offices and practices, we were energized by Blank Rome’s desire to open a Chicago office and its clear vision and commitment to growing in the market. We were also impressed by the Firm’s strong culture of collaboration, and innovative approach to client service. Joining Blank Rome presented the perfect trifecta for our group—continue to service clients on an expanded, national platform; facilitate growth in Chicago; and contribute to innovation in our field. We are thrilled to be a part of the team.”

Blank Rome’s Chicago office will be located at 10 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 875, Chicago, IL 60606, while the Firm identifies a permanent location.

About the Attorneys

  • Kenneth J. Ottaviano, Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group – Ken is a seasoned distressed transactions attorney, representing traditional and nontraditional financing sources in complex insolvency and restructuring matters. Ken has noteworthy experience in major corporate bankruptcies, out-of-court workouts and restructurings, local and multijurisdictional assignments for the benefit of creditors, federal or state court receivership actions, judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, Uniform Commercial Code sales, and various debtor-creditor litigation matters. Ken also represents lessors, indenture trustees, bondholders, borrowers, guarantors, debtors in possession, distressed asset and debt purchasers, assignees, trustees, receivers, examiners, special servicers, and various creditor classes. His clients span a variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, construction, distribution, energy, financial institutions, franchising, hospitality, manufacturing, media, retail landlord, and technology.
  • Karin H. Berg, Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group – For more than 15 years, Karin has focused her practice in the areas of insolvency, bankruptcy, complex loan workouts and restructurings, and secured and unsecured financing. Karin represents secured lenders in all stages of financing from structuring, negotiating, and drafting commercial credit and collateral agreements to negotiating and documenting workouts, restructurings, and reorganizations. Karin also provides counsel in a wide variety of debtor/creditor matters, including asset-based and cash-flow transactions, subordinated and second-lien debt, equity classes and rights, intercreditor agreements, and participation arrangements. She counsels clients in connection with prejudgment remedies, Uniform Commercial Code sales and foreclosure proceedings, lender liability actions, and adversary and other bankruptcy proceedings, and has successfully defended major fraudulent transfer and preferential transfer actions. Additionally, Karin advises clients in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, assignments for the benefit of creditors, federal and state court receivership actions, and other insolvency proceedings.
  • William J. Dorsey, Corporate Litigation group – Will’s practice focuses on high-stakes commercial disputes, including creditor's rights, real estate, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents lenders in cases involving intercreditor disputes, breach of credit agreements, guaranty enforcement, lender liability claims, and lien priority fights. He also represents commercial lenders in bankruptcy litigation matters, including cash collateral disputes, preference and fraudulent transfer actions, claim objections, plan confirmation, and lift stay motions. Will has handled foreclosures of industrial, retail, hotel, condominium, and condo-hotel projects across the country, including coordination of multi-state foreclosures. Additionally, Will negotiates and documents forbearance agreements and deeds, litigates construction defect and mechanics lien claims, and prosecutes and defends complex commercial lease disputes, as well as served as a court-appointed attorney to bankruptcy examiners. Will also represents buyers, sellers, and lenders in contested M&A transactions and frequently provides transaction-related advice.
  • Paige Barr Tinkham, Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group – Paige concentrates her practice in the areas of insolvency and corporate restructuring. She represents secured and unsecured creditors, purchasers, investors, trustees, lessors, debtors, and other constituents in federal and state court proceedings as well as out-of-court workout scenarios. She also devotes time to pro bono matters, including serving as board president of Ascend Justice, a nonprofit serving domestic violence survivors seeking legal services related to orders of protection, immigration, family law, housing, and employment, as well as individuals who are being investigated or are appealing a finding of child neglect or child abuse.