• The Loop Elite: The Go-To Firms Of Chicago
  • August 8, 2017
  • Lake Whillans, a leader in the field of litigation finance, supports innovative entrepreneurs and businesses across the country. Over the past year, Lake Whillans has brought us a series of handy primers on some of the most dynamic and innovative legal markets in the country, including Silicon Valley, Boston, and the “Wild West.” Today, we turn to Chicago, the cultural and economic capital of the Midwest.

    Chicago boasts an incredibly diversified economy. The Second City serves as headquarters for a multitude of Fortune 1000 companies, particularly in agribusiness, manufacturing, insurance, logistics, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. Of course, Chicago is also a vital center for financial markets, with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange being the largest futures exchange in the world. Meanwhile, the city has also quietly become a hub for fast-growing private companies in the tech sector. All this economic vibrancy drives the nation’s third-largest legal market, a multi-layered ecosystem with the home and satellite offices of the best Biglaw firms, regional powerhouses, specialist boutiques, and smaller firms with deep local roots and thriving practices.

    The Go-To Law Firms of Chicago can not only handle every transactional need, they do anything from construction litigation to patent prosecution. Engaging these firms can help companies of all sizes - from tech startups to multi-nationals - avoid or contain problems. However, in the event of litigation, Lake Whillans can step in as a source of capital to fund legal expenses as well as for corporate purposes.

    1. Best Firm for Helping You Build Your Real Estate Empire: Thompson Coburn LLP

    Few Chicago firms can rival the real estate law experience of Thompson Coburn LLP. Boasting a deep knowledge of commercial lending markets, the firm’s lawyers are adept at advising clients in all phases of the real estate transaction lifecycle. The firm’s real estate practice handles matters for clients of all sizes, from small landlords and tenants, to regional retailers, to Fortune 500 companies, in nearly all jurisdictions across the country. No matter what your real estate law question is, the team at Thompson Coburn has the answer.

    2. Best Firm For Transportation and Logistics: Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

    Chicago is the key transportation hub in the country. Hinshaw & Culbertson’s transportation law practice represents businesses in the trucking, shipping, cargo, aviation and railroad industries, as well as every category of client in the complex world of logistics. The firm’s attorneys have hundreds of jury trials under their belts in the transportation field. Whether it’s an insurance coverage dispute, worker’s comp claim or regulatory hurdle, Hinshaw & Culbertson keeps on trucking.

    3. Best Firm for Handling Commodity Pools: Sidley Austin

    A city with its own mercantile exchange, Chicago has long been synonymous with commodities. With Chicago roots dating all the way back to 1866, Sidley Austin offers one of the most comprehensive commodity pool services in the city, if not the world. The firm helped its clients develop some of the first-ever public commodity pools in the 1970s, and has gone on to represent hundreds of publicly offered and privately placed commodity pools since then. With key players in the Chicago office, Sidley’s global commodity pools practice group has the skills to tackle any issue their commodity pool clients face, from legal structuring and formation, to regulatory matters, to exchange listings.

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    4. Best Firm to Salvage Your Reputation in a Crisis: Riley Safer Holmes and Cancila

    The Windy City has seen its fair share of scandals over the years, but your company shouldn’t be one of them. When your reputation is on the line, Riley Safer is the firm you want in your corner. With a dedicated Risk, Reputation, and Crisis Management practice group, these lawyers have seen it all. Aimed at avoiding costly lawsuits before they start, the team routinely helps companies develop enterprise risk management policies that effectively mitigate risk. If things still go wrong, Riley Safer specializes in a broad range of crisis control and reputation management services that will help keep your company afloat and minimize any fallout.

    5. Best Firm for Clients in the Food and Agribusiness Sector: McDermott Will & Emery

    Established in 1934 as the firm’s first office, the Chicago outpost of McDermott Will & Emery remains the flagship for many of the firm’s key practice areas, and it offers one of the most highly renowned food, beverage and agribusiness practices in the world. Representing more than 500 clients across all aspects of the production chain — including growers, manufacturers, and restaurateurs — no firm offers deeper knowledge of the industry. Whether you’re a local producer or a global conglomerate, the firm’s attorneys are unrivaled in all areas of agribusiness law, including domestic and international regulations, cross-border transactions and farm subsidies.

    6. Best Firm for White-Collar Defense: Jones Day

    The Windy City has a long tradition of freewheeling and bruising political and business cultures, with no shortage of demand for top-flight white collar criminal defense work. Jones Day’s Investigations and White Collar Defense practice boasts deep experience in defending both companies and individual clients in the full range of white collar criminal matters, from fraud and insider trading allegations to alleged breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute. Many of the Jones Day white collar practitioners gained invaluable insight and experience through service in senior positions in the DOJ and US Attorney’s offices, including the practice group leader Ted Chung, who runs the department out of the Chicago office.