Norton Rose Fulbright opens Chicago office with dynamic 11-lawyer team focused on technology transactions, intellectual property, projects and employment law

Chicago, April 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Norton Rose Fulbright today announced that the global law firm is expanding to Chicago as its 12th US location and 53rd office worldwide. Norton Rose Fulbright will be the first major law firm to base itself in Chicago’s vibrant Fulton Market District. The new office will be a modern and progressive workspace with a focus on collaboration and innovation.

Norton Rose Fulbright opens its Chicago office with 11 lawyers, including partners Andrew Cripe, Daniel Farris, Sameer Ghaznavi, Christopher Hines and Joe McClendon. These five partners are joined by senior counsel Mary Kathryn Curry, senior associate Francesca Cardillo, associates Erica Cook, Alex Katsulis, Nidhi Narielwala and Meghan Tierney as well as paralegals Janet Ross and Alyson Schmidt-Iverson.

Focused on technology transactions, intellectual property and privacy and data security, the group of Farris, Hines, McClendon, Cardillo, Cook, Katsulis, Narielwala, Tierney, Ross and Schmidt-Iverson join from K&L Gates. Coming from DLA Piper, Ghaznavi joins the firm’s world-leading projects practice. Cripe and Curry arrive from Polsinelli with decades of experience in employment and labor law.

Jeff Cody, Norton Rose Fulbright’s US Managing Partner, said:

“Opening in Chicago, the country’s third-largest legal market, is a natural progression of our strategic growth plan in the US and beyond. We start with a highly regarded and diverse team of lawyers anchored by Daniel, Christopher, Joe, Sameer, Andy and Mary Kathryn, which gives us a strong foundation as we continue to recruit top-flight talent. Our Chicago office is part of our Midwest growth and will act as an innovation hub, serving clients focused on the evolution of modern business who will benefit from our sophisticated counsel and unparalleled global platform.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s entry into Chicago follows last week’s growth of its Minneapolis office. This previous Midwest expansion consisted of 11 lawyers, including four partners, joining the firm’s commercial litigation and products, pharma, medical and mass tort teams from Blackwell Burke P.A., a Minneapolis-based boutique trial law firm.

The addition of a Chicago office will allow Norton Rose Fulbright to even more effectively serve Midwest-based clients in a range of industries as well as other national and global clients who are active in the region. But the value of the Chicago office goes beyond geographic considerations. Chicago is a notable market for the type of leading talent that clients desire throughout the US and globally.

Gina Shishima, Norton Rose Fulbright’s Chief Strategy and Operations Partner, said:

“Chicago is a hot spot for innovation, and we are eager to serve the city’s thriving business community across a host of practices in transformative sectors. The Fulton Market District is a symbol of transformation in Chicago, and making this burgeoning tech environment our home is our way of building a diverse and differentiated presence in the city that we hope is inspiring and refreshing to clients and lateral candidates alike.”

Norton Rose Fulbright, which won the “Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion” award at last month’s Legalweek Leaders in Tech Law Awards, is focused on attracting diverse lawyers who are practice and sector leaders. Of the five new partners, Ghaznavi, Hines and McClendon are persons of color. Overall, 11 of the firm’s 16 US lateral partners in 2022 are diverse in race or gender. In both 2020 and 2021, more than 40% of the US lateral partners added were diverse.

Expanding the firm’s technology transactions, IP and data security offerings

Farris advises both technology and tech-enabled companies on transactional, privacy and compliance issues, including software-as-a-service, data center operations, fiber optic networking, cloud computing, information governance, emerging technologies and data security. His traditional intellectual property experience includes inbound/outbound licensing, trademark prosecution, brand extension and digital rights management.

Farris, who served as a chair of K&L Gates’ technology transactions and data protection practice group and was named to the “Fastcase 50” list of legal innovators, said:

“One of the first things that attracted us to Norton Rose Fulbright was the firm’s willingness – and eagerness – to venture out and do something new. Our clients are disruptors by nature and energized by digital and business transformation. They want their lawyers to have that same orientation. It’s refreshing to find a firm willing to embrace new technology, new models to improve client experience and even a modern and progressive space in Chicago’s most vibrant and growing economic corridor.”

Hines counsels high-tech companies on the development of intellectual property assets, focusing on acquiring and managing patent portfolios in a variety of industries. He also advises new businesses on IP legal concerns that emerge in the early stages of growth, helping them to develop practices to achieve meaningful global strategies.

Hines, who was named an “Influential Minority Lawyer” by Crain’s Chicago Business, continued:

“Not only is Norton Rose Fulbright investing in the innovation heart of Chicago by planting its flag in the Fulton Market District, the firm also has a proven track record of investing in tech-enabled, nontraditional legal services. It’s exciting to be a part of the firm’s ongoing strategic evolution. That, combined with the firm’s expansive global footprint, made it clear that Norton Rose Fulbright was the place for us to be.”

McClendon advises clients on a variety of technology transactions and privacy and data security issues. He is a former IT professional in the higher education and software industries, spending a decade managing enterprise solutions and technology initiatives.

McClendon, who is a certified international privacy professional by Microsoft and CompTIA, commented:

“Our group represents local and national companies whose legal needs are growing around the world, which makes Norton Rose Fulbright with its global client offering a great fit and an attractive destination. The firm’s strength in privacy, cyber and data security also made it a natural match for our team.”

Cardillo, Cook, Katsulis, Narielwala, Tierney, Ross and Schmidt-Iverson provide valuable support and depth to the firm’s expanded capabilities in technology transactions, intellectual property as well as privacy and data security.

Growing the projects practice

Ghaznavi represents private and public companies, developers, utilities and sponsors in relation to the development, strategic acquisition and sale of energy and infrastructure projects in North America. The Legal 500 United States named Ghaznavi a “Rising Star in Energy: Renewable/Alternative Power” and The National Law Journal recognized him as a “Trailblazer in Energy/Environmental Law.”

Ghaznavi, who chaired DLA Piper’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee in Chicago, said:

“Norton Rose Fulbright is a global leader in project finance and renewables, setting the standard both in terms of first-of-their-kind transactions and deal volume. I am excited to help the firm expand its projects footprint to Chicago, which is home to some of the country’s biggest renewable energy developers.”

Strengthening employment and labor capabilities

Cripe helps global employers with business transformation issues, internal investigations and the development of enterprise-wide risk management and compliance programs and audits. He supports workforce management and advises across a wide range of employment issues.

Cripe, who led the employment advice and labor practice at Polsinelli, said:

“Norton Rose Fulbright has an unmatched reach with impressive resources in the US and around the world, which will greatly benefit clients whose businesses are undergoing rapid expansion and transformation. Mary Kathryn and I look forward to developing the Chicago employment and labor practice and collaborating with colleagues worldwide.”

Curry counsels employers on labor and employment matters. She integrates herself into her clients’ businesses, ensuring they have proper workforce planning, outsourcing and diversity and inclusion programs in place, up-to-date workplace policies and training materials. Curry also assists with corporate compliance and investigations.

All 11 lawyers are licensed to practice in Illinois, with additional licenses for Ghaznavi and Cook in New York, Hines in Missouri and McClendon in Kansas.

For further information, please contact:

Dan McKenna, US Director and Global Head of PR and Communications

Tel: +1 713 651 3576

[email protected]

Notes for editors:

Norton Rose Fulbright

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright provides the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. With more than 4,000 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East, Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg.

Norton Rose Fulbright is recognized for its industry focus across all of the key sectors: financial institutions; energy, infrastructure and resources; transport; technology; life sciences and healthcare; and consumer markets. Through its global risk advisory group, the firm leverages its industry experience with its knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Operating in accordance with its global business principles of quality, unity and integrity, Norton Rose Fulbright aims to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of its offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. For more information, see

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