Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP at a Glance


  • “Relaxed culture”
  • “Early responsibility”


  • “Lack of training”
  • “Transparency in terms of compensation”

About Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg is a two-office Chi-town headquartered firm with sophisticated practices in bankruptcy, compensation and employment, corporate and securities, financial institutions, intellectual property, litigation, motor vehicle, real estate, and tax and business planning. Choosing a flexible and modern approach with a legal team of more than 100 attorneys, the firm's clients represent some of the most internationally renowned businesses and high value cases over a wide range of industries, from fashion, luxury goods, and retailing to manufacturing, wine and spirits, energy, and numerous other well-known U.S. and international entities.

Distinctly Different

In 1984, the founding vision of Barack Ferrazzano was to create a new model that departed from the standard "mega-firm" approaches and, instead, focused on delivering efficient, team-oriented services of the highest quality. The founding partners-two highly respected law professors at Northwestern University and two former members of a prominent Chicago firm-were soon joined by like-minded colleagues also seeking an alternative to the large law firm environment. The firm's efficient structure and staffing philosophy allows them to build skillful teams designed to bring the strongest talent possible to every challenge.

Leading Litigators and Tough Transactional Attorneys

The Litigation Group trial lawyers have been selected by some of the world's most prominent companies for representation in their most significant lawsuits in state and federal courts throughout the United States, handling a variety of cases, including disputes concerning: contracts; motor vehicle franchises; trade secrets; licensing disputes; consumer class actions; real estate; professional liability; civil RICO and conspiracy actions; director and officer matters; negligence and product liability; bankruptcy and creditors' rights; securities and derivative securities; and bank regulatory and other financial disputes.

Barack Ferrazzano also houses internationally renowned transactional practices, handling large-scale mergers and acquisitions for companies in finance as well as in industries such as luxury goods, retailing, manufacturing, wine and spirits and energy. S&P Global Market Intelligence has ranked Barack Ferrazzano one of the top firms in the U.S.-and the top in the Midwest for the last decade-in bank and thrift M&A transactions. The firm's real estate practice is consistently top ranked by U.S. News Best Lawyers / Law Firms and Chambers USA. In addition, Barack Ferrazzano's intellectual property practice group assists fashion and luxury brands and other U.S. and international clients with trademark clearance and counseling, copyright services and IP-related litigation.

A Sum of its Parts

Barack Ferrazzano selects attorneys from the most renowned law firms and top law schools. A number of attorneys write and speak on various legal, political and social topics for industry conferences and education programs, both in the U.S. and abroad. Individual attorneys are recognized in their respective practices and industries and hold leadership positions in professional organizations.  Firm attorneys include several adjunct professors and instructors of courses at law and business universities, chairs of industry associations and committees, non-profit boards of directors, a major contributor to the revision of the Illinois Business Corporation Act, and several diversity and community outreach organization leaders.


August 2017
Joining Teams and Heading North

Barack Ferrazzano acted as lead counsel in advising L Catterton Real Estate, the real estate investment and development franchise of L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused investment firm, as it joins one of the most extensive and significant mixed-use projects in North America as a strategic development partner in The Amazing Brentwood in Vancouver, British Columbia, marking its first development project in Canada.

July 2017
From Parisian Luxury to Beyond

Barack Ferrazzano was recognized as the best law firm serving clients in the luxury goods industry in Above the Law's guide, "The Loop Elite: The Go-To Firms Of Chicago." The firm has experience representing some of the world's most respected and iconic luxury goods companies for more than 30 years. Notably, Barack Ferrazzano have acted as principal U.S. counsel for Paris-based Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), the world's foremost leader in luxury goods, since the firm's inception in 1984.

One of the Biggest Banking Deals of the Year

The Barack Ferrazzano Financial Institutions Group served as legal counsel for USAmeriBancorp, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary USAmeriBank, in an estimated $816 million merger agreement-one of the larger banking deals announced to date in 2017-with Valley National Bancorp, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Valley National Bank.

June 2017
PILI 2017 Pro Bono Recognition Roster

Barack Ferrazzano has been selected by the Public Institute Law Initiative ("PILI") to be included in PILI's 2017 Pro Bono Recognition Roster. This Roster honors law firms and corporations that have made significant commitments and contributions to pro bono throughout the State of Illinois, thereby helping to ensure that individuals, families, veterans, senior citizens, as well as communities, who are in need receive legal services.

June 2017
Top Illinois Law Firm for 10 Consecutive Years

For the past decade, Barack Ferrazzano's Real Estate Group has been recognized as an industry leader for real estate law in Illinois by Chambers USA. In the 2017 edition of Chambers USA the Firm received a Band 1 ranking, and has been listed as a Recognized Practitioner-Nationwide by Chambers USA.

May 2017
Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service

Barack Ferrazzano is pleased to congratulate partners Wendi E. Sloane and Andrew E. Nieland who, on May 24, 2017, were presented with the "Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service" by the United States District Court, in conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. The Award was presented at the Eighteenth Annual Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award Ceremony at the Dirksen courthouse in Chicago, featuring the Honorable Michael J. Newman, President of the Federal Bar Association, as the keynote speaker.

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Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP

200 West Madison Street
Suite 3900
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 984-3100


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Howard J. Kirschbaum
  • Recruiting Chair: Owen H. Smith
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 117

  • Base Salary
    1st year: $190,000
    Summer Associate: $3,653/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    out of 3 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Bankruptcy & Creditor Rights • Compensation & Employment • Corporate & Securities • Environmental • Fashion, Luxury & Retail • Financial Institutions • Intellectual Property • Litigation • Motor Vehicle Group • Real Estate • Tax & Business Planning • White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement

Major Office Locations

  • Chicago, IL (HQ) • Minneapolis, MN