US Law – Five Partners Join Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver – Merger Triggers Rapid, Ongoing Expansion In Firm’s Chicago Office

(September 10, 2007, Chicago) – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – It’s high fives all around this week at Reed Smith Sachnoff & Weaver, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, as the firm welcomes five new lateral partners – each with a different practice specialty – to its Chicago office, effective immediately.

The new laterals include John S. Vishneski III, in the Insurance Recovery Group, and Russell R. Eggert, in the Environmental Group, both formerly partners at Mayer Brown; James A. Burns, Jr. in the Labor & Employment Group, formerly a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; William H. Nichols in the Tax, Benefits & Wealth Planning Group, formerly a partner at Ungaretti & Harris, LLP; and Christopher P. Bennett in the Corporate & Securities Group, formerly a senior associate at Latham & Watkins.

“The arrival of these five partners adds to the already strong capabilities we have in the Midwest,” said Gregory B. Jordan, Reed Smith’s firmwide Managing Partner. “All of these attorneys are respected leaders in their area of practice. Adding their capabilities in Chicago is part of our strategic plan to meet the needs of our clients in this key market, across the country, and around the world.”

Mr. Vishneski represents policyholders in disputes with property and casualty insurers, with a focus on coverage disputes for large manufacturers. His practice emphasizes environmental, toxic tort and intellectual property insurance coverage disputes, including the representation of clients before courts in many jurisdictions. This representation extends to policyholders in diverse insurance coverage disputes, such as First Party Property policies, General Liability policies, Directors & Officers Liability policies and Employment Practices Liability policies. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. Chambers USA 2007 characterizes John as an “innovative thinker,” and “cutting edge in his approach.”

Mr. Eggert is a leading environmental practitioner in Illinois. Listed in Chambers 2007 for his outstanding professional achievements, he has tried more than 50 environmental cases and argued more than 40 appeals in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies. In addition to familiarity with the major environmental program areas, he has in-depth experience in the specialized environmental field of low-level radioactive waste. Mr. Eggert is a 1973 graduate of the University of Illinois School of Law.

Mr. Burns’ practice focuses on employment litigation and counseling on behalf of management. He has represented employers before juries, judges, administrative agencies, arbitrators, and mediators throughout the United States, and has defended claims of age, race, sex, and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, and denial of overtime pay and employee benefits. In addition, he has litigated the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants. Mr. Burns is a 1980 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Mr. Nichols has more than two decades of experience in employee benefits law. His practice spans all retirement and welfare benefits matters, including the design and operation of tax-qualified retirement plans, and health and other welfare benefit plans, including severance pay and open window separation plans. He is experienced in matters involving benefits’ aspects of business mergers and acquisitions; employee stock ownership plans; nonqualified executive compensation programs; management incentive plans; flexible benefit programs; executive employment and separation agreements; COBRA and HIPAA compliance; multi-employer pension withdrawal liability; and resolving government audits of benefit plans.. Mr. Nichols is a 1979 graduate of Cornell Law School.

Mr. Bennett’s practice focuses on corporate securities, public company representation, private equity investments, and mergers and acquisitions. He has experience in a wide variety of transactions, including public and private securities offerings, private equity investments, and corporate acquisitions and divestitures. His practice principally includes representation of investment banks and issuers in public and private offerings of equity and debt securities. His practice also includes representation of private equity funds and issuers in private equity investments. Mr. Bennett is a 1999 graduate of the University of Missouri Law School.

“It’s a delight to bring aboard five such high-caliber professionals across five distinct practice groups,” said Mike LoVallo, Reed Smith’s Chicago Managing Partner. “In just a few months, Chicago has become a key geographic center of the firm’s U.S. operations, and the demand for our services is escalating across the office. We’re counting on these new attorneys to hit the ground running, as we take advantage of this tremendous wave of growth.”

Reed Smith’s Chicago office has a strong and diverse team that offers extensive experience in complex commercial litigation, securities and equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, estate and wealth planning, employment and human resources, intellectual property and technology, insurance coverage, and securities litigation. Its attorneys play important roles alongside their colleagues in the firm’s 21 offices serving clients around the world.

Eugene Tillman, Reed Smith’s firmwide Director of Legal Personnel and a leader of the Chicago integration team, said, “We are fortunate that many of the best lawyers in the Chicago market are as excited as we are about the potential of our Midwest office. We have now brought nine new lateral partners to the Chicago office in five months. As we build on Sachnoff & Weaver’s rich history and relationships, we are continuing to identify experienced lateral candidates to broaden and deepen our capabilities, a key to servicing the Midwest and complementing our other U.S. and global offices.”

About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, with more than 1,500 lawyers in 21 offices throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its attorneys provide litigation services in multi-jurisdictional matters and other high stake disputes, deliver regulatory counsel, and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising and media, shipping, international trade and commodities, real estate, manufacturing, and education. For more information, visit

U.S.: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Princeton, Northern Virginia, Wilmington, Century City, Richmond

Europe: London, Paris, Munich, Birmingham, Greece

Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Dubai

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