Five Chicago Partners Distinguished as Notable Gen X Leaders in Law

May 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business
Firm leaders recognized by Crain's Chicago Business for outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

Chicago partners Brad Kotler, Cathy Birkeland, Robert Buday, Mary Rose Alexander, and Sean Berkowitz have been named to the 2019 Chicago’s Notable Gen X Leaders in Law list by Crain’s Chicago Business. The award program recognizes lawyers who are members of Generation X and have become leaders in the legal profession.

Brad Kotler, Vice Chair of Latham & Watkins, helps to shape the firm’s strategic direction and manage its global platform. As highlighted in a profile by Crain’s, he has held numerous senior leadership roles at the firm, including having previously served as the Chicago Office Managing Partner and Vice Chair of the Global Finance Department, as well as a member of the Women Enriching Business and Pro Bono Committees. Kotler is widely known for his work in the banking and finance field advising creditors, including major investment banks and Fortune 500 borrowers, on a range of complex credit financings. He is an active volunteer and supporter of Camp Keshet and previously was co-chair of the board.

Cathy Birkeland, Managing Partner of Latham’s Chicago Office and former Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Capital Markets Practice, advises clients on capital markets transactions, spin-off transactions, public company representation, corporate governance, and advising boards of directors on corporate matters. As highlighted in a profile by Crain’s, she is dedicated to mentoring junior lawyers and supporting Latham’s commitment to diversity, having previously served on the firm’s Global Diversity Leadership Committee. Outside of the office, Birkeland serves on the Heart Leadership Council of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Chicago board of Camp Kesem.

Robert Buday, Global Co-Chair of Latham’s Real Estate Practice and a member of the firm’s Associates Committee, has extensive experience in a range of complex real estate transactions, representing clients in all aspects of acquisitions, dispositions, development projects, joint ventures, and financings involving all property types. As detailed in a profile by Crain’s, he recently represented Bass Pro Shops and Albertsons in separate transactions involving the monetization of US$2 billion of real estate assets, and Hyatt in connection with the US$1 billion sale of a hotel portfolio to Host Hotels & Resorts. He works on a pro bono basis with the Chicago Community Loan Fund and mentors law students at his alma mater, the Indiana University School of Law.

Mary Rose Alexander, Global Chair of Latham’s Environmental Litigation Practice, represents clients in complex commercial litigation involving class actions, product liability, tort, contract, environmental, and insurance coverage in state and federal courts across the country. She also previously served as Vice Chair of the Environmental, Land & Resources Department and the Litigation & Trial Department, and currently serves as Global Chair of the firm’s Women Enriching Business Committee. As highlighted in a profile by Crain’s, she was part of the trial team that won a trial victory representing Consol Energy in an oil and gas industry dispute in Pennsylvania, and represents Chevron in litigation involving nuclear contamination on the University of Oklahoma campus.

Sean Berkowitz, Global Co-Chair of Latham’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice, is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who represents Fortune 500 clients and individuals in complex litigation and regulatory investigations. He previously served as Global Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. As noted in a profile by Crain’s, he is currently defending actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli in the college admissions criminal prosecutions, and is known for his work as former director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Enron Task Force and lead prosecutor in the 2006 trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling. He is the current Illinois Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers.