New York-based Eversheds Sutherland announced the opening of a Chicago office, set to be housed at 900 N. Michigan Avenue. The office will be led by Marc A. Benjamin, a veteran real estate lawyer, as well as real estate attorney Susan V. Kai and litigator Robert D. Owen, a partner with Eversheds Sutherland who is relocating from New York.
This is the first new U.S. office since the combination of Eversheds and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in February 2017, and the first Midwest presence for Eversheds Sutherland, though the firm has served clients in the region for decades. Initially, the office will concentrate on real estate, M&A and litigation work while targeting key sectors including diversified industrials, technology, media and telecommunications, financial institutions and energy.
“We plan for Chicago to become a significant focal point for us,” said Mark D. Wasserman, co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland. “Chicago is the third-largest legal market and the third-largest city in the U.S. We have spent a great deal of time over the past two years listening to our clients in the U.S. and around the world, and Chicago is one of the places where they would like us to have a strong presence.”
Benjamin will join Eversheds Sutherland from White & Case at the beginning of June and will serve as partner in charge of the Chicago office. His practice focuses on complex real estate transactions, frequently representing institutional investors, developers and owners in acquisitions, and the development, disposition, leasing and financing of commercial real estate.
“Eversheds Sutherland’s historical Midwestern ties and strong relationships in the region, combined with its international platform and collaborative culture, really resonated with me on both a personal and a professional level,” said Benjamin. “I couldn’t be more excited to start working with my new partners to build something special here in Chicago.”
Kai will also join Eversheds Sutherland in June, coming from Kirkland & Ellis to serve as a partner in the real estate practice group. She represents entrepreneurial and institutional investors, owners and developers in dispositions, acquisitions, financings and the development of commercial real estate projects. Kai has extensive experience with a variety of commercial real estate categories, including hotel, retail, office, golf course, multifamily developments and mixed-used projects; she also prepares and negotiates retail lease agreements for both landlord and tenant clients.
A partner in Eversheds Sutherland’s litigation practice group, Owen was most recently partner in charge of the New York office. A widely recognized counselor to financial services, technology and energy companies, he has more than two decades of commercial litigation experience, with a particular focus in e-discovery solutions. He also frequently handles cases before federal and state courts and arbitration panels throughout the United States.