Stu Ingis, chairman of Venable, told The American Lawyer that the firm had been looking into the Chicago market for a couple of years, and despite general challenges posed by the pandemic, the move to acquire the construction law group was a “hand-in-glove fit.”
“The practice in and of itself really plays to some of our strengths in real estate, broad relationships within our government practice, and the practice is in Chicago,” Ingis said, noting the additions in New York and Washington also match the firm’s footprint.
According to Bloomberg Law, Venable’s group hire adds a construction practice that is well regarded for representing owners and government entities in large infrastructure projects. The group includes seven partners: Kenneth Roberts, Heidi Hennig Rowe, Mark Friedlander, James Frankel, Brian Lustbader, Gary Rubin, and Amanda Schermer MacVey, and two senior counsels: Peter Kiernan and Sayward "Woody" Mazur.
Ken Roberts, who was head of the construction law practice at the group’s previous firm, said it took a “very unique” opportunity for his group to leave and that part of what drew them to Venable was its reputation as a “go-to” firm in the nation’s capital. "With the large infrastructure wave coming out of D.C. and the connections that Venable has, as well as the team they've already assembled, we're adding onto a great platform that we think will be the number one firm for owners to go to on large infrastructure projects,” he told Law360.