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Greenspoon lights up in Chicago with Locke Lord cannabis team

3 minute read

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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  • Florida-based firm is latest Big Law entrant to Chicago legal market
  • Greenspoon names new head for its cannabis group, which lost its leader to Holland & Hart last week

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(Reuters) - Greenspoon Marder on Tuesday announced it was making its debut in Chicago with a team of cannabis-oriented partners from Locke Lord, as well as a corporate attorney from Taylor English Duma.

Irina Dashevsky, Ryan Holz, Doug Sargent, and David Standa, are joining the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based law firm as partners from Locke Lord. Robert Johnson is joining from Taylor English as an of counsel.

"Greenspoon has a lot of history in the cannabis space, which not a lot of Chicago-based firms can say that they have," Dashevsky said. "The platform, that’s going to be built on by us, is already there, and it’s a really good one for the client base that we have."

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All of the group's cannabis clients are coming with them to Greenspoon Marder, said Standa, who added that their clients run the gamut from large, multi-state operators to start-ups that are still waiting to be licensed by Illinois regulators.

"Not all of our clients are based in Illinois – they’re nationwide and they’re looking to make moves nationwide," Dashevsky added, noting that it was important for the team to move to a firm like Greenspoon Marder that had a nationwide presence.

In addition to opening an office in Chicago, Greenspoon Marder announced that Nick Richards will take over as the chair of the firm's cannabis law group following the departure of his predecessor, Rachel Gillette, to Holland & Hart last week.

Greenspoon is the latest out-of-town arrival to a city that, since 2020, has welcomed Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Venable, Dickinson Wright and Cooley. It was already a crowded legal market, including as the birthplace of U.S. law firm revenue and headcount leaders, Kirkland & Ellis and Baker McKenzie, respectively.

Locke Lord was created in 2007 through the merger of Texas-based Locke Liddell & Sapp with Lord Bissell & Brook, a Chicago firm whose founding dates back to 1914.

But Gerry Greenspoon, the co-managing director and co-founder of Greenspoon Marder, said the firm's arrival in Chicago is right on time.

"We're not necessarily competing with other Big Law firms in the area. We stand on our own with our partners in Chicago, who are already very successful attorneys," Greenspoon said.

Read more:

Cooley expands new Chicago outpost with partner trio

Holland & Hart taps Greenspoon practice leader for new cannabis group

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David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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