Firm Introduces New Partners and Associates
Class Action Defense practice expands
Victoria R. Collado and Andrew D. LeMar recently joined the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Class Action Defense Group. Each has an extensive background defending banks, mortgage lenders and related financial services entities in class action litigation.
Chaired by LeAnn Pedersen Pope, the group has defended several of the country’s major banks and mortgage companies as lead counsel in over 100 nationwide class action cases involving a variety of federal and state claims.
“I am thrilled that Victoria and Andrew have joined our team of talented attorneys,” says Pope. “Victoria and Andrew are first-rate class action defense attorneys as well as solid individuals. They are both a pleasure to work with.”
Collado previously practiced at Mayer Brown LLP where she focused on the defense of class actions and the representation of businesses in international disputes and arbitrations. In her class action practice, she served clients including banks, mortgage companies, automobile finance companies and telecommunications companies. She successfully defended claims of violations of state and federal consumer statutes, as well as fraud and breach of contract claims.
“I am pleased to join the team at Burke, Warren and work with some of the best people in the field,” explains Collado.
Collado graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1990. She was a member of the prestigious Order of the Coif and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Fluent in Spanish, Collado has been involved in cases with European and Latin American multinational companies.
As a former associate at Dykema Gossett PLLC, LeMar has defended many financial services clients against claims under the FCRA, Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Truth in Lending Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as various state consumer protection laws. He also has experience with mass accident class actions, securities fraud actions, employment law and deceptive trade practices.
“BWM&S has one of the busiest class action defense practices in the region, and I am happy to be a part of it,” says LeMar. “As a growing practice, this is the right place to be.”
LeMar graduated cum laude from Indiana University School of Law in 2003 where he served as editor of the Indiana Law Journal
Victoria R. Collado may be contacted at 312/840-7048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Andrew D. LeMar may be contacted at 312/840-7108 or email@example.com
Mary McWilliams joins firm
Mary Kruit McWilliams is the newest Director in the Wealth & Succession Planning practice of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.
McWilliams counsels professionals, entrepreneurs and families of all levels of wealth in connection with their lifetime and testamentary wealth transfer planning and charitable giving. Having joined the firm after eleven successful years representing high net worth clients at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, one of the largest estate planning practices in the U.S., she has extensive experience in designing and implementing sophisticated wealth transfer techniques and charitable gifts of all forms. McWilliams also advises corporate and individual fiduciaries in the administration of decedents’ estates.
It is McWilliams’ goal to build authentic and collaborative relationships with her clients, their families and their advisors, in order to design and implement highly personalized, lifetime and testamentary wealth transfer and succession plans that align closely with her clients’ goals, philosophies and values. It is her strong desire to offer a holistic and balanced approach to wealth transfer planning and charitable giving. Clients have commented that McWilliams’ engaging nature and ability to connect with people make discussing the sensitive issues inherent in estate planning a positive experience.
“BWM&S allows me to be a better steward of my clients’ resources by providing a platform that supports personalized, quality legal services at reasonable rates,” says McWilliams. “I am excited by this opportunity to represent individuals and families of all levels of wealth, and I am thrilled to have joined such a highly respected estate planning group. The response I have received from my clients and their advisors has been phenomenal.”
For many years, McWilliams has been serving as a director of Chicago Hope, Inc., a public charity in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago serving the poor through various mercy ministries.
McWilliams is admitted to the Illinois bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and the Northern District of Illinois. She is also a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Christian Legal Society.
Mary Kruit McWilliams may be contacted at 312/840-7081 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David Paek and Stephen Schuster, former 2008 summer associates, join firm
David Y. Paek is a new associate and member of the firm’s litigation practice group. He earned his B.A. in American Studies from Northwestern University and his J.D. from Boston University in May 2009.
A native of Skokie, IL, Paek interned for the Honorable Shelley Sutker-Dermer, Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Second Municipal District, and worked as a summer associate for the firm in summer 2008.
“With friends and family in the Chicago area, I initially applied for the firm’s summer associate program. I am delighted with how things worked out,” says Paek.
For Paek, the firm provides invaluable experience. “From working with talented senior attorneys to learning the art of legal practice, you learn that the law is more than legal work. It’s developing relationships with clients.”
In addition to his focus on litigation, Paek is interested in the globalizing legal market and the effect of emerging economies. He also serves as a lay leader at the Lakeview Church in Skokie.
Stephen R. Schuster, new associate and member of the firm’s real estate and corporate practice groups, worked as a summer associate for the firm in summer 2008. He earned his B.A. in English from Notre Dame University in 2006 and J.D. from DePaul University in May 2009 where he earned CALI awards for Contracts I and II.
A Chicagoland native, Schuster grew up knowing many attorneys at BWM&S. “My father was a partner here and I am familiar with the culture of the firm and the good people here,” says Schuster.
As a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep, he maintains roots to the city as an organizer of Cristo Rey Jesuit’s High School’s ¡Viva! fundraiser in the Pilsen neighborhood. Prior to interning as a summer associate at BWM&S, he interned at McCarthy and Duffy LLP where he worked on real estate transactions.
Schuster is currently studying for certification as an associate in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to supplement his focus on commercial and industrial leasing. “When a client is interested in green building and sustainability, it’s important to have practical knowledge and to know the nuts and bolts of LEED,” he says.
David Y. Paek may be contacted at 312/840-7114 or email@example.com
. Stephen R. Schuster may be contacted at 312/840-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org