Roetzel & Andress continues its rapid expansion in Chicago and beyond with the addition of three partners, all from Belongia Shapiro.

Mark D. Belongia, Benjamin P. Shapiro, and Richard K. Hellerman are now partners in Roetzel’s Chicago office. Belongia, a litigator with a focus on banking and commercial law, has represented Fortune 500 clients in complex commercial and tort litigation, and has provided commentary to media outlets including NBC’s Today Show, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Crain’s Chicago, and other programs and publications. Shapiro is a banking attorney, a former member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s legal department, and former chief counsel for the FDIC’s Midwestern operations. Hellerman is a veteran trial lawyer who has represented corporations and small businesses in many matters involving commercial disputes, product liability, insolvency, taxes, and confidentiality.

“The reasons we chose Roetzel were the culture, the people, and the platform. We have a mid-market institutional practice. That’s who Roetzel represents in other jurisdictions, and they were looking to increase their depth and breadth in Chicago. There were many synergies between Roetzel and our firm. It was a remarkably good match for us,” Belongia said.

The three new partners join at a time of rapid change and growth in a Chicago legal market where modest-sized but ambitious firms are closing a gap and competing aggressively with larger firms like Kirkland & Ellis.

“Dissolution and mergers in the early 2000s left the middle market of the legal industry in Chicago pretty wide open. There were small firms and large firms, but not much in between,” said Belongia.

“I think you’re going to continue to see more firms come to Chicago in the months to come, because the amount of business available is large, and it’s a thriving business environment. Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri-based firms have arrived in town or are working to get into Chicago because of this great potential,” he noted.

Joining the three partners in their move to Roetzel are associates Harry O. Channon, Pierre Cristache, and John J. Tufano, Jr.