Chicago, Ill. August 1, 2012 – Veteran Illinois attorneys, Paul Fisher, David Cohen, Joey Waldman and Allen Shapiro, today announced the formation of Fisher Cohen Waldman Shapiro, LLP, a law firm focused on addressing complex financial matters for small and midsized companies. The law firm provides an integrated approach to client representation on financial and legal issues by directly collaborating with private investment banking firm S-K Partners, Ltd., which is headed by Allen Shapiro and Paulette Kirschner.

Through its integrated approach to client representation, the law firm and S-K Partners, Ltd. are able to provide a comprehensive business oriented approach to resolving distressed debt and business matters and trading in the market for such assets, and to assist clients in navigating the challenges of complex new regulations of the banking and financial industries. This combined service is intended to provide a more cost efficient way to deliver superior results at lower total cost than currently available from traditional law firms.

S-K Partners, Ltd.’s investment banking practice includes the restructuring of debt and capitalization of businesses and investment opportunities.

“The establishment of Fisher Cohen Waldman Shapiro, LLP will enable us to take the vision behind S-K Partners, Ltd. to the next level, bringing together strategic thinking and high quality legal work  which is so clearly needed in today’s challenging market,” said Shapiro. “Clients deserve more than having their business and legal needs treated as unrelated parts of their challenges and opportunities.”

Shapiro has been the lead principal in S-K Partners, Ltd. since its inception and has been an innovator in advising clients with respect to their debt issues. Previously he served as the general counsel to two Chicago based banks over a period of 22 years.

“The old way of seeking separate legal and business counsel simply isn’t enough to meet today’s needs to manage complex distressed debt projects, which is why we  have introduced our integrated approach to client representation,” said Fisher. “Each of us brings a breadth of knowledge and depth of experience to address lending and debtor challenges.”

There is nearly $3 trillion in rated debt from U.S. corporate borrowers which will mature by year-end 2016, according to Standard & Poor’s research. There is a continued need for managing lending and debt issues, as there are challenges with refinancing due to the U.S. economy and investors' waning appetite for risk.

Fisher formerly served as the chair of McGuireWoods LLP’s Real Estate and Environmental Department. McGuireWoods is an international law firm with more than 900 attorneys. He was previously a partner at Piper Rudnick (predecessor to DLA Piper) and also served as senior counsel to The First National Bank of Chicago.

Cohen has maintained a private practice for over 25 years, representing a variety of clients in state court commercial collection matters from initial claim analysis through trial. Cohen also represents a variety of creditors and debtors in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases. Prior to practicing law, he was manager of Fiscal and Administrative Services for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Waldman previously served as in-house counsel at S-K Partners, Ltd. She has broad-based transactional practice experience, including commercial and residential real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions as well as secured lending. Waldman previously was an associate at Robbins Salomon & Patt.

Paulette Kirschner, a partner at S-K Partners, Ltd., will work alongside the attorneys to directly provide strategic planning counsel to clients. Kirschner has more than 25 years of experience advising buyers and sellers of business and addressing the challenges of distressed businesses and operators and providing expert strategic planning. She also serves on the Board of Leadership Illinois.

“Through our collaboration with Fisher Cohen Waldman Shapiro LLP, we are replacing the siloed approach of involving law firms and financial consultants to address separate pieces of the  same overall transactions and businesses with a leaner, more personalized approach to increase efficiency and provide dual perspectives at once,” said Kirschner. “Time and money are critical components for every small to medium-sized company. Therefore, integrating these two businesses creates a more cost-effective approach to manage.”