CHICAGO – May 7, 2014 – The Chicago-based law firm Freeborn & Peters LLP has announced that Shelly A. DeRousse has joined the firm as a Partner in its Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group, serving clients in all aspects of commercial and bankruptcy law.

Ms. DeRousse focuses her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, workouts, litigation and asset sales. She has represented international banks, small community banks and other financial institutions in bankruptcy cases, out-of-court workouts and assignments for the benefit of creditors. She also has served as lead counsel for official creditors’ committees throughout the country and regularly represents companies and high earning individuals in their bankruptcies or workout negotiations. Ms. DeRousse has represented clients ranging from large publicly traded companies in large bankruptcy cases to smaller privately held middle market companies in chapter 11 filings. As lead attorney, Ms. DeRousse has first-chaired many trials and hearings on issues including mismanagement, fraud, relief from the automatic stay, use of cash collateral, commercial contract disputes, lease valuation, and breach of fiduciary duty.

“Shelly adds an important new dimension to our bankruptcy and restructuring practice,” said Richard S. Lauter, Leader of the firm’s Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring Practice Group. “Her experience enhances our existing strengths in the areas of creditor committee representation and commercial fraud litigation, while adding extensive experience in representing banks and other lending institutions in bankruptcy and workout matters.”

Michael Kelly, the firm’s Co-Managing Partner, said, “The firm is delighted to welcome Shelly as a member of our Bankruptcy and Financial Restructuring team. With her deep experience and accomplishments in litigation and handling very complex debtor-creditor issues, Shelly is a great fit for our expanding practice in this area and she will be a great asset to our clients.” 

Ms. DeRousse began her career at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago and also has served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law.

Ms. DeRousse also currently serves as vice president of the Women’s Bar Foundation. Her other memberships include the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, American Bankruptcy Institute, Turnaround Management Association, Chicago Bar Association Bankruptcy and Professional Fees committees, International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, and Professional Women’s Club of Chicago.

An advocate for food allergy research and awareness, Ms. DeRousse was appointed to the Food Allergy Guidelines Committee by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health to draft “Guidelines for Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies in Illinois Schools,” which was published in 2010.

Ms. DeRousse is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law and also has a Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University.


Freeborn & Peters LLP is a full-service law firm, headquartered in Chicago, with international capabilities. Freeborn is always looking ahead and seeking to find better ways to serve its clients. It takes a proactive approach to ensure its clients are more informed, prepared and able to achieve greater success – not just now, but also in the future. While the firm serves clients across a very broad range of sectors, it has also pioneered an interdisciplinary approach that serves the specific needs of targeted industries, including food, transportation, private equity and venture capital and insurance and reinsurance.

Freeborn is a firm that genuinely lives up to its core values of integrity, caring, effectiveness, teamwork, and commitment, and embodies them through high standards of client service and responsive action. Its lawyers build close and lasting relationships with clients and are driven to help them achieve their legal and business objectives.