Katten named Kimberly Smith the new global chair of its corporate department. Smith will lead more than 125 attorneys housed in the department and succeed Mark R. Grossmann, who served as global chair of the group for more than a decade.
“Kim has vast experience and her industry-leading skills are widely known across a range of industries,” Roger P. Furey, chairman of Katten, said. “Her leadership and experience will enhance our already formidable corporate group, which Mark’s longtime leadership contributed to building.”
Smith, who also serves as the co-chair of Katten’s mergers and acquisitions and private equity practice with Christopher S. Atkinson, has experience leading complex transactions, including leveraged buyouts and other mergers and acquisitions and investment transactions. She advises private equity clients in a range of industries, including distribution and manufacturing, healthcare, business services, consumer, technology and financial services.
“It has been my honor to carry out the many responsibilities in the role of global chair, but it is time for me to hand over the leadership reins, and Kim is the perfect choice,” Grossmann said. “I have known Kim since she began her legal career at Katten, and I am confident in her abilities to lead our department as we continue to grow and meet our fullest potential. I look forward to supporting her along the way.”
Smith first joined Katten in 1998 and was promoted to partner in 2006. She rejoined the firm in 2015 after five years at another global law firm to serve as the co-head of the nationwide private equity practice.
Smith, who also sits on Katten’s board of directors, was recently named a “Top 25 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A” by Mergers & Acquisitions, which recognized her leadership and innovation in the deal-making community and her advocacy for equity, diversity and inclusion. She has been recognized as a “Mergers & Acquisitions and Antitrust Trailblazer” by National Law Journal, is consistently included in Crain’s Chicago Business’ annual list of “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” and was named to the Legal 500 United States guide. Smith also is a member of the corporate board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and a founding member of the organization’s guild board, which drives fundraising.
“As a member of the board and practice leader, I take seriously this new role in representing the firm’s corporate partners and their clients and want to thank Mark for his leadership and dedication,” Smith said. “Our corporate group has the highest skilled attorneys working on some of the most strategic and complex transactions in the industry, and I look forward to helping the firm continue to capitalize on our momentum.”
During Grossmann’s tenure as global chair, he oversaw hundreds of transactions in the United States and around the world. He recently led the legal team that advised on a transaction for Curaleaf. In addition to growing his practice, Grossmann will serve as head of business transactions for the firm, where he will spearhead the development of client relationships, enhance client service and carry on with first chairing transactions for clients. He will also continue to pursue civic and charitable endeavors both personally and on behalf of Katten.