Much Shelist Announces Leadership Changes, Names New Principal

Full-service business law firm Much Shelist announced today that it has elevated Marissa L. Downs from associate to principal and has made several leadership changes at the practice group and Management Committee levels.

After 20 years of service (including 13 as chair), David T. Brown has transitioned from the Management Committee to open the door for future leaders of the firm. Brown will continue to play an important role as chairman of Much Shelist, with a focus on leadership development. Steven P. Blonder was elected to fill the vacancy, and all remaining Management Committee members—Steven L. DeGraff, Gregory B. Mann, Mitchell S. Roth (Managing Partner), Steven Schwartz and Glenn D. Taxman—were re-elected to serve a year-long term that began June 1, 2017. Together, the Management Committee and Brown will lead long-term strategic planning for Much Shelist.

Additionally, Courtney E. Mayster was elevated from vice chair to co-chair of the Real Estate Law group, and Kevin M. Noonan was named vice chair of the Wealth Transfer & Succession Planning group.

Much Shelist’s newly appointed principal and leadership changes include the following:

Steven P. Blonder, elected to serve on the Management Committee, is a principal in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group. Blonder counsels clients on a wide range of complex business litigation matters, including class action defense, corporate governance and control, securities, real estate, regulatory compliance and other business issues. He also serves as chair of the firm's Social Responsibility Committee and holds various leadership positions in the community. Blonder received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Marissa L. Downs, elevated from associate to principal, is a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group. Downs advises clients on a broad range of commercial litigation matters including international and domestic contract, insurance coverage, fiduciary breach, securities fraud, restrictive covenant, contested probate, product liability, and shareholder disputes. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law, an organization comprised of more than 40 Chicago-area law firms. Downs received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina and earned a J.D. from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Courtney E. Mayster, elevated from vice chair to co-chair of the Real Estate Law practice group, focuses her practice on the representation of lenders, property owners, developers and investors in multifamily, retail, commercial and industrial acquisitions, dispositions, finance, development and construction projects. Mayster also counsels business owners, including restaurants, on their real estate, corporate and licensing needs and has advised developers in negotiations with municipalities for redevelopment agreements and TIFs. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and earned a J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Kevin M. Noonan, named vice chair of the Wealth Transfer & Succession Planning practice group, provides his clients with guidance on the use of wills, trusts, life insurance and business entities to help clients preserve wealth, and protect and transfer assets. He also counsels individuals and families with respect to charitable giving strategies and philanthropy. Noonan holds a B.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and earned a J.D. from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

"We are excited to welcome our newly appointed principal, Marissa Downs­, to the partnership ranks at Much Shelist, and I congratulate Steve Blonder, Courtney Mayster and Kevin Noonan on their expanding roles as leaders of the firm,” said Mitchell S. Roth, Managing Partner. “Each of these attorneys has demonstrated a commitment to the extraordinary level of client service for which our firm is known, as well as to the ongoing success of our organization.”