Following the celebration of its third anniversary on December 1, 2022, Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC is leasing a nearly 10,000 square-foot space at 180 North LaSalle, in the heart of Chicago’s central business district, moving floors and expanding the fast-growing firm’s footprint to accommodate its own growth and that of its entrepreneurial clients.
In recent months, the firm has welcomed three new lawyers to its team. Partners Josh Steinman and Kyle Shires join the firm from in-house roles overseeing venture capital investments, M&A transactions and other complex corporate finance matters. Matt Miller, the current Chief Legal Officer for Uptake Technologies, Inc., has affiliated with the firm on an of counsel basis, further solidifying the firm’s unique ability to provide practical, business-focused advice with a meaningful understanding of clients’ needs and concerns.
“These talented new members of the Croke Fairchild team are critical to our commitment to start-up and growth-stage companies throughout the country — we’re continuing to grow, as are our clients,” said Managing Partner Drew Beres. “We’re excited about securing a new office space that combines traditional offices, hoteling spaces and collaborative work areas with easy access to public transportation, the State, County and City government buildings and courthouses. It’s a place where our lawyers can work when and how they work best and evinces our deep commitment to Chicago.”
Croke Fairchild is dedicating a portion of its office as an incubator for early-stage clients that may need office or collaboration space. “We love being as close to our clients as possible. That is our idea of partnership,” said founding partner Patrick Croke.
The firm represents venture funds and venture-backed companies in Silicon Valley, Chicago, Texas, New York and other venture hot spots, and represents founders as well. CFDB partners have counseled founders through some of the largest exits in recent years — and continue to work with them to this day, supporting them through exits and into the next stages of their innovation journeys.
Jessica Fairchild, co-chair of the firm’s management committee and one its founding partners, adds, “We’re proud to be expanding our team and our space in ways that enable us to create deep, lasting client partnerships. We understand the founder mentality because as founders ourselves we have it too.”
Recent hire Josh Steinman now heads the firm’s Venture Capital & Founders practice, advising venture capital investors, emerging companies and founders on strategic decision-making, financings, M&A, joint ventures, reorganizations and corporate governance matters.
Prior to joining the firm, Josh was the Head of Legal & Corporate Affairs for ZX Ventures, the investment and innovation arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev, where he oversaw venture capital, M&A and joint venture investments, celebrity partnerships, licensing arrangements and dispute-resolution matters. In addition, Josh advised ZX Ventures and its internal founders on the launch and management of numerous internal ventures and new businesses.
Kyle Shires is a member of the firm’s corporate group, focusing his practice on complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital and corporate finance transactions. Kyle also advises public and private companies regarding corporate governance, SEC disclosure, fiduciary duties and other corporate matters.
Prior to joining CFDB, Kyle served as Vice President and Senior Counsel for Guaranteed Rate, Inc., a leading financial services company and one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States. In that role, Kyle served as the company’s lead M&A lawyer and advised on transactional, financing, securities and corporate governance matters.
Matt Miller joins as of counsel to CFDB while also serving as the Chief Legal Officer at Uptake Technologies, Inc., a Chicago-based technology company.
Matt has held in-house leadership positions since 2011, serving as Deputy General Counsel for Groupon and General Counsel for Green Thumb Industries and The Original BARK Company. As an in-house leader, Matt has built and managed legal teams in the U.S. and abroad, including Switzerland, where he oversaw international legal operations for Groupon. Matt has been through two IPOs and has been on the leading edge of legal trends throughout his in-house career, ranging from novel tech issues and international expansion to the rapidly evolving cannabis industry with one of the leading publicly traded multi-state operators to assisting with a SPAC IPO. Matt has led teams and managed legal work across all disciplines ranging from litigation and IP to labor and employment, commercial, real estate, regulatory and more. As a sitting CLO, he knows firsthand the problems our clients face and the solutions they desire from their law firms.
Just as business leaders often serve on boards or advisory panels for other companies to share insights and experiences, this unique arrangement provides an avenue for an experienced legal executive to do the same thing, providing valuable guidance to companies that may not have a fully built legal department.
“This structure allows me to stay connected with the larger legal community and to stay current with legal trends in a way that is not always possible when you are 100% in-house with no law firm connection,” Miller said. “I enjoy having the opportunity to advise clients and assist other lawyers when needed, and to be a mentor to lawyers who are earlier in their careers. Given my view from the inside, I can help attorneys better understand what their clients want and need from them, which benefits everyone. I am thrilled that Croke Fairchild had the foresight and flexibility to allow this arrangement.”