CHICAGO - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that it has named Leslie D. Minier, a partner in the Firm’s Corporate Practice, as its first Chief Diversity Partner. She will serve in this role in addition to maintaining her active corporate legal practice. Ms. Minier has been instrumental in developing and implementing many of the Firm’s diversity initiatives. She serves as co-chair of Katten’s Diversity Committee and assisted the Firm in crafting its initial diversity commitment statement and Strategic Diversity Plan.

"In addition to being an excellent lawyer, Leslie has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to fostering diversity both in the Firm and in the legal and business communities during her 12 years at Katten," said Vincent A.F. Sergi, Katten’s National Managing Partner. "As we strive to enhance our position as an industry leader in the area of diversity, it is only natural that Leslie assume the newly created role of Chief Diversity Partner."

Ms. Minier became chair of Katten's Diversity Committee in 2003 and since then has led a number of national initiatives aimed at the promotion, development and retention of minority attorneys in the legal profession. These include the establishment of a firm-wide Minority Attorney Retreat and firm-wide Minority Newsletter, "Connecting Katten." Acknowledging the national issue of women of color leaving law firms at a high rate, Ms. Minier recently created Katten's Leadership Forum for Women of Color in order to provide Katten’s minority female attorneys with the tools they need to succeed in their careers at the Firm. The Forum is the first of its kind in the nation.

In addition to her diversity efforts within Katten, Ms. Minier devotes a significant portion of her time to endeavors aimed at promoting diversity in the Chicago legal and business communities, as well as nationally. She serves as co-vice chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women, an organization dedicated to advancing the interests of women in the legal profession and the larger community, and is also a member of the Alliance’s Executive Committee. Ms. Minier is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, an organization comprised of the 44 largest law firms in Chicago, which has become the preeminent voice for fostering racial and ethnic diversity in the Chicago legal community. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Joffrey Ballet, where she sits on the Diversity Council and the Corporate Subcommittee. Ms. Minier is also an active board member with the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  

"I am honored to have been selected to serve as Katten’s first-ever national Chief Diversity Partner," said Ms. Minier. "While progress has been made in recent years, the legal profession still struggles to retain minority and women attorneys. Katten has already made great strides in this area and has become one of the thought leaders for diversity among law firms. As Chief Diversity Partner, I hope to continue to shape the racial landscape of the legal community in Chicago and across the country."

As a member of Katten’s Corporate Practice, Ms. Minier concentrates her legal practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and general corporate matters, representing clients in a wide variety of industries. She represents both public and private companies in structuring, negotiating and documenting both mergers with, and acquisitions and dispositions of, public and private corporations. She also represents private equity funds making investments in, engaging in leveraged buyouts of, and selling portfolio companies.