CHICAGO - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that Leslie D. Minier, a partner in the Corporate Practice and the Firm’s Chief Diversity Partner, has been selected as a 2008 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. Ms. Minier is one of only 36 Chicago business leaders to be named to the organization’s 2008 Leadership Fellows Class. Founded in 1983 to develop a new generation of Chicago leaders, Leadership Greater Chicago creates lifelong partnerships and develops community awareness among leaders in the Chicago metropolitan area.

In this role, Ms. Minier will participate in a 10-month program to study the challenges facing the region and become part of a diverse network of leaders working to make a difference in the greater Chicago community. The organization’s mission is to build relationships among leaders who represent the diverse segments of greater Chicago. Such representation includes race and ethnicity, gender, occupations, and the many communities of greater Chicago. These leaders are presented with multiple perspectives regarding greater Chicago's challenges, opportunities and resources, and are encouraged to remain involved in the community throughout their lives.

"Leslie is an outstanding attorney and a true leader in Chicago business who has demonstrated an extraordinary long-term commitment to fostering diversity in the Chicago legal and business communities," said Vincent A. F. Sergi, Katten’s National Managing Partner. "Her experience, insight and passion will be tremendous assets to Leadership Greater Chicago."

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-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.

At Katten, Ms. Minier has been instrumental in developing and implementing many of the Firm’s diversity initiatives and earlier this year was appointed as its first-ever Chief Diversity Partner. She also serves as co-chair of Katten’s Diversity Committee and assisted the Firm in crafting its initial diversity commitment statement and strategic diversity plan.

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 a firm-wide minority newsletter, "Connecting Katten." Recently, acknowledging the national issue of women of color leaving law firms at a high rate, Ms. Minier created Katten's Leadership Institute 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 Institute is the first of its kind nationally for law firms.

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.