Aug 5, 2011

Principal Eileen Sethna joins banking practice at Chuhak & Tecson

Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., is pleased to announce that Eileen Sethna, an attorney who brings a deep knowledge of bankruptcies and commercial litigation, has joined the banking group as a principal.

Sethna most recently had been with Querrey & Harrow, Ltd., for seven years. She is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

With a rich understanding of creditors’ rights, business reorganizations and individual insolvencies, Sethna is a trusted adviser to bank officers and a respected trial attorney as well. She has extensive courtroom experience representing debtors, trustees and creditors, both in state and federal courts and at the trial and appellate levels.

Sethna also counsels clients through transactional workouts, reorganizations and other commercial remedies.

“Eileen brings an increased depth in handling bankruptcy cases,” said Josh Hyman, principal and banking group head. “She’s very knowledgeable, and from my perspective as head of our group, it’s nice to have another principal who can help mentor attorneys who haven’t yet attained her level of experience.”

Sethna never set out to become a bankruptcy lawyer. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she worked as a human resources manager for a hospitality company and found herself immersed in union issues interpreting a collective bargaining agreement.

“There was a lot of discovery and investigation. I likened it to trial readiness, and I thought it was pretty interesting,” Sethna said. She started in night law school, later remaking her schedule to study full-time.

After graduating, she handled mortgage foreclosures and creditors’ rights with a boutique firm before joining Querrey & Harrow, where she found success in business litigation and bankruptcy.

Sethna thoroughly enjoys “going to bat” for her clients in the courtroom setting, but if she had her druthers, her career would involve real baseball bats.

“I’d like to be a sports anchor for ESPN,” Sethna said. “I moved to Chicago in 1996 from Boston. I’m sort of a fanatic for their sports teams, especially the Red Sox. On October 27, 2004, I went straight from federal court in Chicago to Busch Stadium and was at game four with my father when they won the World Series. In fact, I was on the verge of moving back to Boston when I ran into my future husband. It was he who convinced me to stay in Chicago.”

Boston’s loss is Chicago’s gain.

“We’re fortunate to have a lawyer of Eileen’s character, professionalism and knowledge base,” Hyman said. “It’s another indication that our firm brings much to the table in attracting candidates of her quality.”

“The big draw for me was that I had crossed the paths of several of my now-partners over the years through litigation, who were essentially my adversaries,” Sethna said. “We respected the fact that we were advocating our own clients’ positions, but quickly found a middle ground.

“I thought it was a great group of people who also happened to be exceptional lawyers. It’s very flattering to be recruited by former opponents,” she said.

In addition to being a respected attorney and sports devotee, Sethna also is a landscape artist who has exhibited in the Wells Street Art Festival and at the Chicago Bar Association. Back when she had more time to paint, she donated a piece every year to fundraising auctions at Misericordia, her favorite charity.

“It’s a really important place,” she said of the home for developmentally disabled children and adults. “Once you are introduced to Misericordia, it becomes a part of who you want to be.”

She’s hoping to introduce her new colleagues to the idea of joining her in shaking a can for Misericordia’s Candy Days in April.