Jun 16, 2017

Chuhak & Tecson elevates Connell to shareholder, Grace and Lash to principals

Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., is pleased to announce that three talented attorneys from the firm’s banking group have recently been elevated—Francisco Connell from principal to shareholder, and Amy Grace and Sarah Lash from associates to principals.

As a litigator, Connell represents clients in bankruptcy proceedings, creditors’ rights matters, complex commercial workouts, general litigation and other issues common to the world of finance. He also handles transactional matters—entity formation, real estate acquisitions and leases, intellectual property, contracts, succession planning, asset protection and other matters. Besides banks and other lenders, he counts many small to midsized businesses among his clients.

“Cisco has done an extraordinary job in developing strong client relationships,” said Andrew Tecson, president of the firm. “He knows how to deliver results to our clients.”

Prior to practicing law, Connell served 10 years on the Chicago Police Department assigned to various units in patrol and strategic services. He earned his degree by attending law school part-time while a police officer. After graduating, he explored a career in civil practice and never looked back.

Coming over to Chuhak & Tecson eight years ago was advantageous, too. Connell appreciates the entrepreneurial approach that the firm offers attorneys.

“I had always wanted to own my own business,” Connell said. “As exciting as it is to be a principal, and now a shareholder, it comes with all the challenges that a new business owner would have. But I don’t think there’s anything more exhilarating than being your own boss. This is a great opportunity, and I’m looking forward to taking it on.”

An alumnus of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Connell has been recognized by Leading Lawyers as an Emerging Lawyer for the past three years. Super Lawyers magazine selected him as an Illinois Rising Star six years in a row.

Grace is a litigator who focuses on creditors’ rights and real estate litigation and transactions. She is well versed in bankruptcy, commercial foreclosure and Uniform Commercial Code issues and is the “go-to” person for real estate tax matters. Grace has also represented small to midsized businesses in entity formation, real estate transactions, financing and contract negotiations. 

Having gone to college with film production in mind, Grace took a job as a legal assistant while she searched for work when she graduated.  It wasn’t long before she realized her strong desire to switch gears and focus on law.  That led to law school, and with that under her belt, she worked for a prominent title company for years and then for a large real estate tax buyer, where she developed a niche in real estate tax sales.

A graduate of The John Marshall Law School, Grace is a member of the firm’s Marketing Committee. She is a contributing author to the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, a past chair of the Real Estate Committee for the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, and was honored by the Chicago Bar Association with its annual Rising Star Award for Exceptional Leadership.

“Amy brings great solutions to our clients,” Tecson said. “She is also very active in charitable work which strengthens our community.”

For her part, Grace said a keen attention to detail and her ability to identify the client’s needs have been keys to her success.

“When it looks like there is no way out, I will study every detail of the case to find a way to help the client achieve their goals,” Grace said. “I will pore through hundreds of pages hoping to find that one specific detail that will give my client an edge. I enjoy finding loopholes.”

As Chuhak & Tecson’s primary liaison between the main office in Chicago and a second site in New York City, Lash represents clients in both locations. She was integral in launching the firm’s New York Practice where she manages the majority of firm’s New York litigation.  

She is licensed in Illinois and New York and litigates in both state and federal court in bankruptcy proceedings, foreclosures, breaches of contract, replevin actions, collections, loss mitigation and other settlements.

Lash represents lenders ranging from small community banks to national financial institutions in complex commercial and consumer litigation with a focus on SBA related loans. 

“Sarah does a superb job at delivering great client service,” Tecson said. “She has developed extensive experience in the SBA lending practice.”

Lash’s interest in law began in high school after she was injured in a car accident. The legal process that was involved and the difficulty victims face when seeking reimbursement for medical expenses parlayed into an impassioned career. 

“I really enjoy the intellectual challenges of practicing law and attempting to find innovative legal solutions to complex issues,” Lash said. “One of my strengths is understanding the holistic approach to law.”

Lash is an Alumna of The John Marshall Law School and is a member of Chuhak & Tecson’s Associate/Law Clerk Oversight Committee.