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Blank Rome Appoints Finance Partner in Chicago

March 05, 2020, 09:00 AM

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Vanessa G. Tanaka has joined the Firm as a Partner in the Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group in the Chicago office, which continues to expand following the recent additions of new partners Craig R. Culbertson and Paul H. Tzur. Vanessa joins Blank Rome from Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP.

“Vanessa is a great addition to our Firm’s strong Finance group and growing Chicago office, both of which are strategic priorities for our Firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “Her experience will notably provide enhanced services and capabilities for the Firm’s Energy practice and Financial Services industry group, and further enable us to offer high-level client services across varying matters.”

“Vanessa is an accomplished finance partner that will provide strategic services to clients, both in Chicago and across the Firm’s practices and offices,” added Kenneth J. Ottaviano, Finance Partner and Chair of Blank Rome’s Chicago office. “We are excited to draw on her energy and passion for growing our Chicago office and supporting our collective development goals.”

Vanessa focuses her practice on energy and commodity markets and structured commodity transactions. She has extensive experience advising financial institutions, asset managers, and energy and commodity companies on a broad range of commodity finance products, including commodity repurchase agreements, intermediation arrangements, prepays and leases, and borrowing base revolving credit facilities. She has also structured natural gas supply agreements and commodity swap transactions in tax-exempt bond financings, and regularly negotiates physical and financial master trading agreements for gas, power, renewable, and financial products. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Vanessa to our Finance group,” said Grant E. Buerstetta, Co-Chair of Blank Rome’s Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group. “Her significant experience advising clients on commodities structures, agreements, and associated transactional elements, as well as her background working with municipal bond agreements related to gas, power, renewable, and financial commodities, will be invaluable in enhancing our services to clients at financial institutions, asset management firms, and energy and commodity companies.”

“Blank Rome’s Chicago office leverages an exceptional roster of attorneys and presents a unique opportunity to help expand both the growing office and my practice in a truly collegial environment,” said Vanessa. “I also look forward to harnessing the Firm’s strong commitment to pro bono services and continuing my work with Chicago’s at-risk youth.”

Outside of her successful practice, Vanessa serves on the board of several local initiatives, including Children’s Place International, which supports children and families affected by HIV in Haiti and Africa; the Cities Project, a youth initiative through DePaul University; and Crushers Club, an organization that offers sports as an outlet for youth in Chicago’s vulnerable communities.

Vanessa earned her J.D. from The University of Wisconsin Law School, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston University. Vanessa is a member of the Energy Bar Association and the International Energy Credit Association.

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