Q&A with Cynde Hirschtick Munzer

Cynde Hirschtick Munzer is a senior partner in the business organizations and transactions group at Arnstein & Lehr. She has more than 20 years of experience representing businesses in a broad range of sophisticated business matters, including asset and stock acquisitions and dispositions, mergers, joint development agreements, license agreements, and real estate matters.

What do you find the most interesting about your practice?

Being able to problem solve for my clients in a broad variety of areas. My practice is diverse in terms of the nature of my clients’ businesses, as well as the type of matters that I am able to handle for them. During the past couple decades of practicing law, I have acquired a broad depth of expertise handling a wide range of business transactions on behalf of clients engaged in various industries, including energy, construction, financial services, publishing and health care.   Also, since my firm is full service and offers essentially “one stop shopping,” this gives me the opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues at the firm in other practice areas in order to help solve a broad spectrum of matters for my clients.

Because of our firm’s size and level of expertise, we are able to handle some large, sophisticated transactions.  For example, last summer, I was fortunate enough to be involved in handling two of the largest transactions in the Chicago area.  First, I was a part of the Arnstein & Lehr team serving as local counsel to the successful bidder in its $2.3 billion bid for the privatization of Midway Airport.  I also served as lead attorney for the documentation lender in the Huron Consulting syndication loan totaling $230 million, in which several of the city’s largest lenders participated.

Also, Chicago is a great place to be a lawyer. It is “my kind of town” for practicing law, particularly in this economic climate.   Here in Chicago we are not dependent upon one particular industry as many cities are.  Instead, we enjoy a wide variety of businesses in various sectors, as well as numerous large corporations with headquarters in the Chicago area.    More law firms based outside of Chicago have been recognizing the opportunities here, and have been increasingly opening offices or expanding in Chicago in recent years.

What makes a good lawyer?

Common sense mixed with some creativity, hard work, tenacity, empathy and a good sense of humor!  It is also important to be responsive and able to quickly act and react when your clients come to you with questions or concerns. You could be the most brilliant lawyer in the world, but if you are not available for your clients when they need you to focus on their needs, it really does not matter. The importance of being responsive is underscored in this age of modern technology when everything moves so quickly.

What is the biggest legal news right now, and what is its impact?

Without a doubt, it’s the economy and the resulting legal ramifications on virtually all industries.   We have been working closely with our clients as they react to the changes that are rapidly occurring.   For example, I have counseled clients with regard to positioning themselves to receive stimulus funds, as well as advised them on gaining access to capital in order to finance new acquisitions or continue existing operations.

Many of the economic related seminars I have attended during the last few months conclude on a hopeful note with the speaker stating that these dire economic circumstances also create opportunities for those with vision.   Or, as they say, out of darkness, comes light.  The key is to work with your clients to find and maximize these opportunities and hopefully see the light!


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