CHICAGO — Kutak Rock LLP is bolstering its public finance group in Chicago with the addition of Lance Tyson, who is returning to the firm after a 10-year absence during which he operated his own law firm and served as chief of staff to the former Cook County, Ill. board president.

Tyson has joined the firm in an "of counsel" role and will concentrate on public finance, real estate, and government affairs. For Tyson, it's a homecoming as he worked at Kutak a decade ago and then went on to work on the issuer side and co-found his own firm. He most recently operated the Tyson Law Group LLC.

Tyson shuttered his first firm Tyson Strong Hill LLC in 2006 to become chief of staff to then Cook County, Ill. Board president Todd Stroger. He left the county in 2008 to join Freeborn & Peters LLP but in 2009 re-launched his firm with one of the same partners and an additional partner. The minority owned firm - now known as the Tyson Law Group - is being shuttered as he returns to Kutak Rock, Tyson said. He also previously had worked as a legislative counsel to former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

"Lance is a very talented attorney who has devoted a substantial amount of his time to public service, and we are excited to welcome him back to Kutak Rock," said Jerry Wallack, managing partner in the Chicago office. "Our clients will definitely benefit from his years of experience and his ability to provide excellent legal and client service."

Kutak employs eight lawyers in Chicago, including six devoted to public finance and two that also work on deals that cross over into the public finance arena.  The firm has about 100 lawyers nationally in its public finance group. It runs 16 offices across the country with a total of 450 lawyers.

Tyson said he sought to return to Kutak because of the larger platform it provides and its reputation as a top public finance law firm. "I'm glad to be back at Kutak Rock," he said. "The firm provides incredible depth of knowledge which will be very beneficial to our clients…also, the firm's platform will allow me to bring my government relations experience to a wider variety of clients."

The Tyson Law Group ranks ninth so far this year among underwriters counsel in Illinois and tied for fifth last year. It was not ranked in 2011. As bond counsel it did not rank the last two years, but was 19th in 2011 and fourth in 2010, according to Thomson Reuters.

Kutak ranked fifth last year and ranks third so far this year among bond counsel in Illinois, and fourth last year and so far this year nationally. It ranked sixth last year and third so far this year as underwriters counsel nationally.

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