Gilmore & Bell attorney Sean Flynn will lead the firm's new southern Illinois office.

CHICAGO -- Gilmore & Bell PC, one of the top-ranked Midwestern bond counsel firms, has formally landed in Illinois with the opening a downstate office in Edwardsville, the law firm said Monday.

Paired with its recent affiliation with a Champaign-based firm, the firm believes it can better serve its existing client base while also making further inroads with Illinois public finance borrowers.

Sean Flynn, who was based in St. Louis and has worked at the firm since 2002, will lead the recently opened office. Six other Gilmore & Bell attorneys are licensed to work in Illinois although they will remain based in their current offices.

"With an office in southern Illinois, we believe we can provide better bond counsel services to local governments in downstate Illinois than firms located in Chicago," said Flynn, a firm shareholder. "We thought this was a natural progression."

"Our expectation is that Sean will grow our southern Illinois presence," added the firm's chief executive officer Gary Anderson.

The firm earlier this year entered into an affiliation agreement with Champaign, Ill.-based Evans, Froehlich, Beth & Chamley. "We have had the privilege of working with Evans Froehlich over the years and believe our new relationship will enable both firms to consult with each other on certain matters to the benefit of our respective Illinois clients," Flynn said. Ken Beth leads the public finance practice of Evans Froehlich.

Gilmore & Bell benefits from the Evans Froehlich's Illinois knowledge while the latter benefits from Gilmore's deeper resources including its tax and securities group, Flynn and Anderson said in an interview Monday.

Gilmore & Bell is a public finance law firm with about 55 lawyers. Its largest offices are located in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri with additional offices in Wichita, Kansas and two in Nebraska, with one located in Lincoln and the other in Omaha.

The firm ranked second in the Midwest last year among bond counsel, providing opinions on $4.2 billion of deals, behind Chapman and Cutler LLP with nearly $6.2 billion. Those figures don't include its work in Kansas which is considered part of the southwest. The firm finished in first place last year among bond counsel in Kansas and Missouri and was third in Nebraska, according to data from Thomson Reuters.



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