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CHICAGO � David Wirt is exiting Winston & Strawn in Chicago and jumping to Locke Lord Bissell & Brook to lead the smaller firm’s bankruptcy practice group. Wirt, 42, saw the job at the newly merged Locke Lord as an opportunity to step into a leadership role at a firm that has a strong reputation in the practice area, he said. Many of the lawyers at Locke Lord are people that Wirt has encountered over the years and he is excited about working with them, he said. “Locke Lord has an established presence, but it’s also undergoing some exciting dynamics,” Wirt said. “It’s motivated to grow its national foot, and in particular its bankruptcy practice.” Lord, Bissell & Brook, a Chicago-based firm, merged last year with Locke Liddell & Sapp, founded in Dallas, to create a firm with about 700 attorneys in 12 U.S. offices. Wirt represented the unsecured committees of creditors in the Arlington Hospitality Inc., Meridian Automotive Systems Composite-Operation Inc. and Kmart Corp. bankruptcies. He also represented El Paso Electric Co. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and acted as special counsel to the California State Senate during the energy crisis that took place about four years ago. Prior to joining Winston in 1999, Wirt had been a lawyer at Sidley Austin for eight years.

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