Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres Certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
September 27, 2022
Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC, a business law firm serving entrepreneurs, investors, growth-stage companies and Fortune 500 companies alike, is proud to announce its national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Development Center-Midwest, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
In recognition of this certification, and the growth and reorganization that led to it, the firm has changed its name from Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres LLC to Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres LLC, effective today.
The four named partners, Patrick Croke, Jessica Fairchild, Lisa Duarte and Drew Beres, will share leadership responsibilities as well as overall ownership, with Fairchild and Duarte holding a majority stake.
With a total headcount of over 72 employees and 57 lawyers, the firm is now the largest WBENC-Certified WBE law firm in Chicago and, based on available data, one of the top-five largest in the United States.
“We have come a long way from the four of us who launched the firm in December 2019,” said Management Committee Co-Chair Jessica Fairchild. “We’re proud of the growth, as well as the way we’ve achieved it. We’ve worked hard to create an environment where women, along with other lawyers and staff from underrepresented groups, can truly thrive. I am proud that we have earned a certification that reflects that, and excited to help lead the continued work we have in front of us.”
While other firms have struggled to manage remote and hybrid work arrangements, CFDB has embraced geographic flexibility from its beginning, even before the pandemic. Recent recruits, from top-tier law firms and corporate legal departments, point to this flexibility as valuable for women, who often have caregiving and other outside responsibilities to manage, as well as for lawyers and other professionals from all backgrounds who have other challenges and interests to pursue outside of work.
“What we’re hearing from recruits and clients alike is that we are offering a model for how to leverage the talents of people who don’t necessarily fit into the traditional Big Law mold,” said Management Committee Co-Chair Lisa Duarte. “From my own perspective, as a Latina, I know it’s incredibly meaningful to be able to change people’s idea of what a named law firm partner looks like. Coming up in my career, I didn’t have a female role model who looked like me. I’m thrilled to think that I could be that person for the lawyers who are charting their career path with us.”
The WBENC standard of certification implemented by the Women’s Business Development Center-Midwest is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.
By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.
A full-service law firm with offices in Chicago, Lake Forest and Milwaukee, Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres is home to a diverse team of trusted advisors and counselors valued for their legal skill, intellectual curiosity and commitment to forging pragmatic solutions. The firm’s clients include entrepreneurs, investors, growth-stage companies and Fortune 500 companies. For more information, visit www.crokefairchild.com.
Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 17,000 certified Women’s Business Enterprises, 14 national Regional Partner Organizations and more than 350 Corporate Members. More than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands as well as many states, cities and other entities accept WBENC Certification. For more information, visit www.wbenc.org.