Patty Dondanville represents clients in strategic business finance and transactional matters. Patty has extensive experience representing financial investors, strategic buyers and sellers, bank and non-bank lenders and borrowers in a wide variety of regulated and unregulated infrastructure industries. This background gives Patty the perspective to focus on important transaction issues, to propose creative, practical solutions, to explain her legal advice clearly to other lawyers and business executives, and to act as a trusted advisor to clients’general counsel and senior leadership team. Because of Patty’s strong team-building skills, she regularly collaborates with in-house counsel, other partners at Croke Fairchild and lawyers at other firms, to contribute her specific expertise as a member of a larger team of client advisors — to efficiently achieve the client’s strategic objectives. Prior to joining the Firm in early 2020, Patty practiced for more than 30 years at Schiff Hardin, a Chicago-based US law firm and at Reed Smith, a global relationship law firm.
Patty also provides advice on governance and risk management programs, and on energy trading and related credit risk, collateral and credit support matters. She represents a wide variety of companies and trade associations with respect to legislative and regulatory policy issues regarding commodities and derivatives. She has authored more than 90 substantive comment letters to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other financial regulators in rulemakings regarding to implement the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, typically representing energy industry clients and coalitions. Patty also negotiates, and provides training on negotiating, documentation of swaps and forward contracts in energy commodities at the increasing important intersection between the energy industry and the financial markets.
For a number of years, Patty was a member of the senior leadership team at a Fortune 500 utility holding company, where she interacted with the public company Board, integrated the legal, regulatory and compliance functions of two large energy companies after a “merger-of equals” transaction, and had budget and personnel management responsibility. As a result, she understands the need for responsiveness and effective interaction between private practice lawyers and in-house counsel, as well as the importance of providing practical, cost-effective advice.
Patty acted as Co-Chair, and remains a member, of the Edison Electric Institute’s Contract Drafting Committee, which developed, published and maintains the EEI Master Power Purchase and Sale Agreement and ancillary documents. Patty was a principal drafter of the EEI Master Agreement, which is the basis for the ISDA North American Power Annex and used as a template for many physical and financial energy trading contracts and power purchase agreements. Patty is an active member of the American Bar Association and its Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section. Patty served as Chair of the Section during the 2012-2013. In 2016, Patty was named an “Energy & Environmental Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal.
Patty received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, and her law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. She served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, is an active member of the Notre Dame Club of Chicago and a Trustee (and former President) of the Club’s Scholarship Foundation. Patty is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and active in promoting new women members and members of diverse backgrounds. She is also a member of the Chicago Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network, and active in mentoring young women, particularly attorneys, who are interested in the energy industry.