Ballantine  frank

Frank D. Ballantine

Senior Counsel


130 E. Randolph St.
Suite 3900
Chicago, IL 60601
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Fax: 312.985.5999
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Hon. Nathaniel R. Jones, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Judicial Clerk
J.D., University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Columbia University Graduate School of Fine Arts, New York, New York, Work toward MFA in Film
B.A., Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, Honors in English
Manchester College, Oxford University; Junior Year
State Bar Licenses
Large  1
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Frank D. Ballantine

Senior Counsel

Frank D. Ballantine is a member of Clark Hill’s Corporate Practice Group. He is a trusted advisor and counselor to senior management, boards of directors, and investors in public and private companies based in the United States and abroad, across a wide range of industries. Active client sectors include information technology, including mobile apps and solutions, food, life sciences, business services, manufacturers, distributors and lenders.

Frank serves innovative and rapidly growing businesses and the investors who fund them. Frank is outside general counsel to numerous businesses. He is lead transaction counsel to investors and management in venture and private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, and debt financings. He also assists clients in joint ventures, marketing alliances and licensing. Frank has served or is serving ex officio on the Boards of 26 clients, as well as the advisory boards of two venture funds.

Frank frequently speaks on topics involving private equity and venture capital finance, mergers and acquisitions, securities transactions, and high-growth developmental companies.

Frank has been AV Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by Chambers America’s Leading Lawyers. He has been named one of America’s leading mergers & acquisitions law attorneys in Best Lawyers and an Illinois Super Lawyer in securities & corporate finance.

Recent Engagements

Frank is outside general counsel of a private equity backed business-services client and outside counsel for a private equity backed industrial business headquartered in the U.S. with multiple foreign operations.

Frank represented a pioneer in the market for on-site, employer-based healthcare clinics and wellness programs in structuring and negotiating a $5.6 million growth capital investment by a New York based venture capital fund. The investment is intended to fuel the company's expansion from 100 employees in three states into a national market leader.

Frank is representing a Global 100 industrial company in distinctive commercial arrangements.

Frank represented Chicago’s Center for Neighborhood Technology in the sale of its innovative car sharing affiliate I-GO to the largest US rental car company, Enterprise Holdings. The MacArther Award recognized Center for Neighborhood Technology founded, funded, and was the sole member of I-GO, which enables effective city living without owning a car.

Frank is currently or recently has been working on the following cross border engagements: representing a $300 million revenue specialty chemical company in acquiring its Mexican distributor; representing a U.S. business in connection with its distributorship on behalf of an Italian OEM, its Belgian, Netherlands and Canada market entry, and its Colombian distributor; represented a UK-based specialty material business in its second U.S. acquisition, its UK IPO, and in a joint technology development agreement with a global market leader; representing a venture-backed real-time provider of specialty business information in connection with software development in Serbia and market entry in Canada and Brazil.

Frank is currently and recently has been representing startups and emerging growth businesses in strategy development, business organization and capital raising, including a mobile e-currency business, a mobile health informatics business, a big data analytics business providing financial risk management assessments, a mobile app based community celebrating distilled liquors, and a specialty menswear business based in Northern California.

Frank recently represented a CEO in equity and employment arrangements with a private equity fund with which he proposed to partner to buy an operating business, and Frank recently represented two executives in becoming the CEOs of private equity backed operating businesses, and he represented a fourth executive in becoming CEO of a family-owned business.


  • Author, ”Paying Up For Management,” Private Equity Manager (UK)
  • Author, ”Management Teams Reap Rewards of Endurance,”Private Equity News
  • Author, ”Forces Shaping European Buy Outs and Venture Investing,” White Paper, University of Chicago International Forum
  • Author, ”The Chicago Shakespeare Theater: An Entrepreneurial Success,” Illinois Venture Capital Association News
  • Author, “Non-Profit Entrepreneurship: The Astoria Motion Picture and Television Center,” The Journal of Arts Management and Law
  • Quoted in the Chicago Tribune on the Citibank-led private equity buyout of skin-care products developer H20 Plus LLC
  • Quoted in "List-en to my Fund" in Private Equity Europe on the pros and cons of publicly listing private equity funds
  • Quoted in "Capital Opens Up Breathing Space," in the Chicago Tribune, on financing for international contracts won by developmental businesses
  • Quoted in "A Different Way to Fund Venture Cap," in Pensions & Investments, about using the London stock exchange's AIM for venture capital fundraising

Speeches and Presentations

  • Presenter: "New SEC Regulation A+: Access to Capital for Growing Businesses"
  • Presenter: “Ecovative Designs: A Case Study in Fundamental Innovation,” DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Moderator, “Current Dynamics in Venture Capital and Angel Investing,” University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business Entrepreneur Roundtable, view video of the presentation at
  • Presenter, ”Effective Boards of Directors,” CFO Round table of the Illinois Technology Association, University of Michigan Ross School of Business Chicago Alumni Association, Financial Executives International, the CFO Leadership Group, and Executive Opportunities Forum
  • Presenter, “Equity Based Executive Compensation: Assuring The Bargain Sticks,” Executive Opportunities Forum
  • Chaired, Global Finance Accounting and Risk Management Conference
  • Moderator, “Growing Through Acquisitions: M&A in the Middle Market Food Industry,” the Food Industry Forum: Key Dynamics and Opportunities
  • Presenter, “Key Terms in LBO and Venture Investments,” Private Equity Lab course of the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business
  • Presenter, “Attracting Investors to Your Business,” DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Moderator, “The Outlook for Venture-Backed Company Exits to Strategic Buyers,” Midwest Venture Summit
  • Presenter, “Analyzing Series A Venture Termsheets,” courses at the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business; the J.L. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; and the DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Presenter, “Venture, Angels and Entrepreneurs: A Heady Stew?” courses for J.L. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; the University of Illinois, Chicago Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies; DePaul Kellstadt Graduate School of Business; and to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Chicago Alumni Association
  • Presenter “Lessons Learned by Experienced Investors” and, ”Closing the Deal and Contributing to Post Closing Success of the Business,” sessions of the Angel Investor Academy, DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurship Center
  • Presenter, ”Entrepreneurs, You’re Not the Three Musketeers,” courses at the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Presenter, ”Ten Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs,” courses at the DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business; and the University of Illinois, Chicago Liautaud Graduate School of Business
  • Presenter, ”Structuring and Financing a Start-Up,” DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Presenter, ”Angel Investing Terms and Term Sheets,” Hyde Park Angels
  • Panel Member, “Changing Capital Markets: Raising Debt and Equity in Uncertain Times,” Annual International Growth Conference of the Association for Corporate Growth
  • Panel Member, “Recovery 2011-How Entrepreneurship, Startups and Venture Capital Can Lead the Way,” University of Michigan Ross School of Business Chicago Alumni Conference

Judge, Business Plan Competitions

  • Brands Meet Startups, Mobile Solutions Marketing Plan Competition, Heartland Mobile Council
  • New Venture Challenge, Booth Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
  • New Venture Competition, Harvard Business School Alumni, U.S. Central Region
  • Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest
Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Board of Directors
Chicago Innovations Mentors; Lead Mentor
Two Venture Funds; Advisory Board Member
The Nature Conservancy in Illinois; Founding Chair; Corporate & Advisory Committee