News Releases
May 6, 2015
Polsinelli welcomes four new shareholders today well-known for their experience in lending and corporate matters. These attorneys, from the same St. Louis law firm, primarily collaborate on client matters for local, regional and national financial institutions. The shareholders are: Robert C. Graham, III; Nancy M. Hawes; Tamara J. Keller; and Michael A. Wazlawek. Graham, Keller and Wazlawek are members of the Capital Markets/Lending practice, and Hawes joins the Corporate and Transactional practice. They move to Polsinelli at an exciting time when the firm just announced its climb up seven rankings in the AmLaw 100 to 86th.

“Polsinelli attorneys want to practice in an exciting environment with a law firm that is growing and committed to excellent client service,” Randy Gerber, managing director of the St. Louis office said. “In addition, they are active members of the community, which is a hallmark of our St. Louis office and our firm.”

“We hope to help grow the tax credit and finance practice at Polsinelli to a national level,” said Graham. “We made the move to Polsinelli because of its national platform, coupled with their deep client understanding and commitment.”

“We like the fact that Polsinelli is a first-generation firm and that we are joining a growing and successful law firm with a broad platform and an entrepreneurial spirit,” stated Hawes. “We look forward to a culture of collaboration at Polsinelli.”

The four shareholders are:

Robert C. Graham, III: Graham has over thirty years of experience representing financial institutions and other lenders in the negotiation, documentation and closing of loan transactions and equity tax credit investments. He has counseled these financial institutions as well as developers and other equity investors in a wide variety of tax credit assisted development transactions, including transactions involving federal new market, historic, renewable energy and low-income housing tax credits, as well as a variety of state tax credit programs, including historic, low-income housing, brownfield and MDFB contribution tax credits.

He is a member of The Missouri Bar, Illinois State Bar Association and St. Louis County Bar Association. Graham is listed in Who's Who in America, as well as Who's Who in American Law. He is also included in The Best Lawyers in America, banking and finance. He received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University.

Nancy M. Hawes: Hawes advises client regarding strategies for growth, operations, structure and best practices, and serves as outside general counsel to mid-sized closely held companies. She also develops, negotiates and documents business acquisitions, mergers and dispositions.  Hawes’ areas of focus include real estate law, finance, nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, and public finance. She also develops, negotiates and documents business acquisitions and dispositions.

Hawes is a member of The Missouri Bar and the American Bar Association. She is actively involved in the St. Louis civic community. She has served as a member of the board of directors of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, as well as Marian Middle School. She serves currently as the board chair for the Incarnate Word Foundation, and is the founder and past president of the Arts and Education Council development board. She is also a board member of The Women’s Society of Washington University and the Women’s leadership Council of UMSL. In 2011, she was recognized by the St. Louis Small Business Monthly as a “Top Small Business Lawyer.” Hawes is included in the real estate law section of The Best Lawyers in America. Hawes is a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, as well as the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Tamara J. Keller: Keller concentrates her practice on serving lenders and borrowers in a variety of industries with commercial loan transactions and construction-based acquisitions, including both asset-based and real property lending. She also counsels lenders and investors on transactions regarding low-income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, new markets tax credits, renewable energy tax credits and corresponding state tax credits.

Keller is a member of The Missouri Bar, Illinois State Bar Association and Commercial Real Estate Women of St. Louis. She serves as an executive committee member of the board of directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis. In addition, Keller is an advisory board member of Ronald McDonald House Care Mobile. She earned her law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2006, and a Master of Business Administration from Lindenwood University in 2002. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy, with special distinction in 1997. Prior to her law career, Keller worked as an occupational therapist, as well as a financial analyst.

Michael A. Wazlawek: His practice primarily focuses on representing both borrowers and lenders in the documentation and negotiation of a wide range of financing transactions. This includes conventional asset-based loans as well as commercial and industrial loans, real estate based transactions and international financing arrangements. Wazlawek also advises clients on tax credit and other public incentive based financing, including new market, low-income housing and state and federal tax credit projects.

Complimenting his financial services practice, Wazlawek has extensive experience in real estate law. He represents clients in conjunction with the acquisition, sale, construction, development, leasing and management of real estate and development projects. One of his most notable projects was serving as counsel for the lender in the financing of Ballpark Village. The project involved debt financing, project equity, tax increment financing, new market tax credits and bond financing.

Wazlawek earned his law degree in combination with a Master of Business Administration degree from DePaul University in 1998. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College in 1993. He is on the board of directors of Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.