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Johnson & Bell is pleased to announce that Brian C. Langs and Valandis Vrakas have been promoted to Shareholder.  Messrs. Langs and Vrakas previously were associates at the firm.

“We are proud to welcome Brian and Valandis to the rank of Shareholder,” said Joseph R. Marconi, president of Johnson & Bell, Ltd. “Over the past several years, they have successfully addressed the legal and business needs of some of our largest clients.  We look forward to their continued growth over the coming years.”

Since joining Johnson & Bell in 2012, Mr. Langs has focused on litigation and general corporate matters.  His litigation practice involves handling business litigation, employment litigation, professional liability and product liability disputes.  In addition, he addresses a number of real estate and general corporate issues, and negotiates both business and employment agreements for commercial real estate development companies, car dealerships, national and international association management companies, and other business entities.  Mr. Langs also has handled estate planning disputes, representing trustees and beneficiaries.  These disputes have included complaints for breach of fiduciary duty and conflicts of interest.

Mr. Langs has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and earned his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago-Kent Law Review for the 2010-2011 academic year and was selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Business Litigation in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. He also is active in Loyola Academy alumni organizations and events.  Born in Southern California, he moved with his family to Chicago in the late 1980s. Mr. Langs recently was married in a civil ceremony.  He and his bride will be holding a wedding reception in Jamaica in February.

Mr. Vrakas began his career with Johnson & Bell in 2013.  He concentrates his practice in retail and general negligence, with focuses on premises liability, pharmaceutical negligence and common carrier negligence.  Mr. Vrakas has defended a variety of clients including retailers, restaurants, gas stations, pharmacies, public transit providers, landlords, property management groups, general contractors, subcontractors, truck drivers and trucking companies, as well as individually named defendants.  He enjoys the varied types of matters on which he works and the challenges of defending his clients in cases involving intentional torts, misfilled prescriptions and motor vehicle collisions.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, Mr. Vrakas was recognized as an "Emerging Lawyer" by the Leading Lawyers publication. Prior to joining Johnson & Bell, Mr. Vrakas was in-house counsel for an insurance company where he defended claims of premises liability, construction defect, construction negligence, general negligence and property damage. He also represented insurers in underinsured/uninsured motorist claims.  Mr. Vrakas holds an undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and a JD from The John Marshall Law School.  A life-long resident of Chicago, Mr. Vrakas is married and has a son and daughter.