Photo of Frank D. Ballantine

Frank D. Ballantine Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Judicial Clerk to Hon. Nathanial R. Jones

University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, J.D.

Columbia University Graduate School of Fine Arts, New York, New York, Work toward MFA in Film

Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, Honors in English, B.A.

Manchester College, Oxford University; Junior Year

Frank Ballantine 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 technologyincluding AI, mobile apps and solutionsfood, health care, business services, manufacturers, distributors and lenders.

Frank serves innovative and rapidly growing businesses and the investors who fund them. He also serves family and owner-operated businesses at transformative moments. 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 board 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 attorneys in Best Lawyers and an Illinois Super Lawyer in securities & corporate finance.


Frank has been outside general counsel of multiple private equity backed clients, including for a private equity backed industrial business headquartered in the U.S. with multiple foreign operations.

Frank was the principal strategic counsel to a pioneer in the market for on-site, employer-based healthcare clinics and wellness programs from the time of its growth capital investment from a New York based private equity fund through its successful sale to a global private equity firm.

Frank has represented a Global 100 industrial company in distinctive commercial arrangements.

Frank is representing a second-generation family business in governance and succession matters and a shareholder of a third-generation family business who is being bought out.

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 has led 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 arrangements for an Italian OEM, the client's market entry into Belgium, Netherlands, and Canada, and its alliance with its Colombian distributor; represented a UK-based specialty material business in two U.S. acquisitions, its UK IPO, and in a joint technology development agreement with a global market leader; represented 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, and a specialty menswear business.

Frank is representing and has represented multiple CEO's of private equity, family office, and venture capital portfolio companies in their equity incentives and other employment arrangements.

Memberships & Involvement

Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Board of Directors

Re/Cast: Advisors in Ownership Succession; Advisory Board Member

Two Venture Funds; Advisory Board Member

The Nature Conservancy in Illinois; Founding Chair; Corporate Advisory Committee

Chicago Innovations Mentors; Lead Mentor

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2021. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC