Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Ingrid C. Palermo

July 1, 2019

If there’s one thing that Ingrid Palermo has learned on her path to becoming an attorney, it’s that “Everything changes: how you start and how you end up is always different.” For Ingrid, it’s been a combination of vision and luck, with the emphasis on vision.

A member of the firm since 2013, Ingrid has over 20 years of experience practicing business restructuring, creditors' rights, bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and general business law.

Her practice is unusual in that she represents both creditors and debtors, although it’s less unusual outside of a big city to represent both sides. “I understand what people are asking for and can represent my client better knowing the other side. My experience with debtors gives me a unique knowledge, making me more effective in representing creditors. I recognize what’s reasonable and what is thrown in. I am observant and can feel the potential deal killers. As a bankruptcy attorney, I get exposed to so many different situations and there is always an intellectual challenge. I also enjoy the occasional case in crisis, when the client needs you and needs you now. And that’s what makes it interesting.”

Originally from western Colorado, Ingrid knew from a young age that she wanted to attend college in the east, specifically Massachusetts. Her father agreed to tour New England with her to look at schools, and insisted that they stop at Mount Holyoke, a school Ingrid hadn’t thought to consider. Almost immediately, Ingrid recognized Mount Holyoke as a place where she could succeed, and thrive she did, staying in the Bay State to attend Western New England College School of Law. “I had originally thought that I was going to do criminal law but while on law review, I was given a note on bankruptcy and fell in love with the practice.”

Ingrid launched her career in what is recognized as the nation's premier entry-level federal attorney recruitment program, the United States Attorney General Honor's Program, working in the United States Trustee's Office for the Eastern District of New York. After becoming engaged, she moved to Rochester, first securing a position as the Confidential Law Clerk to Hon. John C. Ninfo, II of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York before later entering private practice. 

When Bond opened its Rochester office in 2009, Ingrid was invited to interview with the firm. While she had been happy in her current position, she experienced a sense of belonging similar to what she had found at Mount Holyoke. “Bond offered me an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse; to practice with outstanding people at the same stage and in the same place where I was in life, and the opportunity to be a part of one of the largest bankruptcy groups outside of Manhattan.”

Adding to the desirability of the position was Bond’s particularly family friendly environment. “Rochester is a wonderful place to raise a family, and our leadership was (and is) of the mind to drive success while offering a more flexible schedule and roadmap to membership of the firm. Bond became my landing place.”

“Managing a law practice while nurturing a family is challenging. With a flexible schedule however, I was able to grow my practice and become a member, all while giving my kids opportunities that would have been exceedingly difficult under other circumstances. Family and clients both take notice when you’re happy and if you’re unhappy, no one wants you on their team. Being happy allows me to serve my clients better.” 

Rochester has also proved an excellent location for Ingrid to grow her national bankruptcy practice. “I represent a great value for my clients as Rochester billing rates are lower than those in New York City and other metropolitan areas. I have several clients for whom I do bankruptcy work around the country. Bankruptcy is about money and negotiating the best deal for your client, no matter whether they are a debtor or creditor. I’ve earned a level of trust from my clients that I will do the right thing.” 

Ingrid’s practice extends from the firm’s Rochester backyard to clients nationwide. She represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, banking institutions and investment firms across a broad range of transactions. Ingrid represents creditors in both state and federal litigation; advises commercial construction clients on their fiduciary rights and responsibilities under various lien laws; and assists individuals in preserving their rights in bankruptcy cases. She is a frequent speaker on both bankruptcy and foreclosure issues and publishes on both topics.