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June 2024 Legal Industry News Updates: Law Firm Hiring and Expansion, Industry Awards and Recognition

Welcome back to another edition of our legal industry news roundup, and happy summer from the whole team at the National Law Review! Please read below for the latest in law firm hiring and expansion news and key industry awards and recognition.

Law Firm Hiring and Expansion

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings’ Atlanta office continues to grow with the addition of partners Jeff S. Luechtefeld, John Nail and Sean R. Gannon, senior attorney Gabriella Cole and associate Jessica R. Stephan as members of the firm’s Tax Practice Group. The firm’s Atlanta office has more than doubled in size since it was established in May 2023.

Mr. Luechtefeld earned his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, his J.D. from the University of Missouri Columbia School of Law and his B.S. in Finance from Missouri State University. Mr. Nail earned his J.D. (cum laude) at Wake Forest University School of Law and his B.S. from the College of Charleston. Mr. Gannon earned his LL.M. in Taxation at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, his J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and his B.A. from Michigan State University. The new partners represent Fortune 500 companies, closely held businesses and high-net-worth individuals in IRS examinations, appeals and litigation, as well as other tax issues.

Ms. Cole received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center, her M.B.A. from the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business and her B.S. (magna cum laude) from Kennesaw State University. Her practice focuses on tax controversy law and representing corporations and individuals against the IRS and state departments throughout the audit, administrative appeals and litigation processes.

Ms. Stephan received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a B.B.A. (summa cum laude) in Finance from Mississippi State University. She advises partnerships, corporations and individuals in federal and state tax disputes.

Bradley Atlanta office managing partner Sidney S. Welch welcomed the new members of the Tax Practice Group: “We are delighted that this group of highly accomplished tax controversy attorneys is joining the firm. Their significant litigation experience and deep understanding of the IRS allows them to offer strategic solutions for our clients. The addition of these attorneys also strengthens and enhances Bradley’s federal tax controversy capabilities, as well as being synergistic with the firm’s government enforcement and investigations work. The Atlanta office is continuing our growth strategy with tremendous legal talent, and we look forward to their collaboration.”

ArentFox Schiff announced the addition of 17 members to the firm’s Technology, Life Sciences, Intellectual Property and Complex Litigation services in the Boston office. With these new additions, the firm’s Boston office has grown by more than 40% in 2024.

New additions to the IP team include partners Joseph M. Maraia, Dr. Daniel W. Clarke, Christopher Carroll, Laura L. Carroll, Brooke A. Penrose, Paul A. Pysher and Howard J. Susser; counsel Shawn P. Foley, Bruce D. Jobse and Joseph P. Quinn; and six associates and patent agents. Litigation partner Shepard Davidson has also joined ArentFox Schiff and will continue to focus his practice on complex business torts and contract claims. Among these new firm members are a former patent examiner, a master electrician and a molecular microbiology Ph.D., all of whom offer unique insights to clients in specialized and technical industries.

“ArentFox Schiff has long had a preeminent IP practice, and one of our strategic goals was to further expand this in Boston with a focus on life sciences, patent, litigation, trademark, and general IP services,” said chairman Anthony V. Lupo. “Adding this talented team helps us accomplish that goal. This group’s clients also fit strategically into our industry approach to the business of law, and based on our prior success with laterals and groups, we anticipate a number of opportunities to significantly grow revenue.”

“Thanks to its many leading universities, research institutions, and cutting-edge companies, the Boston area continues to be a hub for innovation that demands top-tier IP services,” added Boston managing partner David M. Barbash. “Adding this highly respected group of attorneys will offer immense benefits to our clients in New England and across the country as they grow their businesses.”

Varnum formed a Health Care Artificial Intelligence (AI) Task Force focused on the use of AI technologies and machine learning in the health care industry. The Health Care AI Task Force consists of attorneys with particular expertise in health care law, data privacy and AI technologies, and is led by four partners who regularly advise health care clients on regulatory compliance and counsel large corporations on innovative technologies and privacy regulations.

The goal of the task force is to help health care organizations protect sensitive patient data and maintain high clinical standards through advising on AI integration, promoting privacy and data security, assisting in policy development and fostering risk management.

Sarah Wixson, who co-chairs Varnum’s Health Care Practice Team, noted the increasing importance of AI for health practitioners.

“As AI continues to evolve, it is crucial for health care providers to stay ahead of the curve by understanding and adhering to the legal frameworks that govern these technologies,” Ms. Wixson said. “Our task force is committed to helping our clients navigate this complex landscape.”

“Our goal is to provide our clients with the guidance they need to adopt AI technologies,” said data privacy attorney Jeff Stefan. “We are helping clients leverage the power of these revolutionary advancements and avoid their equally significant risks.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP expanded their New York office with the addition of financial services partner Mike Katz. With significant experience in crypto, payments, emerging company and venture capital, Mr. Katz will expand Manatt’s blockchain capabilities.

Mr. Katz is a strategic adviser to emerging growth companies and investors and a counsel to tech companies and venture funds. He provides advice to startups and venture capital funds to navigate overlapping corporate and regulatory issues. He earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

“As I have seen firsthand, Manatt’s interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial approach to client service is extremely effective, and I am excited to join this team to help with leading the expansion of the Firm’s blockchain capabilities and support our clients across all aspects of financial services and venture capital,” said Mr. Katz. “Innovation-focused companies and investors are at the forefront of my practice every day, and Manatt is the perfect platform for me to bring experience to bear for clients across the Firm. I look forward to leveraging my varied in-house, corporate and regulatory skills to further enhance the Firm’s reputation as the go-to adviser for companies at the frontlines of innovation.”

Legal Industry Awards and Recognition

The 2024 Chambers USA Guide recognized Greenberg Traurig’s Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice in Band 1 for Nationwide Privacy & Data Security: Highly Regarded for the fourth year in a row. The guide’s “Privacy & Data Security: Privacy” category also recognized shareholders Liz Harding and David A. Zetoony, co-chair of the U.S. Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice.

Chambers and Partners selects attorneys and practices for the guide based on thousands of interviews with practicing lawyers and clients on a global scale. Chambers USA provides legal data and analytics to inform buyers of legal services of the top lawyers and law firms in the United States. Overall, the 2024 Chambers USA Guide recognized 273 Greenberg Traurig attorneys.

Claire Weglarz, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, was elected to the Board of Directors of Trial Attorneys of America, a group of private practice attorneys and corporate counsel focused on the defense of products liability litigation. Membership in Trial Attorneys of America is by invitation only and is based on the recommendation of a member.

Ms. Weglarz is a member of Womble Bond Dickinson’s Product Liability Litigation team in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She represents energy, chemicals, manufacturing, automotive and consumer goods industry clients, and is involved in high-risk litigation on cases involving product liability, premises liability, environmental claims and toxic exposures to chemicals.

Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US recognized Andrea (Andie) S. Kramer in their 2024 nationwide rankings of leading tax lawyers. Specifically, Chambers USA included Ms. Kramer as a top tax and derivatives lawyer, and she was one of only four lawyers named to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame for Tax, Financial Products in the United States for 2024.

Ms. Kramer is a solo practitioner providing integrated legal counsel on regulatory, governance, commercial and tax matters to her clients.

“Each year, Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 conduct unbiased research on lawyers around the world—and their independence encourages us all to be better,” said Ms. Kramer. “It has been a strong, productive, and interesting 18 months for ASKramer Law—and our clients and colleagues have gone the extra mile with these ranking agencies to underscore our commitment to legal excellence and great service.”

BTI Consulting Group’s 2024 report recognized Jackson Lewis P.C. attorneys Stephanie Adler-Paindiris, Ross M. Gardner and Alessandro “Alex” G. Villanella as Client Service All-Stars. Attorneys are named as Client Service All-Stars for their client service excellence and commitment to fulfilling their clients’ needs. The BTI Client Service All-Stars list is based on feedback gathered from over 350 in-depth, confidential and unsolicited interviews.

Ms. Adler-Paindiris is a principal in the firm’s Orlando office, a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and co-leader of the firm’s Litigation group. She defends class and collective actions on behalf of employers and counsels clients on workplace challenges. Mr. Gardner is a principal in the firm’s Omaha office who represents management throughout traditional labor law and related litigation. Mr. Villanella is a principal in the firm’s Long Island office, whose practice focuses on collective bargaining, labor arbitration, contract administration and representation and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

“Stephanie, Ross and Alex are true champions of problem-solving for our clients,” said firm chair Kevin Lauri. “They understand exactly what clients need and effortlessly craft solutions that tackle immediate issues and safeguard against future challenges. They uphold the firm’s client service standards to the highest degree, and the entire firm congratulates them on this accomplishment.”

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. partner Allan M. Siegel was awarded the 2024 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. He received this honor at the association’s Annual Awards Dinner at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Siegel graduated magna cum laude in from The George Washington University and earned his J.D. from The George Washington University’s National Law Center. His practice is centered on personal injury cases related to automobile and commercial vehicle negligence, premises liability and medical malpractice. He is board-certified in civil trial law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an honor held by only 3% of attorneys in the United States.

Copyright ©2024 National Law Forum, LLC
by: The National Law Review Editorial Team, Catie Whalen of The National Law Review / The National Law Forum LLC – NLR
For more news on Law Firm Expansions and Legal Awards, visit the NLR Law Office Management section.

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