June 17, 2024

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December 2022 Legal Industry News Highlights Diversity and Inclusion

Happy New Year from the National Law Review! We hope you are remaining happy, safe, and healthy as 2022 ends and 2023 begins. We thank you for all the time you’ve spent with us this past year, and we are looking forward to an even brighter year coming up!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the National Law Review’s 2022 Go-To Thought Leadership Awards, which recognizes around 75 noteworthy thought leaders that have published with the NLR in the past year. Awardees have been selected for their high-quality writing, timely publication, and wide readerships! The NLR’s thought leadership awards go to a small subsection of our talented contributing authors, and we sincerely appreciate their part in providing the legal community a free to use, reliable news source.

Finally, please be sure to check out this year’s final episode of our Legal News Reach podcast: Creating A Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Work Environment with Stacey Sublett Halliday of Beveridge & Diamond! Also, a big shout out to Crissonna Tennison and Shelby Garrett for taking on the hosting duties of the NLR’s podcast.

Law Firm Hiring and Expansion

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (DGS) has announced the addition of six new partners: Andrea M. Bronson, who focuses her practice on environmental law and litigation; Nathan J. Goergen, who focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions; Jonathan M. Goldstein, who focuses his practice on real estate law; Almira Moronne, who focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions and financing; Alena Prokop, who focuses her practice on executive and equity compensation; and Daniel A. Richards, who focuses his practice on complex civil litigation.

“These six attorneys have shown an impressive level of dedication to the firm and to the community we serve,” said Davis Graham & Stubbs Co-Managing Partner Kristin L. Lentz. “Their professionalism, experience, and commitment to our clients make them valuable additions to the firm’s partnership. We wish them all the best in this exciting next chapter in their careers as lawyers at DGS.”

Rob McFadden has joined Hill Ward Henderson as Senior Counsel. A commercial real estate attorney, Mr. McFadden’s practice is primarily focused on representing clients in commercial development work with an emphasis on retail, office, industrial and ground leases. He provides clients with practical advice and solutions that safeguard their interests while furthering their business objectives.

Hill Ward Henderson has also added four new associates: Ana Abado, who focuses her practice on general commercial litigation; Ezichi Chukwu, who focuses her practices on commercial leasing and real estate acquisitions; Matthew Kelly, who focuses his practice on real estate transactions and development agreements; and Tyler Miller, who focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, and private equity.

Laquan T. Lightfoot has joined Goldberg Segalla’s Transportation and Civil Litigation and Trial groups in Philadelphia. Ms. Lightfoot focuses her practice on a wide array of civil litigation matters, with a particular focus on transportation law. She has also formerly litigated in a variety of fields, including product liability, premises liability, premises security, motor vehicle accident, catastrophic injury, and employment law matters.

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Lightfoot serves as an arbitrator with the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Compulsory Arbitration Program adjudicating various civil disputes. Before entering private practice, Lightfoot served as an assistant district attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where she was assigned to Major Trials of the Southwest Division.

Blank Rome LLP has added twelve new partners, as well as four new counsel, effective as of January 1st, 2023. The following attorneys were selected:

“We are thrilled to announce our firm’s 2023 elevated class,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “This group’s demonstrated talent, stellar client service, diverse backgrounds, and collaborative leadership and teamwork in their respective practice areas reflects Blank Rome’s commitment to recruiting, supporting, and advancing talented attorneys who will not only help our firm continue to grow and succeed, but also elevate the next successful generation of legal industry professionals.

Awards and Recognition for Law Firms

Sean C. Griffin, a member at Dykema Gossett PLLC in Washington, D.C., has joined the International Association of Defense Counsel, a highly-recognized, invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests. Mr. Griffin, a former trial attorney for the Department of Justice, represents government contractors, law firms, construction companies, and other businesses in complicated contract litigation. He additionally serves as the senior director at the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel.

“I look forward to my membership with the IADC and the opportunity to contribute to this global association of preeminent attorneys,” Mr. Griffin said. “I am excited to meet my fellow members.”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP attorney Roger Lee has been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal in its annual list of “Leaders of Influence: Thriving in Their 40s.” The list, which specifically honors leading business professionals between the ages of 40 and 49, covers Mr. Lee’s noteworthy representation of Bushfire Kitchen in its new partnership with leading private investment firm CapitalSpring to fuel Bushfire’s growth in Southern California and beyond.

Mr. Lee is senior counsel at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles. His practice is primarily focused on advising emerging growth and middle market companies in a wide variety of transactions, including buy and sell side mergers and acquisitions, mezzanine and senior debt financing transactions, and asset-based financing transactions. Notably, Mr. Lee was also recognized as a 2022 Go-To Thought Leader by the National Law Review for his coverage of President Biden’s Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act.

John Rolecki of Varnum LLP has been named to the Privacy Bar Section Advisory Board for the International Association of Privacy Professionals, a not-for-profit association committed to providing a forum for privacy professionals. As the world’s largest information privacy organization, the IAPP is dedicated to defining, promoting, and improving the privacy profession globally by allowing professionals to share best practices, track trends, and advance privacy management issues.

Mr. Rolecki is a partner in Varnum’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice. Primarily, he advises leading technology companies on emerging domestic and international data privacy regulations, and additionally provides counsel on matters such as data breach responses and ransomware situations.

Legal Industry Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion News

Emily Burkhardt Vicente, a labor and employment partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, and Jane Hinton, a real estate investment and finance partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, were recognized as 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Visionaries in The Los Angeles Times’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility magazine. This publication recognizes diverse business leaders who inspire change and exhibit achievements both within their organizations and the community at large through actionable programs and initiatives impacting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Ms. Hinton focuses her practice primarily on real estate transactions, which includes joint ventures, acquisitions, and leasing and portfolio property management. She places a particular emphasis on structuring debt and equity transactions. Ms. Vicente co-chairs the firm’s labor and employment group, focusing her practice primarily on complex employment litigation (such as California and FLSA wage and hour class and collective actions), PAGA actions, and employment discrimination class actions.

Recently, a number of lawyers and legal professionals have been named to the Lawyers of Color 2022 Hot List. Four attorneys at Foley & Lardner LLP have been named to the list, including partner Senayt Rahwa, senior counsel Olivia Singelmann, and associates Elizabeth Nevle and Jennifer Park. The publication is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession, as well as advancing democracy and equality in marginalized communities.

Ms. Rahwa and Ms. Singelmann are both located in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Rahwa focuses her practice on finance and financial institutions, whereas Ms. Singelman focuses her practice on government enforcement defense, investigations, and business litigation. Ms. Nevle, located in the firm’s Houston office, focuses her practice on business litigation and dispute resolution. Ms. Park, located in the firm’s Chicago office, focuses her practice on business litigation and dispute resolution as well.

Katten’s Fabiola Valenzuela has also been added to the Lawyers of Color 2022 Hot List. Ms. Valenzuela concentrates her practice on structuring, negotiating and documenting business transactions, previously representing companies and investors through the entire corporate life cycle. She places particular focus on formations, mergers, acquisitions, venture capital financings, and corporate governance.

At the firm, Ms. Valenzuela also maintains an active pro bono practice, handling, among other matters, cases involving minors in federal immigration and deportation proceedings.

Moore & Van Allen’s (MVA) Jules W. Carter has also been named to the 2022 Lawyers of Color Hot List. Located in the firm’s Charlotte office, Ms. Carter concentrates on financial regulatory compliance issues, helping clients navigate complex regulatory environments and pursue business strategies that balance innovation with risk-awareness.

“Making the Lawyers of Color Annual Hot List is a prestigious and well-deserved honor for Jules,” said Thomas L. Mitchell, MVA’s managing partner and chair of the firm’s Management Committee. “We are proud of Jules’ commitment to provide sophisticated litigation and regulatory services to our clients, and grateful for her leadership as the chair of the firm’s Black Attorney Resource Group.”


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National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 363