Former FDA Chief Counsel Rejoins Sidley as Practice Leader in Washington, D.C.

Rebecca “Becky” Wood, former chief counsel to the Food and Drug Administration, has rejoined Sidley Austin LLP as a partner.

The firm announced Wood will co-lead both the firm’s Food, Drug, and Medical Device Regulatory practice and its FDA group in Washington with partner Coleen Klasmeier.

Wood previously served as Chief Counsel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Associate General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, Department of Health & Human Services. She will focus her practice on providing counsel on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious FDA regulatory and litigation issues to clients in the life sciences industry and private equity firms investing in the area.

In her role as Chief Counsel to the FDA, Wood served on Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s leadership team. She was the principal legal advisor on major initiatives, including efforts to streamline the drug and device development and approval process, modernize the agency’s regulatory framework, combat addiction to opioids and nicotine, enhance the product safety and labeling of food and medical products, and address drug pricing. She served as a liaison to the Department of Justice and the White House and advised agency leadership on legislative matters. She also focused on First Amendment and preemption issues.

“We are delighted that Becky is rejoining us,” said Klasmeier. “Regulatory insight is at the core of our life sciences practice. Based on both her long experience in the industry and her role as the lead legal advisor to the FDA during a transformational period, Becky will enhance our ability to offer deep strategic insight into the complex regulatory issues facing our clients and to defend our clients’ conduct when challenged. Becky’s perspective on the rapidly changing regulatory environment is unique.”

Prior to joining the FDA in 2017, Wood served as a partner at Sidley for more than a decade. She focused her practice on district court and appellate litigation arising under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the United States Constitution, including managing class actions and multi-plaintiff cases. Earlier in her career, she served as a law clerk to Judge Pasco M. Bowman II of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

“Becky is an extraordinarily accomplished litigator,” said Mark Hopson, global co-chair of Sidley’s litigation practice and managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office. “The intersection of her premier regulatory and litigation practices will greatly bolster the firm’s capabilities to help clients across a wide spectrum of legal areas.”

 

 




FisherBroyles Adds Partner Charles Geitner in Florida

Charles (Chuck) Geitner has joined FisherBroyles, LLP as a partner and litigator in the firm’s Naples, Florida, office.

“We are delighted to welcome Chuck to FisherBroyles in Florida and to our team of highly successful litigators who serve our clients across 21 offices nationwide,” said FisherBroyles General Counsel and Managing Partner of Litigation Joel M. Ferdinand. “Chuck brings more than two decades of litigation experience in state and federal courts and a valuable business acumen from his prior work in the banking industry.”

Geitner said, “It is a great joy to join FisherBroyles and work alongside the firm’s talented attorneys who all are committed to delivering high quality legal services and value to our clients.”

The firm said Geitner represents clients in a variety of complex commercial disputes, class actions, and regulatory matters. He advises and assists businesses in protecting their trademarks, service marks and trade secrets, and structures contracts for employees who handle sensitive and confidential business information. He also litigates cases on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants under the Lanham Act, and in relation to patent, copyright and trademark infringement. In addition, Geitner defends professionals in the legal, insurance and technology industries against officer and director liability, errors and omissions claims, and professional malpractice claims. His clients include banks, warranty companies, real estate developers, manufacturers, insurance agencies and professionals, medical equipment suppliers, e-commerce companies, and consulting firms. In particular, he serves as counsel to publicly traded auto retail groups and privately-owned auto dealerships, advising on issues including regulatory and licensing compliance, sales and finance disclosure, leasing disclosure, sales and use tax audits, and franchise rights.

Most recently, Geitner was a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP. Prior to his law career, he was a vice president, bank manager and loan officer with First Union National Bank (n/k/a Wells Fargo).

Geitner received his J.D. (cum laude) from Stetson University College of Law and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (summa cum laude) from the University of Central Florida.

 

 




Perkins Coie Adds Insurance Recovery Lawyers in Dallas

John Hardin has joined Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery practice as a partner in the Dallas office. He is joined by Skyler Howton, an associate in the Insurance Recovery practice.

The firm said Hardin handles complex commercial litigation and has experience in resolving complex insurance recovery disputes for corporate policyholders. He advises clients on topics including policy language, claim submission and growing areas of conflict, such as cyber liability.

“John has an impressive depth of knowledge and experience in complex litigation, particularly related to insurance coverage in Texas,” said Robert Jacobs, Firmwide Chair of Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery practice. “The state has been an active jurisdiction for these kinds of cases for some time now, and as we continue to help clients navigate related concerns, John’s background will make him an invaluable asset to our team.”

Hardin’s litigation work also extends into real estate litigation, where he advises clients on matters ranging from traditional disputes to cross-jurisdictional litigation in administrative, arbitration and courtroom settings. He joins Perkins Coie from K&L Gates, where he led the firm’s Global Real Estate Litigation Group.

“We’ve watched the Dallas economy continue to grow, and we anticipate complex client queries will only increase in tandem with it,” said Bobby Majumder, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Dallas office. “John has a proven track record as an exceptional litigator, and since real estate and insurance issues tend to impact nearly every industry, his background will immediately enhance our cross-practice capabilities in Dallas.”

Hardin received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, and his B.S., cum laude, from Middle Tennessee State University.

 

 




Former CFPB and JPMorgan Chase Bank Executives Join Hogan Lovells

Akerman LLP announced additions to its Consumer Financial Services Practice Group with partners Eric Goldberg and Erica Stein. Goldberg joins the firm from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he served as Managing Counsel for Regulations, and Stein joins from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., where she was Vice President and Assistant General Counsel.

“Eric and Erica are exceptional lawyers with impressive financial services backgrounds,” said William Heller, chair of the Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. “Their combined experience as a former regulator and as a former in-house counsel make them powerful additions to our national team, particularly relating to payment systems and litigation in every state and all risk levels.”

The firm said Goldberg advises clients on a range of consumer financial services issues primarily relating to payments and fintech. His work focuses on both legacy payment systems such as debit and credit cards and emerging technologies such as mobile payments and prepaid cards. Prior to joining Akerman, Goldberg was Managing Counsel for Regulations at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he led the agency’s payments regulatory work. At Akerman, Goldberg will concentrate on federal and state regulatory issues impacting providers of deposit accounts and emerging payment services, including prepaid cards and money transfers. He will also advise on credit products including credit cards and on fintech products such as those involving virtual currency, blockchain, and consumer data aggregation services. Relatedly, Goldberg will be evaluating UDAAP risk and counseling clients on issues arising under EFTA, TILA, TISA, EFAA, GLBA, BSA, MLA, and the Dodd-Frank and FTC Acts.

Stein has experience as in-house counsel at JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and previously with Akerman, defending a wide variety of financial services litigation, from individual disputes to class actions, in state and federal courts nationwide. She regularly defends financial services providers from claims (high volume to high stakes) brought pursuant to RESPA, TILA, FCRA, FDCPA, and TCPA. Erica also defends mortgage lenders, servicers, investors, and other financial services providers against borrower complaints alleging wrongful foreclosure and violations of state statutes, as well as operationalizing compliance with those state laws.

In recent weeks, Akerman also attracted partner Lori Nugent to the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group. Joining from Greenberg Traurig in Dallas, she serves as co-chair of Akerman’s Privacy, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies Team.

 

 




GE Capital Counsel Joins Hogan Lovells Bankruptcy and Restructuring Team

Douglas Taber has joined Hogan Lovells’ Business Restructuring and Insolvency (BRI) practice as partner in its New York office. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Taber served as Lead Executive Counsel, Restructuring & Banking, at GE Capital.

Taber’s arrival follows that of Rick Wynne, Bennett Spiegel, and Erin Brady to the firm’s BRI practice in April.

“We have been strategically expanding our BRI practice and the banking practice nationwide to provide lender-side restructuring advice,” said Chris Donoho, co-head of the firm’s US BRI practice. “Doug’s experience and reputation in New York will enable us to continue our strong performance in a very competitive market.”

Taber spent over 17 years at GE Capital, first as Managing Director and General Counsel responsible for restructurings at GE Capital Corporate Financial Services, then as Head Executive Counsel at GE Capital, including throughout the financial crisis. At GE Capital he managed GE Capital’s largest and most complex US bankruptcies, cross border insolvencies and out-of-court restructurings.

Taber began his legal career in 1988 at Goldberg Kohn Ltd., where he served as an associate until 1995 before accepting an invitation to join the partnership. He spent five years as a partner before going in-house to GE Capital.

The firm said Taber also has experience in commercial finance, corporate governance and M&A. His tenure at GE Capital coincided with the introduction of a significant amount of new regulations created by the Dodd Frank Act, and he acted as the lead internal counsel on GE Capital’s Dodd Frank resolution plan.

Taber earned his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, an MA in Teaching (English) from the University of Chicago, and BA in English summa cum laude from Bowdoin College. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

 

 




Deal Lawyer Christina Marshall Returns to Haynes and Boone

Christina Marshall, a former corporate partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP, is returning to the firm following a stint as executive vice president and general counsel at Chalak Mitra Group of Companies, a Dallas-based group of investment companies focused in the hospitality and sports industries.

Marshall will serve as a partner in Haynes and Boone’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group, where she will focus on advising companies in connection with middle market mergers and acquisitions and other corporate strategic transactions.

“We are excited to have Christina return to Haynes and Boone and help us expand our middle market corporate strategic acquisitions practice,” said M&A Partner Jennifer Wisinski. “Having worked in-house, Christina has a keen understanding of what clients expect from their lawyers. She is also a proven mentor who can help us train and develop our younger lawyers as she leads deal teams through the acquisition process.”

Marshall handled legal and business issues at Chalak Mitra Group of Companies, including the purchase and sale of assets, management of the group’s litigation docket, and oversight of several departments including human resources and risk management. She later served as a principal at Dallas law firm Keating Marshall PLLC, where she advised clients on M&A matters and other business transactions, including joint ventures, securities law issues, and debt and equity offerings.

“I have missed Haynes and Boone since I left and am very excited to return. I have many close colleagues and a deep appreciation for the firm’s client-first and teamwork culture,” Marshall said. “I look forward to furthering Haynes and Boone’s commitment to partnering with clients to provide the tailored, practical and comprehensive business solutions that I know companies covet.”

 

 




Blank Rome Signs New Chief Innovation & Value Officer Linda Novosel

Linda Novosel has joined Blank Rome LLP as its first Chief Innovation & Value Officer. Novosel joined Blank Rome from Steptoe & Johnson LLP where she served as the firm’s Chief Client Value Officer. Novosel is based in the firm’s Philadelphia office.

“We are delighted to welcome Linda to Blank Rome,” said Alan J. Hoffman, Chairman and Managing Partner. “We are committed to partnering with our clients to develop and deliver innovative and efficient services, and are confident that Linda’s proven experience in strategic pricing and legal project management will further enhance our efforts in these critical areas.”

The firm said that, in this new role at Blank Rome, Novosel will develop solutions to drive efficiency and enhance client service through the implementation of collaborative systems and processes to support litigation, transactional, and regulatory compliance matters and projects. With more than 25 years of experience in the legal industry, Novosel has held senior management positions at several AmLaw 100 firms where she was responsible for pricing, practice management, process improvement, and legal project management.

“I am honored to join Blank Rome as its first Chief Innovation & Value Officer,” said Novosel. “As the firm continues to grow impressively—geographically as well as through its expanding practice capabilities and client reach—it is critical that we continually adapt our legal services delivery to align with our clients’ ever-changing needs. I look forward to collaborating with Blank Rome’s leadership team, attorneys, administrative departments, and professionals to build upon the firm’s impressive accomplishments, support our clients, and advance our long-term strategic goals.”

“Our main goal is to maximize the value we offer to our clients. We continue to make significant investments in strategic pricing and LPM, as they are areas of critical importance to our clients and firm,” added Patrick O. Cavanaugh, Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Blank Rome. “Under her direction, we will continue to improve the efficiencies and cost-effectiveness of our client service efforts. I look forward to collaborating with Linda on advancing these objectives as well as overseeing their successful implementation.”

Novosel received her J.D., cum laude, from Widener University School of Law where she served as an editor of the Widener Journal of Public Law and was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. She earned her B.A. in International Relations from Bucknell University.

 

 




Perkins Coie Adds Healthcare Practitioners to White Collar & Investigations Practice

Richard (Rick) A. Hosley and Chandra K. Westergaard have joined Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations practice as partner and senior counsel, respectively. Both Denver-based attorneys come from firm client DaVita, a FORTUNE 200 healthcare company.

“Rick and Chandra are true white collar all-stars with substantial white collar pedigrees,” said Markus Funk, Denver-based Firmwide Chair of Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations practice. “Their industry-leading, in-house, government and private practice experience will make them sought-after advisors and counselors and will significantly contribute to our group’s regional and national strength.”

During his tenure at DaVita, Hosley served as Associate General Counsel and Vice President in Charge of Litigation and managed a legal team of more than 20 professionals responsible for legal matters across the global enterprise, including complex commercial litigation, government investigations and enforcement actions, internal compliance investigations, shareholder derivative suits and securities class actions, among others. In 2017, Hosley was named “People’s Choice” for “Best In-House Counsel” by Law Week Colorado.

Prior to his time at DaVita, Hosley served as a United States Marine Corps Officer and Judge Advocate, operating in various positions including Chief Trial Counsel and Senior Defense Counsel at Marine Corps installations in Japan. Hosley also served a combat tour in Iraq as the Battalion Judge Advocate for 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division. During his deployment, Hosley participated in combat operations in the Al Anbar Province, worked with tribal leaders and local officials to reestablish government functions in Western Iraq, and served as a polling site observer during the 2005 Iraq Constitutional Referendum, the firm said in a release.

After his active-duty service in the Marine Corps, Hosley worked in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Districts of Montana and Colorado and served as Chief of the Major Crimes Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver. As a federal prosecutor, he tried more than 20 U.S. District Court trials and drafted and argued appeals to U.S. Courts of Appeals. As Chief of Major Crimes for Colorado, he led a team of federal prosecutors and agents and supervised hundreds of federal investigations. He received the DOJ’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance in 2013. Following his DOJ service and prior to joining DaVita, Hosley gained private practice experience as a white collar and litigation partner at Hogan Lovells.

The firm said Hosley’s practice at Perkins Coie has an emphasis on healthcare and focuses on government civil and criminal investigations, False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute enforcement actions and qui tam litigation, privileged internal compliance investigations, including allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, shareholder derivative suits and securities class actions, and complex commercial litigation and trials. Hosleyreceived his J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and his B.A. from Drake University.

As Assistant General Counsel and Head of Investigations for DaVita, Westergaard supervised and managed a team of attorneys and legal professionals and was responsible for some of the company’s most important legal matters, including internal healthcare compliance investigations, DOJ and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services investigations and enforcement actions, and False Claims Act qui tam litigation. Prior to her time with DaVita, Westergaard was a member of Crowell & Moring’s healthcare group, where she represented healthcare providers and managed healthcare organizations on a wide range of fraud and abuse, compliance and regulatory matters, including investigations and enforcement actions.

Westergaard’s practice at Perkins Coie focuses on healthcare regulatory and compliance guidance, government civil and criminal investigations, False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute enforcement actions and qui tam litigation, privileged internal compliance investigations, including allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, and civil litigation. She received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a double B.A., cum laude, from McDaniel College.

“The addition of Rick and Chandra to the Denver office provides us a national bench strength and reputation in the healthcare regulatory market,” said Sonny Allison, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Denver office. “They are an exceptionally talented team, which will allow us to attract significant work on a regional and national level and put us into solid contention for highly sought-after healthcare investigation matters.”

The two join former federal prosecutor Markus Funk, retired Colorado Chief Justice Mike Bender, counsel Chelsea Curfman, and various associates that make up Denver’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice, the firm said.

 

 




FisherBroyles Adds New IP Partners

FisherBroyles, LLP announced the additions of Greg Fettig, Kevin Jablonski and Michael W. Russell as partners and registered patent attorneys in the firm’s Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group. The attorneys are based in the Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C., offices, respectively.

Since April, the firm has added four new IP partners in Washington and one each in Atlanta; Denver; Los Angeles; Palo Alto, Calif.; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

“Steady growth this year has significantly increased the depth and scope of our IP services for clients as well as our overall bench strength,” said T.J. DoVale, managing partner of the FisherBroyles Intellectual Property Practice Group. “Greg, Kevin and Michael bring diverse law firm and in-house experiences, as well as valuable technical backgrounds, to what has quickly become one of the top IP law groups in the nation.”

Fettig said, “This is an exciting time to be joining FisherBroyles and I look forward to working with our team of dedicated partners serving the firm’s expanding roster of IP clients.”

Jablonski added, “I believe my practice is perfectly suited to the unique model FisherBroyles offers for delivering optimal client service across diverse practice areas.”

Russell said, “I am thrilled to join the FisherBroyles bench of former ‘Big Law’ attorneys and help continue to grow the firm’s stellar reputation as a leader in intellectual property, including patent law.”

The firm said Fettig has more than 17 years of legal experience working as both an in-house patent agent and outside patent counsel in patent preparation and prosecution. His experience involves computer systems, computer software applications, directed energy weapon systems, optical systems, lidar systems, signal processing, communication networks, data storage systems and devices, semiconductor devices and fabrication processes, integrated circuit devices and fabrication processes, production printing systems and print controllers, cable television systems and networks, aerospace, and mechanical devices. Fettig also has experience in other IP areas, including Inter Partes reviews, non-infringement opinions, patentability searches, freedom-to-operate opinions, trademarks, and IP due diligence.

Prior to joining FisherBroyles, Fettig worked at law firms in Boulder, Colo. Most recently, he was a named partner at Duft Bornsen & Fettig LLP. Before his law career, he worked as an electrical engineer for Motorola and General Dynamics in the defense sector. He also is a U.S. Air Force veteran and has provided pro bono legal work to veterans.

Fettig received his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jablonski focuses on patent portfolio development and patent prosecution. His practice also includes IP licensing, copyrights and trademarks. He has experience in technology areas such as semiconductor design, analog and digital circuits, LTE Wireless, computer networking, digital communication systems, computer-related business methods, interactive software solutions, aircraft manufacturing systems, IoT systems, and computer architecture solutions. In addition, Jablonski has a technical focus in the audio arts and sciences, as well as audio-related technologies.

Jablonski most recently was a shareholder at Lane Powell PC in Seattle. In addition, he is involved in numerous professional groups and formerly served as president of the Washington State Patent Law Association and as a board member of the Audio Engineering Society Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Jablonski received his J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Gonzaga University.

Russell has more than a decade of experience in patent preparation and prosecution, patentability and risk assessment evaluations, portfolio management, and client counseling. He has prepared and prosecuted numerous applications across a wide range of technical disciplines, including semiconductor device processing, catalysis, filtration, optics, sensors, and paper products.

Previously, Russell was a patent examiner with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. He also formerly practiced at the law firms Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser; Crowell & Moring LLP; Buchanan Ingersoll; and Pennie & Edmonds. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Russell was a process development engineer at ATMI, Inc. in Danbury, Conn. He was awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship at the National University of Rosario in Rosario, Argentina, and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. In addition, Russell is listed as a co-inventor on 11 U.S. patents.

Russell received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds a doctorate and a Master of Science, both in materials engineering from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

 




Quarles & Brady Opens New Downtown Minneapolis Office

The law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced that it is expanding its presence in Minnesota with the opening of a full-service downtown Minneapolis office this month, the firm’s 11th location nationwide. The new office is located in theFifth Street Towers at 150 South 5th Street, Suite 1800.

“For many years we have serviced Minnesota-based clients from current and remote offices but as our work in the state continues to expand, the time was right to invest in a full-service downtown office location,” said Firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “As a firm with deep Midwest roots but a national presence and client base, Minneapolis is a great location for us to grow.”

Four current Quarles & Brady attorneys as well as an administrative team will operate from the location when it opens, including: Daniel Young, a partner specializing in Business Law, Isaac Roang, a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Law practice, Peter Kaiser, a business law attorney, and Michael Larson, an attorney in Quarles & Brady’s Intellectual Property practice.

“We’re building upon what we’ve started here in Minneapolis. Quarles & Brady has 11 attorneys admitted to practice in the state, and we have been serving clients here for years,” Young said. “I’m glad we will now have a dedicated office downtown to facilitate further growth.”

The firm’s Minnesota client base encompasses emerging businesses and many well-known companies in the manufacturing, technology, real estate, finance and healthcare industries, among others.

According to Young, who is involved in leadership positions across several Minneapolis charities, higher education initiatives and community groups, Quarles & Brady intends to continue to be an active member of the Minneapolis community and even expand that commitment as its presence grows. Quarles & Brady has a long history of community service, including supporting and sustaining its local communities through its Quarles Cares program and pro bono services.

 

 




R Delacy Peters Joins Segal McCambridge in Chicago Office

R Delacy Peters has joined Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, Ltd. in a full time of counsel position in the firm’s Chicago office.

“Delacy brings a wealth of experience working with clients whose needs mirror those of our current clients, in addition to specialized knowledge and experience in areas that will help the firm continue the diversification of its litigation practice. In addition to his well-honed litigation skills, Delacy has the knowledge, background and capacity to counsel and assist clients in transactional matters as well,” stated Managing Shareholder Mark Crane. “Delacy’s career-long focus in complex business matters and his successful practice in the food and beverage space will be great assets to our clients as the firm continues with its plans for growth.”

In a release, the firm said Peters has almost 30 years of experience defending and counseling clients in complex commercial matters. One of the primary focuses of his practice is Food and Beverage Law, including food safety litigation, regulatory compliance requirements, employment and real estate issues. He has represented global food and beverage companies, as well as food processors, manufacturers, suppliers, growers and producers, retailers, restaurants, warehouse clubs, wholesalers and distributors. Mr. Peters will co-chair the firm’s Food and Beverage Law Practice Group.

“Segal McCambridge is a firm I’ve been acquainted with since the start of my career. I’ve long admired the manner in which their attorneys practice, and I’m looking forward to joining them as the firm continues to grow,” Peters stated. “The firm offers tremendous opportunities for expansion of a national practice which will be a great asset in servicing my existing clients and in growing my practice further.”

The firm said Peters has represented clients in complex litigation matters involving antitrust and trade regulation, fraud and deceptive practices, insurance coverage, securities law violations, professional liability claims, products liability, catastrophic injury, commercial contract disputes, franchise and dealership law, toxic tort and environmental law, entertainment law, intellectual property and class action defense. Peters has also represented municipal clients in litigation and in public finance matters.

Peters obtained his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law and completed studies at IIT Chicago Kent College of Law in furtherance of an LLM in Financial Services Law. He received his B.S. from the University of Baltimore.

 

 




Buchalter Adds Two Lawyers to New Seattle Office

After announcing the opening of a new office earlier this year, Buchalter announced that Tonie L. Bitseff and James E. Brown II have joined its growing Seattle office. Bitseff will be a member of the firm-wide Labor and Employment Practice, and Brown a member of both Buchalter’s Intellectual Property and Energy & Natural Resources Practices.

“Tonie and James are welcome additions to our Seattle office. I am confident they will each make significant contributions to the local office culture and firm,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Adam J. Bass. “I look forward to expanding our footprint in the Puget Sound region.”

Bitseff advises clients on health benefits, pension plans, and other forms of compensation and employee benefits. Her clients seek guidance on welfare plans, defined benefit plans, benefit outsourcing, vendor management, contract negotiations, dependent and domestic partner coverage and rights, ERISA fiduciary liability, ERISA claims procedures, appeals, escalations, and government audits.

Focusing his practice on energy regulatory matters, compliance, contracts and complex litigation, Brown’s experience includes providing strategic legal analysis and advice on a number of issues, including distributed generation and renewable energy, smart grid technology, mergers and acquisitions of utility companies, government rulemakings, easements, construction of environmental structures, privacy and data security (including GDPR), and first amendment rights on public property.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tonie and James to Buchalter and the Seattle office. Their impressive experience and unique backgrounds enable us to offer additional legal services to our clients in the Pacific Northwest,” said Seattle Managing Shareholder Jeffrey Frank.

Earning her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 1996, Bitseff also received her LL.M. in Taxation and Compensation from the University Of Washington School Of Law. She earned her B.A. in Speech Communications from the University of Washington.

Brown earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. in Banking and Finance from Morehouse College.

 

 




Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax Joins Morrison & Foerster

Justin Fairfax has joined Morrison & Foerster in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. offices, as a partner in its Commercial Litigation, Trials, and Investigations + White Collar Defense groups.

Fairfax will separately perform his duties as Virginia lieutenant governor, which is a part-time role under Virginia law. Fairfax is a former federal prosecutor who served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Eastern District of Virginia and has prior experience at national and international law firms.

The firm said in a release that Fairfax gained national prominence after he was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia in November 2017, making him only the second African-American to be elected to statewide office in Virginia. In his role as lieutenant governor, he presides over the Senate of Virginia and serves on various boards and commissions. Fairfax is one of the youngest individuals in the country to hold the position of lieutenant governor.

“Justin is a rising star whose addition highlights the firm’s strategy of hiring experienced lawyers who understand government and the private sector,” said Brad Wine, co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. “His impressive background strengthens our national and regional commercial litigation, enforcement, and investigations capabilities. Justin will help us continue to meet our clients’ needs as we further expand our presence in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.”

While serving as an AUSA, Fairfax was part of the office’s major crimes and narcotics unit, where he prosecuted a wide range of federal felony offenses, including embezzlement, fraud, and human trafficking. In private practice, he litigated a variety of commercial and white-collar cases in federal and Virginia state courts. He worked on matters relating to securities litigation, Foreign Agents Registration Act investigations, and wire fraud prosecutions, among others. Fairfax has served as a law clerk to the recently retired Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Justin brings to Morrison & Foerster strong familiarity with the government, a keen understanding of clients’ needs, and impressive experience litigating complex matters,” said Charlie Katz, managing partner of the firm’s Northern Virginia office. “His experience in the Eastern District and Virginia State courts further expands the litigation practice of our Northern Virginia office and will be critical to clients facing commercial disputes, investigations, and other high-stakes matters.”

“Morrison & Foerster offers the ideal destination to restart my private practice and work on important domestic and international matters,” added Fairfax. “The firm has an outstanding reputation for its litigation work, and a national and global footprint in many of the industries where I plan to focus my practice. In this regard, I have maintained and will continue to maintain, close contact with relevant ethics officials to ensure that my joining, and work with, the firm will not present any conflicts of interest with my role as Lt. Governor or with the Commonwealth of Virginia. I’m excited to enter this next phase of my legal career and to continue the tremendous work I’ve had the privilege of doing as Lt. Governor on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

In July, the firm announced that John E. Smith, former director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, had joined as a co-head of its National Security Practice, and Lisa Phelan, former chief of the National Criminal Enforcement and Washington Criminal I Sections of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice, had joined as a partner in its Global Antitrust Law Practice. Other senior U.S. government officials who have joined Morrison & Foerster in recent years to further build regulatory, compliance, and investigations practices include John Carlin, Bob Litt and David Newman to grow the firm’s Global Risk & Crisis Management Group and National Security Practice; Chuck Duross and James Koukios to expand the firm’s FCPA and Anti-Corruption Practice; and Michael Birnbaum, Carrie Cohen and Joshua Hill to further enhance the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Practice Group.

 

 




Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to Offer Insights on Leadership at Dallas Event

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak in Dallas on Sept. 26, 2018, as part of her national tour a week after the release of her new book, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.” The program is presented in partnership between the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and the Dallas Museum of Art, and its sole sponsor is the law firm of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP.

“Ms. Goodwin is on everybody’s short list of America’s greatest historians. Every appearance she has made in Dallas over the last two decades has sold out quickly. We expect the same with this event and are pleased to help make her upcoming program in Dallas a success,” said Shackelford partner Talmage Boston, who will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. “‘Leadership’ reflects an expansion of certain points made in her previous biographies of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, bringing together five decades of her research and analysis, and providing specific takeaway points on leadership that should inspire actual and aspiring leaders with lessons gained from some of America’s greatest presidential leaders.”

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Rd., Dallas. Tickets are available through the DMA and the World Affairs Council. A copy of Goodwin’s book “Leadership: In Turbulent Times” is included in the price of admission. For more information visit https://www.dma.org/programs/event/doris-kearns-goodwin or https://www.dfwworld.org/events.

The World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth is dedicated to providing relevant information about global issues, challenges, and opportunities while establishing North Texas as a center for international interests and business.

The Dallas Museum of Art Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim.

 

 




Perkins Coie Adds Trademark Litigator in Palo Alto

Britt Anderson has joined Perkins Coie’s Trademark, Copyright, Media & Brand Protection practice as a partner in the Palo Alto office. This is the firm’s latest lateral partner addition in Palo Alto, following the arrival of recent laterals including Matt Oshinsky, Adrian Rich and Wendy Moore, the firm said in a release.

A California native, Anderson has been practicing intellectual property law for nearly two decades. His client representation includes trademark and copyright issues, domain name, advertising, and related commercial and litigation matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and various federal and state courts. Additionally, he has experience in the enforcement and defense of their trademark and IP rights and foreign civil infringement matters in non-U.S. jurisdictions.

“Our trademark efforts are a natural result of our existing corporate and IP work being managed by our patent litigators and emerging company lawyers in the Bay Area,” said Lowell Ness, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto office. “Britt is highly qualified, and we’re thrilled to add him as a strong resource to our team and the clients we serve.”

Prior to his career in law, Anderson worked at an international logistics company where he helped launch its international division, opened its first European offices and handled contract negotiations, among other responsibilities.

“The technology focus of Britt’s practice is a natural fit for Perkins Coie’s Bay Area client base,” said James Vana, Firmwide Chair of Perkins Coie’s Trademark, Copyright, Media & Brand Protection practice. “Britt offers the right expertise, practice focus and interests to establish and grow a strong California trademark practice for the firm.”

Anderson earned his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, where he also served as Managing Editor of the Santa Clara Law Review. He received his M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Anderson was previously a partner at K&L Gates.

 

 




Michael Best Adds Litigation Attorney in Chicago

Sarah K. Lash has joined Michael Best’s Chicago office as senior counsel in the Litigation Practice Group.

The firm said Lash represents clients in the banking and financial services industry, ranging from local credit unions to national banking institutions. Her experience includes appearing in both state and federal court in bankruptcy matters, residential and commercial mortgage foreclosure cases, title claims, breach of contract actions, consumer compliance, and replevin/detinue matters.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Sarah to our team,” said John Scheller, Litigation Practice Group Chair. “Sarah isan outstanding addition and will enhance the scope of our litigation counsel for our banking and financial services clients.”

In addition, Lash focuses her practice on SBA related litigation and compliance issues. Lash regularly publishes articles regarding SBA related compliance and regulatory issues and is a regular at the annual NAGGL conferences.

Prior to joining Michael Best, Lash was a partner at a Midwest-based firm, where she managed a team of attorneys in its New York and Chicago offices. Lash earned her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 2009 and received her B.A. and B.S., cum laude, from Ball State University in 2006.

 

 




Seyfarth Expands Construction Practice with P3 Lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP announced the arrival of partner Charles E. “Chuck” Wall to the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) group and Construction practice in Washington, D.C. Wall joins from Troutman Sanders LLP, where he was a partner in Richmond, Virginia.

The firm said Wall’s P3 practice focuses on advising project stakeholders in the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of large-scale public infrastructure development projects. These projects, many of which involve long-term concessions with construction valued in the billions, include airports, highways, bridges, tunnels, transit, water/wastewater systems and other facilities.

“Chuck is a recognized leader in the P3 field and has successfully guided some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the U.S.,” said Bennett Greenberg, co-chair of Seyfarth’s Construction practice. “The number and size of P3 projects is increasing substantially each year, in both the transportation and social infrastructure sectors. Chuck significantly expands our team’s reach and P3 capabilities.”

In addition to his P3 and infrastructure development practices, Wall advises clients on a broad range of construction and corporate matters, including design-build and other construction-related contracts, joint venture agreements and teaming arrangements.

“Chuck is an exceptional talent and a tremendous addition to the D.C. office,” said Robert Bodansky, managing partner of Seyfarth’s Washington, D.C. office. “He strengthens our already robust Construction practice and greatly enhances our P3 transactional capabilities.”

Wall is a frequent speaker on P3 topics and serves in leadership roles within numerous industry organizations. He received his J.D. from the University of Richmond, where he was a member of the University of Richmond Law Review, and earned his B.B.A. from the College of William and Mary.

 

 




Former EEOC Senior Counsel James Paretti Joins Littler in Washington

James A. Paretti Jr. has joined Littler as a shareholder in the Washington, D.C., office. Previously, Paretti was the Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In a release, the firm said Paretti, who has nearly two decades of labor and employment public policy experience, will be a member of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute (WPI). Paretti’s arrival coincides with a spate of cases brought by EEOC, which has filed 16 new discrimination or harassment lawsuits in August alone, the firm said.

“Jim’s legal, practical and institutional insight and first-hand experience with the EEOC will be invaluable to clients and move WPI to the next level,” said Michael Lotito and Maury Baskin, co-chairs of WPI, in a joint statement. “At WPI, we’re focused on defining and shaping workplace policy not just for our current clients with interests on Capitol Hill and before federal agencies, but also for future generations who will enter the workforce.”

Paretti joined Lipnic’s staff following her appointment in 2010 and most recently advised on legal, enforcement and policy matters before the EEOC. As manager and primary representative of the Office of the Chair, Paretti oversaw the agency’s operations, participated in negotiations with other Commissioners and internal constituencies, and served as a liaison to regulated stakeholders and legislators.

Prior to joining the EEOC, Paretti served as Workforce Policy Counsel to the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. In this role, he developed policy, provided legal counsel and helped advance the membership’s agenda relating to labor and employment law, healthcare and pensions. Paretti’s congressional experience also includes serving as Legislative Director (1994) and Special Counsel and Director of Communications (2002-2003) for U.S. Representative Marge S. Roukema (R-NJ).

“Jim is a key influencer in Washington with a wealth of first-hand experience addressing the equal employment opportunity issues facing the 21st century workplace,” said Alison N. Davis, Littler’s office managing shareholder in Washington, D.C. “His reputation in the Beltway as a savvy policymaker precedes him, and he’ll play an instrumental role in expanding the firm’s influence across a range of employment and labor law matters.”

In private law practice, Paretti represented a range of employers in federal and state employment and labor litigation, and has litigated matters in state and federal court, and before national and state administrative agencies. He is experienced in labor relations, collective bargaining negotiations, grievance arbitration, union organization campaigns, and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, the firm said.

He received his J.D., cum laude, from the New York University School of Law, where he was an editor of the NYU Law Review. He received his A.B. from Harvard College.

 

 




Life Sciences Patent Attorney Walter Wu, M.D. Joins Dorsey in Palo Alto

Dorsey & Whitney LLP announced that Walter Wu, M.D., has joined the firm’s Patent Group in Palo Alto, California, as a partner.

The firm said Wu specializes in patent prosecution and portfolio strategy for emerging companies in the life sciences, and patent due diligence for life science investors. His clients and target companies are active in the digital health, medical diagnostics, bioinformatics, ophthalmic, wound care and ENT fields. His transactional experience includes Alcon’s licensing of the Google Smart Lens technology and Auris Surgical Robotic’s acquisition of Hansen Medical. He has developed patent strategies for inter partes reviews and litigation matters involving surgical robots and prosthetic limbs, and is an expert on clinical, marketing and biostatistical issues relating to biotech and pharmaceutical patent litigation, including trial experience in Pfizer Inc. v. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. involving Lipitor.

He joins Dorsey from Cooley LLP where he was a partner.

Wu received a B.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his medical degree from the UC Davis School of Medicine, where he was a UC Regents Scholar. During medical school, he completed policy fellowships at the National Governors Association and the Food and Drug Administration. He is a licensed physician and was board-certified in internal medicine from 2000 to 2010. Before attending law school, he was a chief resident and clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He received his J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law.

“Walter is one of the most respected medical device patent law experts in Northern California and will be a great addition to the multi-office Dorsey teams serving client needs, both IP and transactional, in the life science fields,” noted Dorsey managing partner Ken Cutler. “The Health Care industry is a key focus sector for Dorsey around the globe. We serve clients in all aspects of that industry, from providers to payers to makers of medical devices and the investors who finance them.”

“I am extremely pleased to be joining Dorsey and its great Firm-wide team of patent and transactional lawyers serving life science clients,” said Wu. “I look forward to serving Dorsey’s exceptional client base and to introducing clients I serve to my new colleagues.”

 

 




Contracts Partner Joins Blank Rome in D.C.

Luke W. Meier has joined Blank Rome LLP as a partner in the Government Contracts group in the Washington, D.C., office. Meier’s practice will focus on business with the federal government, including investigating and defending allegations of fraud typically brought under the False Claims Act (FCA), the firm said.

Meier joins Blank Rome from Covington & Burling LLP where he was special counsel in the firm’s Government Contracts practice group.

“Luke’s previous involvement working for a major defense contractor as an on-site consultant at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Domestic Preparedness, combined with his impressive private practice experience, will bring a unique perspective to our government contracts team,” said Alan J. Hoffman, the firm’s chairman and managing partner. “We’re thrilled to welcome Luke to Blank Rome.”

The firm said Meier has managed the response to numerous audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency or an agency Office of Inspector General, and has successfully defended several government contractors from allegations of fraudulent mischarging. His litigation background includes complex commercial disputes and numerous bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

“Luke’s background in government contracts law and litigation will be an excellent complement to our nationally recognized team,” said David M. Nadler, chair of Blank Rome’s Government Contracts group. “His experience will have a powerful impact on the strength of our practice and our ability to provide strategic counsel to our clients.”

“I’m delighted to be joining the talented attorneys at Blank Rome,” said Meier. “The firm’s lawyers are not only incredibly skilled in their respective practice areas, but they are also great people. I look forward to working with a government contracts group poised for growth and contributing to the future success of this team.”

Luke earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Brown University and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He also serves as the co-chair of the University of Michigan Law School Alumni Club in D.C.