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May 2022 Legal Industry Highlights: Law Firm Expansion, Industry Awards, and Women in Law
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Happy Summertime! As the weather gets warmer, we hope you are remaining happy and healthy. Please read on below for our coverage of the latest in the legal industry, including new law firm hirings, recent industry awards and partnerships, and women in the legal field. 

Law Firm Hiring and Expansion

International law firm Sterlington PLLC has added Niki Kopsidas and Sharon Rodney to the firm’s Global Executive Team

Ms. Kopsidas, Sterlington’s new Managing Director of Global Talent Strategy and Recruiting, joins the firm after a 20-year career in legal recruitment. Ms. Rodney, Sterlington’s new Head of Marketing, brings with her 25 years of experience in marketing and communications for various fields, specializing in B2B brand management for mid-size and large companies.

“The appointment of these two accomplished individuals to our Global Executive Team reflects their exceptional track records as senior leaders,” said Christopher Harrison, Founding Partner at Sterlington. “Niki’s deep experience will bring a strategic approach to hiring and retaining the best talent at Sterlington, and Sharon will take our brand, marketing, and communications strategy to the next level of growth and performance.”

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has expanded its Disputes practice group with the addition of Lomesh Kiran Nidumuri. Mr. Nidumuri, who is based out of the Bengaluru office, has nearly two decades of experience in civil disputes, commercial disputes, cross border disputes, and domestic and international arbitration. He has represented clients across all industries on matters such as shareholder disputes, restructuring, corporate insolvency, and intellectual property rights. At Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, he will lead the Disputes practice for South India, and will additionally assist the International Arbitration practice.

Cyril Shroff, Managing Partner of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, said, “We are delighted to have Lomesh on board. He is well respected in the profession for his knowledge & skills. We intend to scale up our disputes team in the South under his leadership. His talent and commitment will give a huge boost to our South disputes practice.”

Lynn K. Cadwalader has joined the Real Estate Transactions and Finance team in the San Francisco office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Ms. Cadwalader, who is practiced real estate and hospitality attorney, will lead the group in all aspects of complex real estate and hospitality transactions, guiding clients in the investment, acquisition, and development of hotels and mixed-use projects across the US and internationally.

“The industries in which we focus are those facing the most disruption and convergence, and Lynn’s practice in hospitality is on the forefront of these changes,” said Donna L. Wilson, Manatt’s CEO and Managing Partner. “As one of the most respected legal and business minds in this space, Lynn is an invaluable asset for the developers, investors, owners and operators who are driving the transformation of the sector, and her exceptional business acumen has never been more important for clients that are pioneering new, innovative consumer experiences.”

Joining Adams and Reese’s Nashville office, attorneys Rob Pinson and Will Cheek will be spearheading a new Alcohol and Hospitality Team within the firm’s Intersection of Business and Government practice group. Mr. Cheek, an experienced alcohol and hospitality attorney, is notably the only Band 1 ranking attorney in the Southeastern Food & Beverages: Alcohol category. In addition to his work with the National Association of Licensing and Compliance Professionals, he also runs an alcohol industry insights blog called “Last Call.” 

Mr. Pinson, who will be leading the new team, is also a practiced alcohol and hospitality attorney. He has represented a wide variety of clients, such as distilleries, breweries, and wineries, assisting with licensing matters, manufacturing approvals, and other compliance issues. An active member of the Tennessee alcohol business community, he helped form the Tennessee Distiller’s Guild, co-created the new Tennessee Whiskey Trail, and handles planning and licensing for multiple annual whiskey festivals in the state. 

“Will and Rob have earned a reputation as the go-to attorneys for alcoholic beverage law in Tennessee and throughout the Southeast, for good reason,” said Brad Lampley, leader of Adams and Reese’s Intersection of Business and Government practice group. “They have been instrumental in the development of Nashville’s entertainment scene and the growth of venues and businesses throughout the southeastern U.S… By combining this team with our footprint, we are primed to build one of the country's preeminent liquor and hospitality teams. This move will be a game-changer in terms of offerings to our clients and for our alcohol and hospitality practice.”

Varnum LLP has expanded its Estate Planning practice group with the addition of Katie Szymanski as an associate. Ms. Szymanski, who is based in the firm’s Grand Rapids office, has a great deal of experience in trust administration and estate settlement, aiding individuals and families with extensive estate, tax, and wealth transfer planning for current and future generations. 

Prior to Varnum, she served as a trust officer for a regional accounting firm, and she holds a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA®) designation. She additionally has experience in the review of tax compliance forms and non-traditional asset planning.

von Briesen & Roper, s.c. has added two new risk management litigators to its Madison office: Rick J. Mundt and Blayne Nicole Christy. Mr. Mundt, a 40-year law veteran and experienced mediator, joins the firm as a shareholder, where he will focus his practice on litigation involving property damage, insurance claims, construction defects, and more. In addition to appearing on the “Top 25: 2021 Madison Super Lawyers®” list, Mr. Mundt regularly contributes to the Wisconsin legal community through his work with organizations such as the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Wisconsin Defense Counsel

Ms. Christy joins the firm as an associate. In her practice, she represents insurance carriers and insureds in complex insurance, construction, and contract disputes. Additionally, she is also a member of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel.

Legal Industry Awards and Recognition

Eleven Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys have been named to the South Carolina Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists in 2022. Nine of the eleven were chosen as Super Lawyers:

In addition, two of the eleven were chosen as Rising Stars:

Anna Haac, partner at Tycko & Zavareei LLP, has been elected to serve as a Board of Directors member with the National Association of Consumer Advocates. A non-profit membership association of more than 1,500 attorneys and advocates, the organization seeks to advance consumer interests with the hope of promoting justice for all consumers. Ms. Haac focuses her practice on whistleblower litigation and consumer protection class actions across a wide array of industries and fields.

“NACA is comprised of consumer protection attorneys across the country, who are on the front lines when it comes to holding predatory companies and powerful interests accountable for violations of consumers’ rights,” said Ms. Haac. “I truly believe that there is nothing we can’t accomplish when we come together, and I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors of such a unique and important organization committed to bettering the law for all consumers.”

Mindi Richter, partner and Intellectual Property and Technology Regional Service Line Leader at Shumaker, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Tampa Bay Bowl. This continues the 29-year relationship between the law firm and the Southeastern Conference-Big Ten matchup, played annually at Raymond James Stadium. The Bowl is part of the New Year's Eve festivities and has been a local institution for 36 years, raising more than $167 million for universities and charitable organizations.

Ms. Richter is an experienced trial lawyer. A certified Intellectual Property Law Specialist, she litigates all types of intellectual property cases, including trademarks, copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and domain name disputes. “I am really looking forward to this role on the board and continuing to carry on the firm’s support for such a landmark sporting event in Tampa Bay that helps our community in a number of ways,” Ms. Richter said.

“Mindi combines her vast experience with unmatched enthusiasm,” said Board Chair Troy Atlas. “We are excited to have her as a part of our team.”

Women in the Legal Industry

Heather Antoine, attorney at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, has been named to the 2022 Top Women Lawyers list published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Honoring California’s top female legal professionals, the list recognizes Ms. Antoine’s accomplishments in the field, including but not limited to helping companies navigate privacy statute laws, building international privacy programs, and leading the firm’s trademark and brand protection practice. 

Ms. Antoine is a leading attorney in the fields of intellectual property and privacy. She has much experience drafting privacy policies, navigating the evolving landscape of US privacy legislation, prosecuting domestic and foreign trademarks, and counseling on brand and IP strategy. In the profile, she discusses why trademark is one of her favorite areas of the law: “It’s the first type of law you recognize as a child… When your mom or dad walks in the door… [with] a Target bag, or when you see the Disney ears, you recognize brand before you recognize any other legal concept in the law.”

Delia D. Patterson has been elected as the 2022-2023 President of the Energy Bar Association. With a range of experiences in the energy industry, including energy-related project finance deals and representing energy companies before FERC, Ms. Patterson was selected by members of the Board at the 76th Annual Meeting, held on May 11th, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

“The EBA provides an unparalleled opportunity for energy law practitioners and professionals in the industry to exchange ideas and gain important insights on issues that we face together in the industry,” said Ms. Patterson. “I am fully committed to working with EBA members, the dedicated Board, and our CEO and staff, to advance EBA’s mission and to carry out our strategic objectives.”

Bruce E. Jarrell, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has selected Renée Hutchins to be the next dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Ms. Hutchins, who will begin the role effective August 1st, 2022, is a nationally-recognized expert on the Fourth Amendment, as well as criminal appellate practice. Her legal scholarship on the intersection of criminal procedure and social science has been published in leading law journals and been cited by numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts.

“Renée Hutchins is the ideal choice to lead Maryland Carey Law,” said Mr. Jarrell. “She is a proven leader, and I am confident that she will continue to move the School of Law forward in its trajectory of producing some of the best legal minds in Maryland and the country.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected as dean,” said Ms. Hutchins. “I look forward to working with the talented, committed faculty of Maryland Carey Law to provide a fertile training ground for the next generation of lawyers.”

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