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September 2022 Legal Industry News and Updates: Law Firm Growth and Expansion, Industry Recognition, and Spotlights on Women in Law
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Happy autumn from the National Law Review! As the seasons change, we hope you are having a safe and healthy year. Please read on for the latest news coverage in the legal field, including law firm hiring and expansion, industry awards and recognition, and continued updates on women in law.

In addition, please be sure to check out Episode 4 of the Legal News Reach podcast: “The Perfect Storm: Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Budgeting with Beth Cuzzone, Global Practice Leader of Intapp.”

Law Firm Hiring and Expansion

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP has named two new attorneys to lead their growing Public Sector practice group: partner Andy Mayts will serve as the chair of the group, and partner Patrick Duggan will serve as co-chair. Mr. Matts focuses his practice on banking, finance, and construction-related litigation. He handles complex civil litigation for many clients, including large businesses, national banks, and other financial institutions. Mr. Duggan practices employment law and litigation in complex workplace public sector and business disputes, with a specific focus on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other prominent legislation.

"It will take unique thinking and creativity to help governmental and public entities meet the growing needs of our communities," said Shumaker Management Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Compton. “Andy and Patrick are top-performers and ready to meet this demand. With their leadership, we are confident that Shumaker's Public Sector Practice will have continued growth and success."

Stephanie J. Blumstein has joined law firm A.Y. Strauss as a partner in the Franchise practice group. Ms. Blumstein has a great deal of franchise litigation experience, including matters related to breach of contract, trademark infringement, fraud claims, business competition, and lease negotiations. She has assisted prospective franchisees as well as veteran franchise owners on all types of issues. Ms. Blumstein was also recognized in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

"I am thrilled to welcome Stephanie to the team," said Marisa Rauchway, chair of the firm's Franchise Group. “As a veteran of the national franchise community, her broad legal talents and deep industry knowledge will add immediate value to both existing and future clients of our practice."

Michael Best added Dan Forest, former Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, as a senior advisor in the firm’s Raleigh office. Joining the Government Relations practice group, Mr. Forest assists Michael Best Strategies with developing a strong bipartisan team of professionals who are focused on serving clients with public affairs and government relations needs. In his former role as Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Forest also served as President of the North Carolina Senate, Chairman of the Energy Policy Council, and Chairman of the Digital Technology Committee as a member of the State Board of Education.

“We’re excited to add Dan to our leadership team in North Carolina,” said Andy Jones, North Carolina Managing Partner for Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP. “Dan’s record of service and deep network across the State will help us continue to build our entrepreneurial-minded team of professionals and round out our ability to provide full-service solutions to our clients.”

BakerHostetler added Lisa Houssiere as a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group and Energy Industry team in their Houston office.  Ms. Houssiere has extensive experience in international disputes and investigations, particularly in the energy sector, and has worked on several high-profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases and advised clients under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the European Commission.

Commenting on Ms. Housssiere’s addition to the firm, W. Ray Whitman, chair of BakerHostetler’s national Litigation Practice Group, stated. “Her range of trial work, including complex energy, antitrust and intellectual property matters, brings additional depth to our internationally recognized litigation practice.”

Venable LLP expanded its Product Liability and Mass Torts team in the Chicago and Los Angeles with the addition of partner John Roberts (Chicago) and partner Karen Firstenberg (Los Angeles). Mr. Roberts assists clients in the areas of product liability, commercial litigation, insurance recovery, and regulatory compliance, with much experience serving as national litigation counsel for a variety of clients. Mrs. Firstenberg provides counsel to life sciences companies on compliance, toxic torts, and product liability, representing clients in all fields, including medical devices, materials science, biotech, and pharmaceuticals.

“We are thrilled to welcome John and Karen to Venable and to our product liability team. Their addition will not only diversify our practice, but further solidify our presence in Los Angeles and expand it to Chicago, a long-standing life sciences hub and the home of some of our most valued clients. John and Karen’s success in the courtroom also deepens our bench of proven products trial lawyers,” said Kathleen Hardway, a co-chair of Venable’s Product Liability and Mass Torts Group.

Industry Awards and Recognition

Steve Adamczyk, partner at Varnum LLP, has been named to the 2022 Gulfshore Business 40 Under 40. This magazine seeks to recognize young legal professionals in the Southwestern region of Florida who have aided the area through volunteer work and philanthropy. Mr. Adamczyk has served on the board of the Florida Southern Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross since 2015. He has also supported local elected officials and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Mr. Adamczyk has a great deal of experience in estate and trust planning services. At Varnum, he broadly focuses his practice on residential and commercial real estate transactions, as well as community association representation, providing counsel and assistance for condominium and homeowners associations across the state of Florida.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP was recognized at the 2022 HFM US Services Awards ceremony as the best onshore law firm for hedge fund client services in the United States. Recipients were chosen by a panel of leading hedge fund chief operating officers, as well as chief financial officers and general counsels. Wendy Cohen and Allison Yacker, co-chairs of the firm’s Investment Management and Funds practice, accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

Lance Zinman, Global Chairman of Katten's Financial Markets and Funds group, said the following of the award: "Receiving this distinction underscores what clients and others have told us they appreciate about Katten: That we provide excellent and sophisticated counsel in a business-savvy manner that takes into account the practical aspects of our clients' business; that we analyze complex market and legal issues and close investments and transactions, navigating regulatory issues quickly and comprehensively; and that we quickly see the big picture, to name just some of what we hear.”

Lawmatics, a leading legal client relationship management platform, was named a “Hot Product” in the 2022 TechnoLawyer Buyer’s Guide. TechnoLawyer continues to report on the latest developments in legal technology and law office management; the publication cited Lawmatics’ versatile automation capabilities as a particularly significant feature that set the platform apart.

“We’re extremely proud to be identified as a premier tool for helping law firms grow,” said Matt Spiegel, CEO of Lawmatics. “Our software empowers law firms to spend less of their time on administering the business of their practice, and more time focusing on the clients they serve. We know that firms thrive when they can prioritize people rather than paperwork.”

Thomas F. Zych, co-chair of Thompson Hine’s Antitrust, Competition & Distribution and Emerging Technologies practices, and Privacy & Cybersecurity team, has been selected to chair the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Section, through August 2023.

Based in Cleveland, Mr. Zych has over 39 years of experience in a wide range of data protection, intellectual property, consumer protection, social media, competition and antitrust matters. He also represents a full range of business enterprises in their privacy and data security operations.

Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 “Most Admired Law Firms” list added Sidley, as one of the most distinguished and “best law firms to work for” in the Los Angeles area. The Los Angeles Business Journal’s list recognizes law firms who are working toward creating diverse, positive, and supportive professional environments. 

Of note is the 2022 launch of Sidley’s “Built to Lead,” program designed to help the firm’s associates by equipping them with greater business acumen by partnering with top business schools and helping young lawyers grow their leadership capabilities by partnering with select nonprofit legal and community organizations.

Women in Law

Foley and Lardner Partner Natasha Allen has been recognized on The Recorder’s California Legal Awards “Women Leaders in Tech Law” list. A co-chair of Foley’s Venture Capital Committee and Innovative Technology Sector Artificial Intelligence Section, Ms. Allen guides domestic and international corporations through mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, with a special focus on cybersecurity, software, and virtual reality firms.

The California Legal Awards celebrate legal innovators who are influential in the ongoing development of technological jurisprudence. Allen and her peers will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on November 3, 2022.

Paula Cozzi Goedert, a leading nonprofit attorney with Barnes and Thornburg specializing in tax, compliance, and strategy, has been recognized on Crain’s Chicago Business 2022 “Notable Women in Law” list. Crain’s annual list illustrates the power of women in law by showcasing leaders with compelling professional stories.

Ms. Goedert chairs Barnes and Thornburg’s Associations and Foundations Group and has served over 300 clients, including the National PTA, American College of Surgeons, American Library Association, and Bank Administration Institute. Goedert’s expertise was invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis, where she guided her clients through challenges including staff furloughs, endowment raids, and insurance claims.

Additionally, Perkins Coie Partners Gina LaMonica and Lucy Park, were included on the 2022 Chicago Business Notable Women in Law list, whose requirements include mentoring other women lawyers, promoting inclusive practices in the workplace, and assuming a leadership role in professional organizations and civic and community service initiatives.

Ms. LaMonica practices white-collar criminal defense and is regularly retained to conduct internal investigations involving employee misconduct, regulatory violations, financial fraud, and is co-chair of Perkins Coie’s Educational Institutions & Services industry group and a co-founder and current secretary of the Chicago chapter of the national Women’s White Collar Defense Association.

Ms. Park  a partner in Perkins Coie’s Trust & Estate Planning group, counsels high-net-worth individuals, families, and family-owned businesses on wealth preservation and transfer, charitable giving, and succession planning and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Strategic Diversity Committee,  and co-chair of the firm’s Women’s Forum, a  resource group, which works to attract, retain, and promote and support the firm’s female lawyers.

Former White House Administrator Sharon McGowan is adding her anti-discrimination background to her new role as partner at nationally-recognized civil rights law firm Katz Banks Kumin. Ms. McGowan has previously worked as Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS projects, and lead attorney for seminal trans workplace antidiscrimination case Schroer v. Billington. During Obama’s administration, Ms. McGowan worked toward ending various forms of discrimination as Principal Deputy Chief at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Policy at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

“Sharon is a brilliant legal advocate who has played an unparalleled role in securing some of our nation’s greatest achievements in civil rights,” said firm Co-Founding Partner Lisa J. Banks. “Her unique perspective and wide range of counseling experience will be a tremendous asset to our clients in the areas of whistleblower law, employment law, sexual harassment law, and civil rights and civil liberties matters.”

Firm Co-Founding Partner Debra S. Katz added: “Sharon’s experience as one of President Obama’s top anti-discrimination attorneys, as well as her deep level of public policy and advocacy expertise, will be invaluable to our clients and the firm’s ongoing efforts to advance civil rights in the workplace.”

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