January 2023 Legal Industry News Highlights: Law Firm Expansion and Promotions, Industry Awards and Achievements, and a Spotlight on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Field
Welcome back to another edition of the National Law Review’s legal industry news roundup, including a focus on law firm hirings and expansions, noteworthy awards and accomplishments in the field, and the latest in DEI efforts across the industry. We hope you are remaining safe and healthy, and that your new year has started off strong!
Law Firm Hiring and Expansion
Jennifer L. Budner has joined Goldberg Segalla’s White Plains office as a member of the Civil Litigation and Trial group. Ms. Budner focuses her practice primarily on litigation and trial counseling, having specialized in personal injury and wrongful death litigation for more than 20 years. She has a great deal of experience handling high exposure labor and construction law matters, and has represented many different types of clients, including property owners and contractors, product manufacturers, and a variety of business owners in various employment and product liability law actions.
Mayer Brown has added partner Richard Snyder to the firm’s Antitrust & Competition practice in Washington DC. Mr. Snyder focuses his practice on civil antitrust litigation, having previously represented clients in both federal and state court, and having appeared regularly before the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. He has a great deal of experience in many areas, including merger reviews, criminal antitrust investigations, and a variety of conduct matters.
“With increasing enforcement activity, Rich’s experience in successfully handling antitrust matters in strategic transactions and before various government agencies will be invaluable to our clients,” said William Stallings, co-leader of Mayer Brown’s global Antitrust & Competition practice.
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. and The Acta Group recently announced a number of noteworthy promotions within the firm:
Catherine M. Croke, DBA, has been named Director of Product Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Croke has decades of experience executing product stewardship and regulatory compliance programs in the field of chemicals and materials, formerly serving as Senior Advocacy and Compliance Manager with Evonik Corporation, Regulatory Affairs Manager for Arkema, and a Physical Science Technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Irene M. O’Hara has joined B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM) as a Consortium Manager. Ms. O’Hara’s specialty is in association management, including stakeholder engagement, project management, and external affairs. She has previously worked with the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum.
Karin F. Baron, MSPH, has been named the Director of Hazard Communication and International Registration Strategy. With around 20 years’ experience in developing, implementing, and managing complex chemical regulatory compliance strategies, Ms. Baron primarily focuses her practice on navigating the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, including classification, labeling, and authoring of compliant safety data sheets, as well as hazard and risk assessment.
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of B&C, President of Acta, and President of BCCM, said of the hirings, “Our growing team of experts reflects the diversity of our substantive skill set, our expanding client base, and our commitment to providing our clients with the best and most efficient team of legal, regulatory, and scientific experts available.”
OLIVARES has named two new partners to the firm: Rommy Morales and Jaime Rodríguez. Ms. Morales, who co-chairs the Patent Group at the firm, focuses her practice on prosecution and enforcement of pharmaceutical patents in Mexico. In addition to her wide array of experience counsel to national and international clients regarding the protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights, she has also repeatedly obtained patents for complex biotechnological inventions that have not been protected elsewhere.
Mr. Rodriguez's practice is focused on intellectual property and copyright law matters, with extensive experience in trademarks, unfair competition, and domain name dispute resolution. Since 2007, he has achieved a number of impressive litigation results at OLIVARES, and has continued to serve as a professor at various educational institutions in Mexico, as well as publishing a great many articles related to his practice and to intellectual property law in general.
"Our new partners exemplify the success that comes from dedication to the firm's mission. We are all excited about what the future looks like with these new leaders with us," said Sergio Olivares, managing partner of the firm.
Legal Industry Awards, Events, and Recognitions
Ward and Smith has been named a 2023 Data Privacy Week champion by the National Cybersecurity Alliance. A non-profit organization that seeks to create a more secure and interconnected world, the National Cybersecurity Alliance works to develop notable partnerships between governments and companies to foster the greater digital good. With the reception of this title, Ward and Smith has committed to upholding the important responsibility of protecting personal information and individual privacy.
"Privacy is a right that must be proactively safeguarded and protected," said Angela Doughty, CIPP/US. "Data Privacy Week helps remind us of actions we can take now - before it's too late- in order to ensure security against costly incidents and harm."
Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky attorney Alexis M. Wheeler has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Bethany Christian Services of Western Pennsylvania. Bethany Christian Services is a global non-profit organization that supports children and families with world-class social services. Ms. Wheeler, who first began working with the organization last year, has assisted by providing support for a transitional foster care facility, as well as providing long-term refugee foster care and refugee and immigrant resettlement services.
At Strassburger McKenna, Ms. Wheeler focuses her practice primarily on municipal law and real estate, and additionally works closely with the litigation practice group and the investigation practice group. Ms. Wheeler started with SMGG as a Law Clerk and was asked to join the firm as an Associate after graduation from law school.
Mark Brutzkus and Nick Rozansky of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP have been named to Thomson Reuters’ Top 100: 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers List. Thomson Reuters recognizes Super Lawyers each year in Southern California, a process that involves peer recommendations, independent research, and peer evaluations. The lawyers who excel in the Super Lawyers selection process are prominently recognized in the Top 100 list.
Mr. Brutzkus, a partner at the firm, primarily focuses his practice on representing consumer product companies in corporate, commercial, intellectual property, finance, transactional, and other matters. Mr. Rozansky, also a partner at the firm, works in both the Business Litigation and Trademark and Brand Protection Practice Groups. He represents clients in several industries, including fashion and apparel, jewelry, banking and finance, and consumer products.
The Legal Sales & Service Organization (LSSO), the leading industry association for law firm sales and legal service professionals, is beginning 2023 with the announcement of its 20th Anniversary Advisory Board and Editorial Board.
LSSO Co-Founder Silvia Coulter, a Principal of LawVision:
“These industry influencers are the right people at the right time for LSSO to build on its legacy, and together we can reflect on impact to date and act on plans for the future support of LSSO’s members and the broader legal community’s sales and service goals.”
LSSO launched two decades ago, as positions such as Chief Business Development Officer, Client Relationship Executive, Chief Strategy Officer, Director of Project Management, and Client Value Director did not exist inside law firms. Then and today, these roles are essential for any law firm to survive and thrive, and LSSO was formed to meet the unique needs of these roles in a law firm environment.
LSSO is well known in legal circles for annual RainDance Conference, which in 2023 will be held June 7 and 8 in Chicago, which features tactical discussions with senior business development and legal sales professionals, along with keynote speakers who are sought-after industry change agents, and veteran legal services executives.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
Michelle N. Bradford, Partner, Co-Chair of Financial and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group
Michael A. Carrillo, Secretary of Management Committee and Managing Partner of Chicago Office
Jeff Davis, Of Counsel, Chair of Native American Law and Policy Practice Group
Roscoe C. Howard, Jr., Chair of Racial Justice Committee and Managing Partner of Washington, D.C., Office
Naomi Y. Kwang, Partner, Chair of Greater China and Southeast Asia Practice Group
Salvador P. LaViña, Partner, Chair of Real Estate Department
Alan K. Mills, Partner, Chair of Special Servicers Group and Co-Chair of Supply Chain Group
David Paragas, Partner, Co-Chair of Federal Relations Practice Group
Mari Yamamoto Regnier, Partner, Chair of Global Services-Japan Practice Group
Kristen L. Richer, Partner, Co-Chair of Consumer Class Action Defense Practice Group
Erika Weiss, Associate, Member of Legal Personnel Administration Committee
David A.W. Wong, Partner, Chair of Internet and Technology Group
Lawyers of Color is a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession. The organization regularly recognizes noteworthy attorneys in the field through publications and conferences, seeking to advance democracy, equality, and inclusion in marginalized communities and the practice of law.
Michael D. Thomas, Principal at Jackson Lewis P.C., has been featured in the Los Angeles Times’ 2022 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility magazine as a DEIA Visionary. The magazine seeks to highlight notable thought leaders in the California business community who place great emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion within their field. Mr. Thomas primarily focuses his practice on defending employers in state and federal wage and hour class actions, working in industries including manufacturing, retail, and hospitality.
“Michael’s longstanding efforts to promote and strengthen DEI policies throughout businesses in California are another affirmation of our commitment to these initiatives as a core value of the firm,” said Alison L. Lynch, the firm’s Orange County office managing principal. “We congratulate him on this recognition and look forward to his continued advocacy for a more inclusive workforce.”
Rebecca E. Shope, Partner and Labor, Employment and Benefits Regional Service Line Leader at Shumaker, has been named a 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow. Ms. Shope, who primarily practices in the fields of labor and employment, litigation, and family law, will be a part of the prestigious LCLD program, which since 2011 has sought to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession. The program provides participants with the opportunity to learn from top leaders in the legal profession, as well as experts in the fields of learning and development and executive coaching.
“Rebecca is an exceptional lawyer and future leader who joins a select group of experienced attorneys from diverse backgrounds who have been recognized for their leadership skills within their organizations and in the wider profession," said Shumaker Partner and Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair Cheri Budzynski.