Legal Industry News October 2021: Law Firm Hiring, Legal Innovation & Pro Bono
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Happy October everyone! We’re back with the first edition of the October 2021 Legal Roundup News Column. Read on for the latest news in law firm hiring, pro bono work, and law firm innovation.

Hiring and Law Firm Moves

Dinsmore & Shohl expanded their Immigration Practice with the addition of Michelle Salter to their Morgantown, West Virginia office. Ms. Salters handles temporary work authorizations, permanent residency, I-9 verification and helps physicians return to their home countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Dinsmore is a great fit. It’s a national firm that fits my national practice, and it is well-known within the business immigration community. The practice group has excellent knowledge in health care, so I was attracted to the firm’s infrastructure and ability to help my clients,” said Ms. Salter.

“We are thrilled that Michelle has joined the immigration practice. She brings a wealth of business immigration experience, and her expertise in health care immigration bolsters and continues to strengthen our ever-expanding expertise in that vital practice area,” said Matthew Gunn, Dinsmore’s Immigration Practice Group Chair.

Blank Rome LLP added Sonia Kaur Bain to their Real Estate Practice Group in New York. Ms. Bain brings a wealth of knowledge on the acquisition of real estate assets, development, ground and lease spaces, and financing to the firm. Ms. Bain is also the President of New York Women Executives in Real Estate.

“Sonia’s well-established practice and decades of experience in the real estate market will be invaluable to our firm as we continue to strategically grow our real estate service offerings to meet increasing market demands. Sonia is a versatile and well-respected practitioner, recognized for her holistic approach to client service. We are excited to welcome her to the firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO.

“Blank Rome’s continued investment in the burgeoning New York real estate market provides a tremendous amount of opportunity to continue to evolve my practice and service my clients’ needs while also building strong cross-marketing relationships across all of the firm’s practices,” said Ms. Bain.

Sidley Austin LLP added Anthony Grossi to the firm’s Global Restructuring group in their New York and Washington DC offices. Mr. Grossi advises on Chapter 11 reorganizations and served as bankruptcy counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

“Anthony has represented debtors in some of the most complicated and high-profile Chapter 11 cases in recent years. That extensive experience will immediately contribute to the growth of our company-side restructuring practice and along with his creditor experience, significantly increase our bench strength in the global restructuring market,” said Jennifer Hagle.

Varnum LLP is opening a new office location in Naples, Florida. The firm’s Naples office is led by Real Estate and Corporate partner Thomas W. Forester, and includes Steven Adamczyk, who focuses on condominium and estate planning, and associate Gerardo Ortega

“It’s been very fulfilling to not only launch the Naples office, but to see a strong response from the business community from day one. I’m happy to be here, proud of the work we’re doing and looking forward to continued growth and new opportunities,” said Mr. Forester. 

Pro Bono & Recognition

Jason Rosenthal of Much Shelist became a fellow of The American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), which is an association of lawyers who represent insurers and policyholders in disputes arising from insurance policies. ACCC fellows also must have at least 15 years’ experience in the insurance field. 

“Insurance is a key component of most corporate transactions, a key driver of litigation, and an important risk-shifting tool for most businesses. I am honored to join this prestigious group of attorneys and look forward to working together to advance the field of insurance law,” said Mr. Rosenthal.

"The ACCC is delighted to welcome Jason Rosenthal as the latest member to become actively involved in its work," said Sherilyn Pastor, ACCC President.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly included Suma V. Nair of Goulston & Storrs on its 2021 ‘Top Women of Law’ list. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recognized Ms. Nair for her work with private clients regarding wealth and business succession planning, as well as estate and charitable tax planning.

Ms. Nair also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) and is an elected fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Proskauer Rose LLP launched a partnership with the American Red Cross to help provide disaster and relief services throughout the country. Attorneys from Proskauer donate supplies, offer pro bono legal support, assist with corporate responsibility efforts and more. Proskauer also supports the American Red Cross’ initiatives towards military personnel and chose this Red Cross service area as one of their primary focuses.

Legal Industry Awards & Innovation

Shumaker Law Firm selected five of its partners to serve as leaders for their newly established lines of service focusing on emerging fields of law. The new fields include health law, environmental and energy, IP and technology, labor, employment, pensions, and wealth strategies.

“As our client’s businesses evolve, Shumaker continues to refine its service lines to best meet the needs of those we serve. That means we continually strive to anticipate and identify trends to make a positive difference for our clients by helping them successfully navigate through emerging sectors,” said Tom Dillon, Shumaker’s Chairman.

The five partners selected are:

Morgan Stanley at Work teamed up with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati to develop a new application programming interface to allow seamless equity information sharing between law firms and equity management providers. The API is called ‘Neuron,’ which reads and writes capitalization data directly into Shareworks upon any real time updates.

"We are excited to partner with Wilson Sonsini to raise the bar for the industry and deliver a modern digital experience for clients to manage their equity information and data. As startups stay private longer, the need for more dependable and seamless digital solutions to manage cap table data is becoming absolutely critical. With this API, we hope to remove the friction private companies experience in managing their cap table and stock plans with stakeholders, partners and service providers,” said Kevin Swan, Co-Head, Global Private Markets of Morgan Stanley at Work.

"Startup clients don’t have time for manual data entry and sending around updated spreadsheets to ensure all parties are working with the same capitalization data every time a new employee is hired or new funds are secured. With this API, Wilson Sonsini and Morgan Stanley at Work are helping startups and founders accelerate growth with an open data ecosystem built on our intelligent Neuron platform. We’re proud to make the first tangible step in the industry toward a better future and client experience resulting from sharing cap table data across all stakeholders," said David Wang, Wilson Sonsini’s CIO.

Rachel Popa contributed to this article.

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