March 2023 Legal Industry News Highlights: Law Firm Hiring News, Industry Awards and Recognition, and the Latest Updates in Diversity and Inclusion
Welcome back to another edition of the National Law Review’s legal industry news roundup. We hope you are remaining safe, happy, and healthy! Please read on below for the latest in law firm hiring and expansion news, key industry awards and recognition, and a spotlight on important diversity, equity, and inclusion updates!
Law Firm Hiring and Expansion
Joanna Horsnail has been named managing partner of Mayer Brown’s Chicago office, effective February 28, 2023. Her appointment marks the fourth consecutive female leader for the firm’s largest office. Ms. Horsnail’s practice has primarily focused on advising clients on key transformational deals, primarily in the City of Chicago and State of Illinois. Most notably, she counseled on the deal securing the James R. Thompson Center as the corporate headquarters for Google, and has also previously worked with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other public and not-for-profit organizations.
“Joanna’s well-earned reputation for professional excellence, coupled with her outstanding profile in the Chicago community make her an exceptional choice to lead the office,” said firm chair Jon Van Gorp. “Her natural charisma, approachability as a mentor to many and vision for the office will make her an inspirational and hugely successful leader. I look forward to working closely with her to achieve the growth and development objectives that the firm has for this office, which is where I started my career at Mayer Brown.”
“I’m delighted to be named office managing partner,” said Ms. Horsnail. “I have such tremendous enthusiasm for both Mayer Brown and this office and look forward to guiding the office as we continue our success in Chicago.”
Morten Lund has joined Foley & Lardner’s San Diego office as an of counsel in the Finance Practice Group. Mr. Lund has more than 25 years of experience advising developers, lenders, investors, and other project participants and has extensive experience in the energy sector.
Mr. Lund’s practice has primarily focused on solar energy and energy storage projects. His range of project experience also includes wind energy projects, combustion generator projects, nuclear energy facilities, hydroelectric facilities, cogeneration facilities, chemical facilities, forestry/paper facilities, large aircraft, and shipping fleets. He earned his JD from Yale University.
Eversheds Sutherland has added Megan K. Hall to their Tax Practice Group as a partner. Ms. Hall, located in the firm’s Washington D.C. office, further strengthens the firm’s international tax capabilities, focusing chiefly on transactional matters, cross-border employment and global mobility. She has previously worked with clients including multinational corporations on international tax matters, including the tax aspects of acquisitions, mergers, internal restructurings and business formations.
“I’m very excited to welcome Megan to the team and know she will add depth to our international tax practice,” said Robert S. Chase, US Tax Practice Group Leader. “Megan’s familiarity with cross-border operational structures and the tax considerations relevant to operating a multinational business enhances the firm’s ability to support clients in an area of increased focus for international tax authorities. The firm’s global footprint will provide a unique opportunity to enhance support to her international network.”
Jeremiah Kelly and Justin Coen have joined Venable LLP as partners in the firm’s FDA Group. Mr. Kelly’s practice concentrates on the FDA’s complex regulatory framework, helping clients with product development, application, and compliance for drugs, biologics, medical devices, and combination products. Mr. Coen’s practice focuses on guiding companies through FDA regulations related to drug, biologic, and device development, advising them on every stage of product development and commercialization.
Claudia A. Lewis, a co-chair of the firm’s FDA Group, said, “Venable has established itself among the premier practices in the FDA regulatory space and is regularly called upon to handle a myriad of issues involving the development and marketing of products regulated by the FDA. With the addition of Jeremiah and Justin, our services now include robust legal capabilities for companies navigating the FDA regulatory framework to commercialize drugs, biologics, devices, and combination products, among other product categories.”
Legal Industry Awards and Recognition
Janet Wagner, principal in the Banking practice at Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., has been accepted as a fellow of the respected American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) for 2023. Fellows of ACMA, which is composed of lawyers in North America who are authorities in mortgage law, seeks to give back to their profession, improving and reforming laws and procedures affecting real estate secured transactions and raising the level of performance of lawyers practicing in this area. Candidates are recommended each year and are selected after thorough review of their qualifications and achievements.
Ms. Wagner primarily focuses her practice on banking and commercial financing transactions, providing key counsel to commercial banks, credit unions, institutional lenders, insurance companies and other lenders. Previously, she has represented lenders involving a variety of classes of real estate in states across the country on acquisitions, refinancing and construction loans.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has named Lawrence J. Buckfire to their prestigious Preferred Attorneys Program. The objective of the Preferred Attorneys Program is to offer a credible, diverse listing of outstanding attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and individuals with brain injury, their family members/caregivers, and others seeking legal counsel. BIAA Preferred Attorneys are selected for their demonstrated legal credentials and their knowledge of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and financial tolls a brain injury inflicts.
Mr. Buckfire has consistently demonstrated skill and ability in representing those affected by a brain injury. He is the lead trial attorney and managing partner at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. His practice focuses primarily on child lead paint poisoning, wrongful death, nursing home neglect, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.
Adam Beaudoin of Ward and Smith has been chosen to serve as President-Elect of the Board of Directors for the Community Associations Institute of North Carolina (CAI-NC). The Community Associations Institute seeks to promote and strengthen community associations, focusing on education and resources for homeowners, volunteers, and professional managers.
Mr. Beaudoin brings extensive experience to his new role with CAI-NC, having previously practiced community associations law for nearly two decades. He is the Co-Chair of Ward and Smith's Community Associations Practice Group, and he has been a CAI-NC member since 2006. He has presented at several local and national CAI events, served on the Legislative Action Committee, and was a board member prior to his election.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion News
Katten Health Care Partner and Deputy General Counsel Kenya Woodruff has been profiled as a Leader in Diversity by the Dallas Business Journal. Ms. Woodruff is the National Chair of Katten’s Diversity Committee Women’s Leadership Forum, where she leads efforts to provide women attorneys with the professional tools and support to take their rightful place as leaders in law.
“I'm particularly proud of the professional development programming we have offered through the Women's Leadership Forum to help empower our female attorneys at the firm and give them the skills needed to advance in their careers," says Ms. Woodruff.
Woodruff’s practice centers around the healthcare industry, where she uses her legal, business, and regulatory expertise to support successful clinical operations and corporate transactions. She has previously worked as Deputy General Counsel for Parkland Health & Hospital System and Privacy Officer for a publicly traded radiology company.
Three Barnes and Thornburg attorneys will represent the firm in two 2023 Leadership Council for Legal Diversity Programs. Adetayo Osuntogun, Partner at the D.C. office, will join LCLD’s Fellows Program, a year-long training program focused on relationship-building and leadership skill development. Indianapolis Associate Alyssa Hughes and Los Angeles Associate Mihran Yezbekyan are joining the LCLD Pathfinders Program, which gives early career professionals the chance to develop tools related to leadership, career development, and professional networking.
Mr. Osuntogun is an international trade law expert focused on helping businesses handle global commerce matters related to trade policy, customs, imports, economic sanctions, export laws, and more. He is active with Alpha Phi Alpha, the Diverse Associates Network, and the National Bar Association. Ms. Hughes, who The Best Lawyers in America listed as one of 2023’s “Ones to Watch,” works in the Litigation Department on matters related to government and internal investigations, corporate criminal defense, and general commercial disputes. Mr. Yezbekyan also works in the Litigation Department, handling product liability, mass torts, and consumer class actions. Outside of the office, he volunteers with the Los Angeles County Bar Association Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee.
“LCLD has been a long-standing partner of Barnes & Thornburg. Their pathfinder and fellow programs align with our mission to position all of our talent to win,” said Dawn R. Rosemond, firm diversity partner. “We know that these programs will only further elevate Adetayo, Alyssa and Mihran’s professional practice and presence.”
Stanley Blackmon, Partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings’ Birmingham office, has also been selected to be a 2023 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow. The program will provide alumni networks, mentoring, accountability partners, leadership lunches, and class meetings to advance his legal diversity efforts and help others to do the same. LCLD Fellows are selected for their leadership, engagement, and commitment to diversity and inclusion, which Mr. Blackmon demonstrates through his active pro bono practice and involvement with the Birmingham Bar Association as President of the Young Lawyers’ Section, the Magic City Bar Association as an Executive Committee Member, the Alabama Standing Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the American Bar Association.
“We congratulate Stanley on his selection as an LCLD Fellow,” said Bradley Director of Inclusion and Diversity George D. Medlock, Jr. “Since Bradley joined LCLD in 2020, we have been proud to participate in and support the LCLD’s programs, which help prepare future generations of diverse talent for the highest positions of legal leadership.”