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Top Legal Industry Highlights for November 2022: Law Office Hiring and Expansion, Industry Awards and Recognition, and the Latest Updates in Diversity and Inclusion

Happy Holidays from the National Law Review! We hope you are remaining safe and healthy as Thanksgiving rolls around. Read more below for the latest in law firm hiring and expansion, noteworthy industry awards and recognitions, and the latest news in law firm diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Additionally, please be sure to check out the latest Legal News Reach podcast episode from the NLR: “What’s New In Law Firm Thought Leadership? with Alistair Bone, Vice President for Passle.

Law Firm Hiring and Expansion

Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, LLP has added attorney Mark Nagumo as Of Counsel in the firm’s Chemical Patent Practice Group. Mr. Nagumo, who is a former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office administrative patent judge, has a great deal of experience in chemical research, particularly with regard to biomolecules, materials, and a wide range of other analytical techniques.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark to our firm,” said Oblon Managing Partner Philippe Signore. “Mark is an extremely knowledgeable and respected chemical patent attorney whose many years of experience at the USPTO offers tremendous value and benefits to our clients. He is a great addition to our team.”

Polsinelli PC has appointed two new co-chairs of the firm’s Business Department: Jane Arnold and Kolin Holladay. Ms. Arnold, an experienced attorney in mergers and acquisitions, is based in the St. Louis office, where she currently serves as Office Managing Partner. Mr. Holladay, who also focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, is a Shareholder in the firm's Nashville office.

"The selection of Arnold and Holladay as Business Department Co-Chairs reflects the firm’s long-standing commitment to inclusion, representation, and geographic diversity at every level,” said Chase Simmons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polsinelli. "Both are leaders who are highly respected within our firm and the industries in which they practice. Under their leadership, the Business Department will continue to create meaningful opportunities for our lawyers and clients, all consistent with our strategic priorities.”

James M. Tartaglia has rejoined Steptoe & Johnson PLLC as Of Counsel in the firm’s Charleston office. With a background in mineral title opinions and due diligence, Mr. Tartaglia joins the firm’s Energy Group , where he will focus his practice on energy contract law.

“We’re looking forward to having Jim back at the firm,” said Steptoe & Johnson CEO Christopher L. Slaughter. “His skill set and knowledge of the oil and gas industry strengthens our energy contracts practice and will be an asset to our clients.”

As of November 1st, 2022, Proskauer Rose LLP has promoted 33 of its attorneys – 25 to partner, and 8 to senior counsel. This class of promotions is the firm’s largest to date, and it includes attorneys from nine different offices around the world.

“We are delighted to promote this talented group of lawyers, whose values, entrepreneurial spirit and drive represent the best of the Firm,’” said Steven M. Ellis, Chairman of Proskauer. “We congratulate each of these new partners and senior counsel on this milestone and wish them continued success as they support our clients, secure historic victories, set precedents and serve as strategic partners.”

The following attorneys have been promoted to partner: Michelle Annese, Kimberly Braun, Ryan Carpenter, Aliza Cinamon, Grant Darwin, Christopher Elson, Nolan Goldberg, Laura Goldsmith, Oliver Howley, John Ingrassia, Philip Kaminski, Christine Lazatin, Shawn Ledingham, Matthew Levy, Stéphanie Martinier, Richard Miller, Bharat Moudgil, Adam Nelson, Caroline Robbins, Cameron Roper, Bradley Schecter, Adam Scoll, Sean Spence, Scott Patrick Thurman, and Harriet West.

The following attorneys have been promoted to senior counsel: Stephen Chuk, Pinchos Goldberg, Allison Lynn Martin, Jennifer Rigterink, Jurate Schwartz, Jennifer Yang, Edward Young, and Oleg Zakatov.

Frost Brown Todd has combined with California-based law firm Alvarado Smith, effective January 1, 2023. The combined firm will have more than 575 attorneys in 17 offices across nine states and Washington, D.C, with AlvaradoSmith’s addition providing strategic expansion into the Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco markets.

AlvaradoSmith is known for successfully taking on matters and clients often associated with big firms, while FBT has the resources of a large firm with the culture of a boutique shop,” said AlvaradoSmith Managing Shareholder Ruben Smith. “That’s why we’re confident this combination will be an excellent fit, allowing us to grow our capacity and resources while still retaining our deep connection to clients and community. We look forward to a very productive future with Frost Brown Todd.” 

“This merger is a natural next step and tremendous growth opportunity for both Frost Brown Todd and AlvaradoSmith,” said FBT Chief Executive Officer Adam Hall. “As one of the largest and most influential economies in the world, California intersects with every one of Frost Brown Todd’s practice groups and many of our offices. We know our clients will benefit greatly from the extensive knowledge and relationships that AlvaradoSmith attorneys have cultivated throughout the state for decades. We look forward to working with them as we significantly expand our presence in California and strengthen Frost Brown Todd’s preeminent industry teams.”   

Legal Industry Awards and Recognition

Ballard Spahr has received 26 National Tier 1 rankings in the 2023 Best Law Firms and a total of 160 rankings across all Best Law Firms categories. Best Law Firms rankings are gathered based on surveys from clients and professional references. To qualify, a law firm must have one attorney who is recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers in a Best Law Firms-ranked practice area or metro area.

Ballard Spahr received National Tier 1 rankings in the following categories:

  • Banking and Finance Law

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Copyright Law

  • Corporate Law

  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar

  • Employment Law - Management

  • Environmental Law

  • Labor Law - Management

  • Land Use & Zoning Law

  • Litigation - Banking & Finance

  • Litigation - Bankruptcy

  • Litigation - First Amendment

  • Litigation - Intellectual Property

  • Litigation - Labor & Employment

  • Litigation - Patent

  • Litigation - Real Estate

  • Media Law

  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law

  • Patent Law

  • Public Finance Law

  • Real Estate Law

  • Securities / Capital Markets Law

  • Securities Regulation

  • Trademark Law

  • Trusts & Estates Law

Lauren Wachtler, partner at Barclay Damon’s New York office, will be honored with the prestigious Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom by the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial & Federal Litigation Section. Ms. Watchler’s practice focuses on commercial and business litigation matters, and she advocates for women’s equality in the legal profession as well as mentoring and educating young attorneys.

The Scheindlin Award is presented annually on or around November 6, the date women were granted the right to vote in 1917 in New York state. “It is a true honor to receive the Scheindlin Award,” said Ms. Wachtler. “Judge Scheindlin was a gifted jurist and continues to be a role model for women in our profession.”

The award honors its namesake Shira A. Scheindlin, the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section’s former chair and former district judge for the Southern District of New York. Scheindlin said, “I extend my sincerest congratulations to Lauren for being selected to receive the Scheindlin Award. Her commitment to the legal profession and mentoring young women attorneys is truly inspiring and continues to grow year after year. Women litigators still face adversity in the courtroom; however, Lauren’s work will hopefully pave the way for future generations of women litigators.”

Foley & Lardner LLP has received the Corporate Citizen Award from the Three Harbors Boys Scouts of America Council, which seeks to honor a particular organization that exemplifies the Scout Law through community service and upstanding business practices. The award will be presented at the Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner in Milwaukee on November 17, 2022.

Foley was selected for its long-standing support of Scouting, as well as the firm’s significant pro bono support through Partner Peter Fetzer to Three Harbors Council. Mr. Fetzer is a partner in the firm’s Milwaukee office, where he focuses his practice on securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate counseling to mutual funds, exchange traded funds, publicly traded investment advisers and public companies.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Britt Biles and Stephanie Yarbrough have been selected for inclusion on Women We Admire’s 2022 Top 50 Women Leaders in the Law list, which celebrates influential and successful women in the legal field.

Ms. Biles is a Litigation Group Partner who played a key role in the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. After her time as Associate White House Counsel and SEC senior enforcer, Biles became Senior Counsel of the Small Business Administration, where she was principal legal advisor to the CARES Act Administrator and an active participant in drafting guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program. At Womble Bond Dickinson, she focuses her practice on business litigation and government investigations.

Ms. Yarbrough is a Womble Bond Dickinson Global Board Member and Economic Development Team Co-Chair who has spent her two-decade legal career aiding economic development in the southeastern United States by helping domestic and international companies expand their operations to Charleston and surrounding regions. Yarbrough’s role in creating thousands of new jobs and billions in investments has led her to become an industry thought leader, speaking at local and national events and appearing in a 2017 New York Times article about Charleston’s economy.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Partner Gary L. Howard has been selected to serve a one-year term as Vice Chair of the Defense Research Institute’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Birmingham, Alabama attorney has been active with DRI for many years, previously serving as Diversity Expo Chair, Diversity for Success Seminar & Corporate Expo Program Chair, and Annual Meeting Steering Committee Member. Howard’s appointment comes on the heels of his 2021 Albert H. Parnell Outstanding Program Chair Award, which he received for creating engaging educational programming for DRI.

Mr. Howard’s 25-year legal career has seen him managing commercial litigation related to class actions, mass torts, contract disputes, insurance cases, and related matters. He has argued in state and federal courtrooms and is admitted to practice in more than ten states.

Moore & Van Allen has formally announced the naming of its Civil Rights & Racial Equity Assessments Practice, a part of the firm's White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigation Practice. Within this group, fifteen of MVA’s most experienced investigative attorneys harness the firm’s ESG, internal and cross-border probe, and human trafficking prevention expertise to conduct public-facing racial equity and civil rights audits. These reviews assist businesses interested in improving their internal and external diversity practices.

Valecia M. McDowell, who leads the practice, commented, “Our Civil Rights & Racial Equity Assessments Practice brings together our deep experience and bench strength in key areas to help our clients strategically assess their internal and external practices, programs, and policies to more thoroughly and thoughtfully address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).”

Copyright ©2023 National Law Forum, LLCNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 321

About this Author

Chandler Ford Web Content Specialist National Law Review Legal News
Editorial Manager

Chandler Ford is an Editorial Manager for the National Law Review. Prior to joining the NLR, Chandler worked as a legal writer and team leader at Hudson, a corporate immigration law firm in Chicago, where he specialized in I-140 and I-129 case preparation. He also has experience in copy editing, proofreading, and journalism.

He graduated with a B.A. in English and Communication from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Currently, he is also pursuing an M.F.A. in Writing from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Outside of work, Chandler spends his time...

Web Content Specialist

Shelby Garrett is a Web Content Specialist at the National Law Review. In addition to daily duties, Shelby assists with original content creation for the NLR, authoring bi-weekly legal news roundups and original reporting on relevant legal issues. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Crissonna Tennison Web Publication Specialist National Law Review
Web Publication Specialist

Crissonna Tennison is a Web Publication Specialist for the National Law Review.  Before joining the NLR team, Crissonna worked in nonprofit development and communications for the American Bar Foundation, a premier sociolegal research institute, where she developed a podcast called Whose Law Is It Anyway? to highlight access to justice issues.

Crissonna obtained her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. In her spare time she runs a community fiber arts group, watches cult documentaries, and argues with her cat, Frank.

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