THE 2022 RAINMAKERS AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.
MCCA’s Annual List of Rainmakers proves that the profession has talented diverse attorneys who also have valuable client development skills. MCCA honors attorneys from across the nation who have achieved success through innovative, consistent, and proactive business development. Their success stories offer insight and value to attorneys at every career stage.
MCCA will profile and recognize the 2022 Rainmaker honorees on our website and social media throughout the year. The 2022 Rainmakers will be honored for their accomplishments at MCCA’s 2022 Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference on October 17-19 and at the 2022 Diversity Gala on October 19.
The profiles of all the past Rainmaker honorees can be found below and their sponsored spotlight videos can be found here.
Our goal is for the honorees to embody a wide representation, including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, attorneys with disabilities, geographic location, and practice area.
- Past MCCA Rainmakers are NOT eligible.
- Past nominees who were NOT selected ARE encouraged to reapply.
- Nominated attorneys must have a proven record of compiling a book of business exceeding $5 million annually, including over the past 3 years.
- Nominated attorneys must have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and service to the community.
- Demonstrate a deep commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.
- Nominated attorneys must have outstanding pro bono contributions. Please provide details on the number of clients served, numbers of hours contributed, impact of the service on clients, and/or the impact of the service on a pro bono program and/or community.
- Firms may choose to proffer more than one person, but a firm will not be represented by more than one attorney in the final group.
- Self-nomination is accepted.
MCCA’s 2021 Rainmakers were recognized on the virtual stage at the 2021 Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference on October 12 and at the Diversity Gala on October 13 for their professional achievements and commitment to improving his/her community.
* Learn more about our 2021 Rainmakers in the gallery below, and watch their Sponsored Honoree Videos.
Partner; Chair of Securities & Capital Markets Department,
Partner; Global Chair, Investigations & White Collar Defense,
Paul Hastings LLP
Partner, Chief Diversity Officer, Vice-chair- Litigation Department,
Nixon Peabody LLP
Partner; Chair, California International Commercial Practice Group,
PAST MCCA RAINMAKERS
PAUL LANCASTER ADAMS
Paul Lancaster Adams
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Paul is a nationally recognized labor and employment lawyer. With a strong in-house and outside counsel background, he brings a unique and practical perspective to issues critical to the modern workplace through counseling, negotiation and litigation. Paul represents employers throughout the U.S. in high-stakes federal and state court employment litigation, class and collective actions and administrative proceedings. He has successfully tried to verdict over 25 matters in federal and state courts and handled numerous arbitrations and mediations. Paul routinely defends clients in investigations by government agencies such as the EEOC, and state equivalents, DOL and NLRB and conducts and oversees internal corporate investigations of discrimination, harassment, fraud, embezzlement and other forms of employment misconduct. He also represents clients in employment related intellectual property matters.
The International Law Office (ILO) named Paul the 2017 and 2019 exclusive winner for Pennsylvania in the Employment Law category for its “Client Choice Awards”, based on feedback provided by more than 2,500 in-house counsel. The recognition focused on Paul’s ability to provide high quality legal representation, strategic thinking and value for services across jurisdictions. Since 2017, he has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon and Human Resources Executive magazine, and in 2020 was the profile-featured cover page honoree to the publication’s inaugural“500 Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers”. In 2016 Paul was elected a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has been listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2014 and further singled out as one of “The Legal 500” nationally. Philly Biz Magazine named Paul a “2016 Executive of the Year” distinguishing him as 1 of 11 individuals “working to make Philadelphia a leader in every sector.” In 2014, Paul was named one of the “Attorneys Who Matter” describing him as one of “the best and brightest minds in the legal field from around the globe” by leading international business ethics think-tank the Ethisphere® Institute.
Paul has served and continues to serve, in firm leadership roles to include, but not limited to, firm-wide Management Committee, Office Managing Shareholder, National/International Client Services Steering Committee and the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. Through Paul’s leadership, the Philadelphia office was named SmartCEO’s “2015 Law Firm of the Year” and Paul a finalist of the “Industry Practice Attorney of the Year”. Paul has been honored “Pennsylvania Diverse Attorney of the Year” in 2013 by The Legal Intelligencer (oldest law journal in the United States), a “Best Attorney in Philadelphia” by the Philadelphia Inquirer as well as “Top Lawyer in Pennsylvania” by the National Law Journal both since 2014 and Pennsylvania Super Lawyer 2015 to present. Additionally, in 2013 the Philadelphia Business Journal selected him to receive the “Minority Business Leader Executive Award” which distinguishably recognizes top-level corporate executives and advocates who play a strong role in their respective industries and communities.
Partner & Co-Chair of Dechert’s International Arbitration practice
Arif Hyder Ali co-chairs Dechert’s International Arbitration Group. For over 30 years, Arif has served as lead trial counsel and arbitrator in investor-state, commercial and construction arbitrations under all major international arbitral rule regimes and pursuant to numerous bilateral and multilateral investment protection treaties. He has represented parties from over 50 countries in high-stakes arbitrations under the laws of an equal number of jurisdictions, as well as international law. He has been decorated by the King of Bahrain with the Order of Bahrain for helping to resolve a border dispute with Qatar before the International Court of Justice and named a Law360 MVP for International Arbitration. Repeatedly recognized by ranking directories for his advocacy and strategic advice in cross-border disputes, Arif has won the International Law Office’s client choice award several times. He has also held senior positions with a specialized organ of the UN Security Council established to address war reparations, and with the World Intellectual Property Organization. He is the lead author of the widely used treatise, The International Arbitration Rulebook.
Arif’s family was forced to flee East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and proceeded to live in countries as far-flung as Brunei, Malaysia, Egypt, Libya, and the Netherlands. After attending boarding school in London, Arif eventually graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University and received his law degree from NYU. Arif’s multi-faceted upbringing gifted him with a command of several languages—and an unusual sensitivity to the dignity of all people. In a field in which an understanding of the cultural, political, and linguistic complexities surrounding a case often matter as much as legal skills and experience, Arif is firmly committed to fielding diverse teams as a matter of principle and case strategy.
Arif has a lengthy list of successes as lead counsel, especially for multinationals in the energy, oil and gas, and mining industries in arbitrations across the globe. For example, he recently successfully defended a Hungarian oil and gas company in a geopolitically sensitive dispute under the Energy Charter Treaty over a multi-billion-dollar project in Croatia and involved charges of bribery at the highest level. He has also successfully represented States such as Egypt, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic in disputes alleging illegal State action; hospitality multinational in multiple arbitrations over some of its most iconic properties; and various entities in arbitrations against ICANN, the Internet’s de facto regulator.
Arif’s belief in the power of diversity also infuses his pro bono work. He has represented asylum seekers and falsely imprisoned journalists before UN and human rights bodies, reported on violence against women and Rohingya Muslims for the ABA, litigated for an NGO seeking Internet access rights in Africa, and represented a coalition of LGBTQIA organizations to secure rights to the.GAY Internet top-level domain.
Arif teaches international arbitration at several law faculties, has spoken at more than 150 conferences worldwide, and publishes frequently, including most recently in the Wall Street Journal in favor of slavery reparations.
Partner, Chair of Private Equity and Venture Capital Practice Group,
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
William (Billy) J. Ching is a partner of the Corporate and Securities Group of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Atlanta where he chairs the firm’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Practice Group. Since joining the firm in 1996, Billy has developed and grown a robust practice and now serves as a mentor and leader to a team of 21 lawyers across the firm.
As a corporate attorney, Billy works primarily on middle-market transactions. He helps clients buy and sell businesses while simultaneously acting as a trusted strategic advisor on operational matters and in other areas of law. His clients include public and private companies, private equity funds, venture capital funds, and executive management. Billy’s reputation for being a “people person” among his team, his colleagues, and his clients has provided him with a large network of clients and referrals.
Billy graduated from Duke University’s School of Law cum laude, with his JD and from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business with his MBA in 1996. He received his BS, with distinction, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. In 1986, Billy scored a basket on Michael Jordan.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Eric is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Real Estate Department and serves as co-chair of the national Real Estate Leasing practice. He is also chair of Seyfarth’s Boston Diversity Inclusion and Action Team, and a member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association. Eric represents landlords and tenants in a wide range of leasing transactions including office buildings, industrial parks, shopping centers, and ground lease locations. Real estate clients faced with aggressive growth goals look to Eric when they need to increase their number of leased or owned sites, retail locations, and office locations. He frequently represents prominent retail companies with high-volume real estate portfolios, including several Fortune 50 retailers.
As a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Eric uses project management, process improvement, and technology in all aspects of his legal practice. He works collaboratively with clients to develop a programmatic and innovative approach to their real estate portfolios. His collaborative client relationships have been recognized with accolades and awards from the Association of Corporate Counsel (Value Co-Champion Award), The American Lawyer (Best Client/Law Firm Team Award), and The Financial Times (Innovation in Collaboration Honor).
MARY BETH JOHNSTON
K&L Gates LLP
Mary Beth Johnston is the co-leader of the global Health Care and FDA practice group, interim Managing Partner of the Nashville office, and has previously served on the firm’s Management Committee. She concentrates her practice exclusively in health law, representing major academic medical centers, hospitals, and health systems, accountable care organizations and provider networks, and pharmacy and clinical laboratory providers.
As a result of this diversified practice, her proficiency extends to federal and state regulatory compliance matters, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, FCA and internal investigations, faculty practice plan, and other physician compensation models, provider network development and managed care, and health care corporate governance matters. She likewise maintains an active transactional practice, representing clients on hospital acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as health system development and reorganizations. She is an active author and speaker on critical issues affecting the health care industry.
Partner & Chair of McGuireWoods’ Securities & Capital Markets Department,
Greg, chair of the Securities department, focuses his practice on public and private securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions. His experience includes assisting in the negotiation, structuring and closing of public debt financings, offerings of derivative and hybrid securities, M&A transactions, private placements, and private equity investments.
He has extensive experience in the area of private equity, including mezzanine finance, private placements and venture capital. Greg’s experience also includes private sector merger and acquisition transactions for corporate clients in the fields of software development, gas, underground utilities, industrial cleaning and banking. Further, he advises and negotiates on behalf of the various mid-market companies with respect to capital raising, and customer and vendor contracts and other transactional needs.
Greg has worked extensively with issuers in complex securities offerings, including registered offerings. He also has experience working with public companies to establish shelf registration statements in the U.S. and continuous offering programs pursuant to Rule 144A. In addition, Greg represents issuers in their public offerings of a variety of derivative securities, including equity linked, index linked and commodity linked products.
He also represents franchisors with respect to franchise operations, and with structuring and establishing franchise operations throughout the country.
CLAUDIA A. LEWIS is co-chair of the FDA Group at Venable LLP in Washington, DC, where she counsels clients on matters involving FDA regulation, labeling, and marketing of foods, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, medical devices, and other products. Ms. Lewis also helps international clients in establishing a U.S. market for their products. She has prepared and presented constitutional and administrative law cases before the FDA, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She is a thought leader in the industry, frequently speaking on the legal and regulatory state of the sector, including most recently the impact of COVID-19 with quotes on the FDA’s emergency use authorization process and developments from the FDA in 2020. Ms. Lewis received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 1995, is admitted to the Connecticut Bar, and practices before Federal agencies.
Partner; Global Chair, Investigations & White Collar Defense,
Paul Hastings LLP
Kwame J. Manley is Global Chair of the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, and complex civil litigation.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Manley defends individuals and companies before various agencies, including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other entities. His experience includes defending matters involving alleged U.S. sanctions violations, bank fraud, money laundering, procurement fraud, financial irregularities, and investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the False Claims Act (FCA). Mr. Manley has particular experience representing corporations and senior executives in significant DOJ and OFAC matters.
Mr. Manley has worked with multinational companies on all facets of FCPA and OFAC compliance and enforcement, including internal investigations, third party due diligence, transactional due diligence, compliance audits, and corruption risk assessments. He has performed complex, internal investigations in over 20 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America.
Before rejoining private practice, Mr. Manley served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, where he prosecuted white-collar, money laundering, and violent crime cases. Mr. Manley conducted multiple grand jury investigations and personally prosecuted more than 150 criminal matters.
Mr. Manley has tried over 20 jury trials in federal courts and has represented multiple clients before the United States Courts of Appeal.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Noiana is a partner in Freshfields’ international arbitration group, head of the arbitration practice in the Americas, and co-head of the firm’s Latin America practice.
Noiana’s practice focuses on investor-state and commercial arbitrations across a variety of sectors such as oil and gas, mining, telecommunications, infrastructure, aviation and airport services, sovereign debt, agriculture, and food production and distribution.
Noiana is civil and common law trained and has acted as counsel and arbitrator in more than 45 high-stakes, cutting-edge commercial and investment treaty arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the ICSID, ICC, PCA and/or ICDR, and under the UNCITRAL rules in both English and Spanish.
Noiana currently represents several investors in disputes against Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Republic of Guatemala.
As Freshfields’ Country Relationship Partner for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru, she possesses unique knowledge of each country’s legal market and has been ranked as one of the top 100 female lawyers specializing in the region.
She is recognized by Who’s Who Legal as one of the top practitioners in the field of international arbitration. In 2019, she was selected by the Hispanic National Bar Foundation as the recipient of the Latina Leadership Award and, in 2020, Noiana was recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the United States by Lawdragon and one of Latin America’s “Top 35 Female Lawyers” by Latinvex for her achievements in international arbitration.
Noiana received her law degree with honorsfrom the Buenos Aires University, her master’s degree with honors from the Université Paris I Panthéon, and her master’s degree in International Legal Studies from New York University School of Law in New York. She is admitted to practice in New York and in Argentina. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and French, and is conversant in German.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Christina Melendi’s corporate and securities practice focuses on representing US and global public and private corporations and private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investments, divestitures, asset purchases, minority investments, joint ventures, private and public equity and debt financings, securities offerings, and other general corporate matters. She also advises institutional and mezzanine investors on equity rights for co-investment transactions with private equity sponsors and restructuring and workout transactions. Additionally, she currently serves as Morgan Lewis’s firmwide hiring partner, co-leader of the firm’s retail and eCommerce industry initiative, and deputy leader of the firm’s New York corporate and business transactions practice.
Christina assists companies to raise capital in the public markets, including initial public offerings and secondary offerings, and counsels clients on SEC reporting and securities law disclosure, annual meeting and proxy related issues, corporate governance matters, and stock exchange listing requirements.
Partner, Chief Diversity Officer, Vice-chair – Litigation Department,
Nixon Peabody LLP
Joseph J. Ortego, Deputy Chairman of Nixon Peabody LLP’s Litigation Department, the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer, a partner in the firm’s New York City office and team leader of the firm’s Aviation and NP Trial® practices, has approximately thirty years of litigation and business experience.
Mr. Ortego has tried over 100 cases to verdict for major corporations ranging from automotive to chemical companies, with trial experience in the trial of aviation, medical device, pharmaceutical, toxic tort, and complex commercial matters. As an example of his trial acumen, Mr. Ortego secured a unanimous defense verdict in a Broward County, Florida, state court aviation case that was featured as #4 in CVN’s Top10 Most Impressive Defense Verdicts of 2018.
Mr. Ortego focuses in the areas of commercial disputes, toxic tort, environmental, employment, intellectual property, aviation, and product liability matters. He serves as National Trial Counsel for a number of clients who desire a consistent approach to lawsuits filed in multiple states, and represents small, mid-size, and publicly traded companies. Affiliations include: Adults and Children with Learning and Development Disabilities (ACLD), President of the Board of Trustees and Member, and ABA ABOTA Trial Academy, Director and Faculty Member. He holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and a B.A., with honors, from Syracuse University.
Partner; Chair, California International Commercial Practice Group,
Joyce Smith began her career with Baker McKenzie as an International Clerk working in the Firm’s Amsterdam office in 1992. She joined the San Francisco/Palo Alto office in 1993 and became a partner in 2010. Her practice focuses on advising some of the Firm’s most recognized technology companies on structuring, managing and implementing cross-border commercial and technology transactions in connection with global expansion, strategic alliances, corporate and tax reorganizations, and post-acquisition integrations.
Through her leadership and broad-ranging expertise, Joyce has strengthened the Firm’s reputation as a leading expert in commercial, IP and compliance issues for large-scale cross-border transactions, IP migrations, buy/sell conversions, intercompany IP commercial transactions, spin offs and divestitures and a myriad of tax, corporate and business restructurings which cut across numerous jurisdictions, practice groups, business lines and industries.
Joyce has held a number of leadership positions at the Firm, including her current roles as:
- Leader of the Firm’s Global IP Transactions and Tax Practice;
- Chair of the California International Commercial Practice Group;
- Member of the North America International Commercial Group Steering Committee;
- Member of the Firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee;
- Member of the Firm’s North America Diversity and Inclusion Committee;
- Member of the Firm’s Global Taskforce on Racial and Ethnic Diversity; and
- Member of the North America Client Growth Initiative Steering Committee.
She has been named one of The Recorder’s Women Leaders in Tech Law (2014) and a Most Influential Black Lawyer by Savoy Magazine (2018).
Joyce is frequently asked to speak on topics related to IP and commercial and compliance aspects of global tax, corporate and supply-chain restructurings, IP migrations, digital transformation and the cloud. Over the years she has presented to hundreds of business professionals at events hosted by Baker McKenzie and The Association of Corporate Counsel (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter).
Joyce is a member of a number of local and industry related organizations, including the California State Bar Association (International Law Section), the District of Columbia Bar and Black Tech Lawyers. She is admitted to practice in both California and the District of Columbia.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Will Stute, a litigation partner in Orrick’s Washington, D.C. office, is a first chair trial lawyer who represents a range of major companies in the tech, life sciences and other sectors. Over the past several years, he has served as national trial coordinating counsel for the NCAA in concussion-related litigation and has been instrumental in developing Orrick’s sports law practice.
Partner; Co-Chair, Fund Finance Practice Group,
Haynes and Boone, LLP
Albert Tan joined the firm in 1994 and became a partner in the Finance section in 2004. In addition to serving as co-chair of the Fund Finance Practice Group, he currently serves as a member of the firm’s (i) 6-person Appointments Committee, which appoints and oversees all of the firm’s strategic leadership and management roles, (ii) Board of Directors, (iii) Partners’ Compensation Committee and (iv) Strategic Growth Committee. He formerly served as a co-chair of the firm’s attorney development and diversity committee and a member of its Racial Equality Advancement in Law Task Force.
During his career at the firm, Albert has represented investment and commercial banks, as agents and arrangers in more than 550 subscription secured credit facilities with total value of over $120 billion to Asia, US, Europe, Latin America and global real estate, infrastructure, debt, buyout and energy private equity funds, including structuring and documenting some of the first subscription financing to real estate private equity funds in Japan, Greater China, Singapore and Korea and to some of the largest global infrastructure funds and Asia-focused buyout funds; and during the global financial crises of 2007-2008, Albert was one of few fund finance attorneys who represented lenders in the successful enforcement of subscription financing defaults against PE funds and their investors.
In recognition of Albert’s efforts in the fund finance markets, The National Law Journal selected him to its inaugural 35 person list of Finance, Banking and Capital Markets Trailblazers in 2019, and Euromoney Expert Guides, Euromoney Institutional Investor 2012, listed him as a “Leading Practitioner” in its Guide to Leading Practitioners: International Private Equity, United States. Earlier in his career, Albert was also selected in “40 under 40” lists by The Texas Lawyer and Dallas Business Journal, respectively, and “Best Lawyers under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Aside from maintaining an active law practice and serving in firm leadership, Albert volunteers his time in the legal community, where he currently serves as a community fellow at SMU Dedman School of Law and has served as a board director and executive council member of the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, Asian Pacific Interest Section of State Bar of Texas, and International Section of State Bar of Texas, respectively, and served as mentors to Asian Pacific American law students and young attorneys. In recognition of his service to the legal community, he is a recipient of: (i) the “Justice Wellington Chew Award,” for the outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of a lawyer who has paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorneys and made substantial and lasting contributions to the APA legal profession, as well as the broader APA community (Asian Pacific Interest Section – State Bar of Texas, 2015); (ii) “Inspirational Leadership Award” (Dallas Asian American Bar Association, 2011); (iii) Outstanding Attorney Achievement Award” (SMU Dedman School of Law, AALSA, 2008-2009); (iv) “Council Member of the Year” (Asian Pacific Interest Section – State Bar of Texas, 2019) and (v) “Outstanding Member Award” (Dallas Asian American Bar Association, 2009).
Among the clients that Albert represents are: Bank of America, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Bridge Bank, Cathay Bank, China Merchant Bank, Citibank, EBRD, Goldman Sachs Bank, Itaú Unibanco S.A., Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Morgan Stanley Bank, MUFG Union, Regions Bank, Signature Bank, SMBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, United Overseas Bank, US Trust, and Wells Fargo Bank.
From 1997 to 2000, Albert was based in Hong Kong, where he served a secondment as chief counsel for Caltex Corporation (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation), responsible for all Caltex legal affairs in Greater China, and worked on FDI projects in China and other parts of Asia.
Albert regularly makes presentations and serves as guest speaker and panelist for legal and business seminars on fund finance, private equity, and legal education, organized by, among others, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Private Equity International CFOs & COOs Forum, PERE CFOs & COOs Forum, PERE – Asia Summit, PERE – Japan Forum, PERE – North America Forum, Private Equity International – Global Alternative Investment Forum Japan, Privcap, US Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum, FFA Asia Pacific Fund Finance Symposium (co-chair and steering committee member (2017-2020)), FFA Global Fund Finance Symposium, State Bar of Texas, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, American Bar Association, Bank of America, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation, Limited, Southern Methodist University Law Center, Southern Methodist University School of Business, Texas A&M University School of Law, Institute of International Research, Asia Law and Practice, Euromoney, China Law & Practice, Dallas Greater Chamber, Institutional Real Estate, Inc., and Strafford Publications.
Outside of law, Albert serves on the National Leadership Council and DFW Regional Leadership Council of San Diego State University and has served as board director and advisory board member to the Crow Museum of Asian Art and the Asia Society of Texas, respectively.
Goodwin Procter LLP
Maggie Wong is a partner in Goodwin’s Life Sciences group, representing private and public companies in the biotechnology, medical device and digital health industries and serving as a legal and business adviser across their entire corporate lifecycle. Maggie provides strategic advice and corporate counseling to clients as they in-license and acquire IP and other assets, raise capital to fund their operations and seek to partner their technology or engage in exit transactions. She regularly counsels clients on pre-incorporation planning, seed and venture financings, IPOs and capital markets transactions, SEC compliance, and M+A and has substantial experience advising on licensing, collaboration, partnering, distribution and other commercial agreements. Maggie is a member of Goodwin’s PropSci practice, which supports the real estate needs of life sciences companies. She is also the San Francisco office Co-chair for the firm’s women’s initiative – Women@Goodwin.
As a result of these efforts, Maggie has received national recognition. She has repeatedly been named an LMG Life Sciences Star for Corporate, Licensing & Collaboration, Mergers & Acquisitions and Venture Capital matters. The Legal 500 US has ranked Maggie as a key Life Sciences lawyer, with clients describing her as, “a tireless resource who is always available, provides rapid and actionable feedback, and loops in colleagues as needed for specific expertise. She is willing and able to meet our colleagues at their level of experience and support the execution of simple and complex transactions.”
Partner; Co-Leader, Transportation Industry Team,
Bryan is the co-leader of the McGuireWoods Transportation Industry Group as well as a member of the firm’s Finance Committee and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is a well-rounded litigator with national experience in a wide range of industries including transportation, retail, construction equipment, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. Bryan’s practice is centered upon understanding clients’ business needs and legal challenges, ultimately balancing the two to deliver favorable business results and litigation outcomes.
Bryan has successfully resolved client’s issues through dispositive motions, mediation, arbitration and favorable settlements. He currently serves as National Coordinating Counsel and manages a significant portfolio of litigation for a Fortune 50 transportation company as well as a major technology platform. Bryan was a key driver in creating a litigation management dashboard with analytics components to give clients greater insights and predictability into their litigation.
Partner; Member, Executive Committee; Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee,
Winston & Strawn, LLP
Kobi Kennedy Brinson is a partner in Winston & Strawn LLP’s Charlotte office in the White Collar, Regulatory Defense & Investigations practice group who defends financial services and other clients in government regulatory enforcement inquiries and investigations, as well as class action litigation. Kobi has spent more than 20 years defending corporate clients as both in-house counsel for some of the nation’s largest financial institutions and as outside counsel to corporate clients nationwide.
Kobi’s heightened sensitivity to the business objectives and needs of her clients has led to her successful handling of regulatory and investigative matters on behalf of her global financial institution clients as well as smaller organizations undergoing governmental scrutiny. She has extensive experience dealing with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and continues to focus her practice on helping clients navigate that agency’s complex investigative process.
Kobi has defended numerous clients against investigations by state Attorneys General, and has provided advice and counsel for investigations and legal processes by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ).
In addition to her regulatory practice, Kobi represents clients in class action litigation with a focus on consumer lending and retail banking issues. She uses her in depth knowledge of consumer banking and lending to dismantle plaintiffs’ claims, while obtaining favorable rulings on motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. As an attorney with deep experience in adverse litigation and investigatory matters, Kobi also counsels clients facing media and, in some cases, Congressional scrutiny.
Partner, Team Lead, and Board Member,
Duane Morris LLP
Phil Cha is a partner at the law firm of Duane Morris LLP. He serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Energy industry group and is a member of the firm’s governing partners’ board. He litigates complex environmental, commercial and mass tort matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Phil has litigated dozens of high-exposure and high-profile cases regarding environmental contamination, business and contract disputes, defective products, and mass/toxic torts. The majority of Phil’s cases have involved amounts in the millions of dollars. Many have been class actions, multidistrict litigations or government enforcement actions involving amounts in controversy in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
In addition to his litigation practice, Phil advises clients on regulatory compliance, government investigations, management of environmental liabilities, remediation of contaminated sites, and the sale and development of contaminated properties.
Phil has received numerous accolades by clients, peers and legal publications for his legal abilities, professionalism and accomplishments. Law360 named him a “Rainmaker” and a “Minority Power Broker” in back-to-back years. The New Jersey State Bar Association named Phil a “Professional Lawyer of the Year” for consistently demonstrating high character, legal competence and exemplary professional behavior. He has an AV Preeminent Peer Rating and a Client Champion Gold Rating on Martindale-Hubbell.
Outside the practice of law, Phil has volunteered with various non-profit organizations such as the Law School Admission Council’s Discover Law Program, the American Red Cross, and pro bono clinics.
Phil is a 1999 graduate of Rutgers Law School and a 1995 graduate of Rutgers School of Environmental & Biological Sciences.
Partner and M&A Team Leader,
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Will Chuchawat is the Managing Partner of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. He does M&A, all day, every day.
Areas of Practice
Will has closed hundreds of deals in A&D, life sciences, healthcare, consumer, TMT, industrials, financial services, manufacturing, food and beverage and other industries.
Will has been consistently recognized as one of the best attorneys in the country, including:
- Named one of Law360‘s Top Attorneys in the Nation Under 40
- The M&A Advisor named him as one of the “40 Under 40” in the West, which includes: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, ND, NE, NM, NV, OR, OK, SD, TX, UT, WA and WY. The M&A Advisor made their selections from a pool of not just attorneys, but everyone in the M&A and turnaround space, which included private equity professionals, bankers, consultants, accountants, money managers, etc.
- The Daily Journal named him one of the top 20 attorneys under 40 in California
- The Recorder named him one of the 50 Lawyers on the Fast Track in California
- The LA Business Journal named him one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers
- Legal 500, Mergers and Acquisitions 2015-2019
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2012-2019
Will earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to English, Will speaks Chinese, Spanish and Thai
Brendan Gutierrez McDonnell
K&L Gates LLP
Brendan McDonnell counsels clients on corporate and securities laws, mergers and acquisitions and public and private financings, including private equity and venture capital transactions. Mr. McDonnell’s practice focuses on the legal and business issues affecting public and private growth companies, both in the technology and non–technology sectors. He also regularly represents some of the region’s most active private equity funds.
Mr. McDonnell counsels companies on a variety of everyday business issues including advice on securities laws, corporate laws (including director and officer duties), executive compensation plans and general corporate contracts. He has worked with clients at every stage of development, from initial formation to Fortune 100 status.
Mr. McDonnell understands the importance of learning a client’s business before providing business critical legal advice and works directly with his clients to implement tailored solutions to their complex business problems.
Mr. McDonnell’s accounting background affords him an advantage in understanding his clients’ business and financial objectives. He served on the board of directors of Hollis Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEPH) from 1996 to 2008, including service on the compensation, audit and nominating committees. In 2000 and 2001, he served as an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.
Partner; Co-Chair of White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice; Management Committee Member,
Ronald Machen, a member of the firm’s global Management Committee and co-chair of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, is one of the nation’s leading trial and white-collar defense lawyers. His practice focuses on government enforcement actions, corporate and congressional investigations, and litigating complex civil business disputes. An experienced litigator who has tried more than 35 cases to verdict, Mr. Machen specializes in litigating complex criminal and civil actions. He also routinely helps clients navigate high-stakes, crisis situations that garner the attention of multiple regulators, enforcement authorities, Congress and private litigants. Prior to rejoining the firm in 2015, Mr. Machen served for over five years as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Laura Maechtlen is the National Chair of the Labor and Employment Department at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Her practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions. Laura also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in systemic actions, both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.
Laura is a national leader on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, and has held a variety of leadership positions through which she has advocated for systemic improvement in the legal industry in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the California Minority Counsel Program. She is a previous Latina Commissioner for the Hispanic National Bar Association, President of the National LGBT Bar Association, Chair of the CA Minority Counsel Program, and Fellow for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). Laura is also a founding member of SeyfarthLife, her Firm’s core initiative focused on health, wellness and resiliency for all personnel.
Laura speaks and publishes regularly on a variety of employment law and litigation topics, and issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reuters, The Recorder, Vogue, The Daily Journal, the Insurance Journal, CIO.com, Employment Law 360, and others. She has also served as a contributing editor to multiple editions of The Fair Labor Standards Act (ABA) and The Developing Labor Law (BNA).
Partner, Co-Chair, Litigation & Enforcement Practice Group,
Ropes & Gray LLP
Alex, based in Ropes and Gray’s Washington, D.C. office, is co-chair of the global Litigation and Enforcement practice group. Alex has extensive experience representing corporate entities and their executives in connection with litigation and investigations arising out of white collar criminal prosecutions, grand jury investigations, criminal antitrust investigations, and corporate compliance matters. Alex spent two years on secondment in London advising clients primarily on anti-bribery issues.
Prior to entering private practice, Alex was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, Fraud Section. While in the Fraud Section, Alex served as a member of the DOJ’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and prosecuted matters involving mail, wire and procurement fraud, campaign finance and securities fraud, obstruction of justice, money laundering, and violations of the Travel Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), among other offenses. Known for his extensive experience handling matters with cross-border elements, Alex is individually recognized by leading publications, including Chambers Global for FCPA-USA and Chambers USA for FCPA-USA-Nationwide and Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.
Partner; Vice Chair, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity,
Paul Hastings LLP
Sherrese is Vice-Chair of the firm’s Data Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and partner in the Technology, Media, & Telecommunications (TMT) practice. She is a highly-regarded, Chambers-ranked attorney who regularly counsels companies on complex transactional and regulatory issues involving communications and media regulatory, technology, and industry issues.
Sherrese Smith is recognized among the nation’s top lawyers operating at the intersection of transactional, regulatory, privacy, and cybersecurity law. Indeed, her clients draw from some of the most easily-recognized names in the Technology, Media, & Telecommunications (“TMT”).
She regularly counsels house-hold name companies on complex transactional and regulatory issues involving media regulatory, technology, and industry issues. Among her expertise includes data privacy, cybersecurity, and breach response investigations, including managing global privacy and information security risks. She regularly navigates clients through data breach and crisis response and associated regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings.
Sherrese previously served as Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where she was responsible for determining the agency’s business and policy agenda on a multitude of media and technology matters, including broadcast, cable and broadband and internet matters, as well as wireless and telecommunications issues involving spectrum use. She led the FCC’s cross-agency efforts to refine and implement new rules on data privacy and cybersecurity for multinational companies navigating complex data and privacy rules in the US, EU, and Asia. Her work also involved extensive interaction with external stakeholders, including wireless, media, cable, and telecommunications companies, industry groups and trade associations, federal and state agencies, and Congress.
Additionally, she served as V.P. and General Counsel of Washington Post Digital, where she was in charge of all legal and policy matters for the 10 business units across The Washington Post Company’s digital media and technology company.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Ellisen Turner is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice Group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Based in the Los Angeles office, his broad IP practice includes patent and trade secret litigation and intellectual property transactions. Ellisen is an IP strategist who combines business acumen with deep understanding of IP law to support his clients’ business goals and maximize the value of their technology.
Ellisen represents and counsels clients in complex commercial and intellectual property disputes in federal courts, as well as in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and domestic and international arbitrations. With a background in computer engineering, computer science and biomedical engineering, he is known for his sophisticated understanding of the high-tech sector. He concentrates his practice on media and entertainment technology, software, telecom, semiconductor, biotechnology and life sciences matters.
Ellisen also handles patent and trade secret litigations and contested patent office proceedings, particularly inter partes reviews (IPRs), through all phases, from pre-litigation to trial and appeal.
Ellisen helps clients develop strategies to successfully monetize their technologies, maximizing the value of both tangible and intellectual assets. He counsels businesses on technology development and commercialization and represents them in bankruptcy matters and transactions. These matters — which can involve a single patent or as many as tens of thousands of assets — include intellectual property transactions and license negotiations, as well as intellectual property due diligence in connection with mergers, acquisitions and asset purchases.
Clients rely on Ellisen both for his track record of success and for the enormous creativity he brings to each matter. Through his holistic approach, he takes the time to understand his clients’ business plans, short-term objectives, and long-term definitions of success. Armed with this knowledge, he crafts successful, often groundbreaking, legal strategies that meet clients’ critical business goals and pave the way to success in future endeavors.
Ellisen is deeply involved in the Los Angeles community and in national legal organizations and has been repeatedly appointed to the Judicial Elections Evaluations Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has served as the chair and a board member of the Intellectual Property Section of the National Bar Association. Ellisen also founded the National Bar Association’s annual Diversity in Tech Awards, which recognize leaders for fostering diversity and inclusion in the STEM and intellectual property fields. He also serves on the Intellectual Property Owners Association Litigation Committee and its Education Subcommittee.
Frequently invited as a speaker on patent law, Ellisen has presented on patent litigation and patent damages at the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and other intellectual property conferences. He has been an associate columnist for the National Law Journal and has co-authored several papers and presentations regarding patent law and practice topics, including forum selection in patent infringement litigation, claim construction hearing practice and pre-litigation investigations.
Ellisen’s strong knowledge of the technology sector is informed by his early professional experience in private industry. Before attending law school, he worked as as a software engineer at AlliedSignal Aerospace (now Honeywell International Inc.), Hewlett-Packard and IBM’s Silicon Valley Laboratory and as a manufacturing execution system and database design consultant.
In his spare time, Ellisen enjoys boxing, writing, sketching and bicycling.