State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
September 2018


Former South Carolina governor and Clinton Education Secretary Richard Riley of South Carolina member firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has been named a 2018 Lifetime Achiever by The American Lawyer magazine. One of the original 17 governors who helped found SCG Legal in 1989, he was elected to the South Carolina legislature in 1963 and to the governorship in 1978. Voters amended the state constitution so that he could seek a second term, which he won in a landslide. During his tenure in the governor’s office, he passed sweeping education reforms to raise standards, reduce class sizes, add early childhood education programs and boost teacher pay. Governor Riley today leads EducationCounsel, a Nelson Mullins consultancy, and the Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University, whose focus is the advancement of new ideas in the field of education.


Ed Paton and James Morvell of Melbourne, Australia, member firm Hall & Wilcox have been recognized in Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2018 as leading corporate and commercial lawyers. Doyle’s Guide lists solicitors who have been recognized by their peers for their expertise, abilities and track record of acting on matters involving small and mid-market entities. Mr. Morvell has a broad range of both corporate and general commercial experience, particularly in the areas of equity capital markets, corporate advice, and public and private M&A. Mr. Paton’s practice covers mergers and acquisitions including acting for buyers or sellers in a wide range of share sales, business sales and asset sales, due diligence, family business, private equity, venture capital transactions, capital raising and corporate and commercial agreements.


The Honorable Benjamin Greenberg of Quebec member firm Dunton Rainville has been named Montreal Lawyer of the Year in international arbitration in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in Canada. A former Quebec Superior Court judge, Mr. Greenberg practiced business law before the civil courts of Quebec before joining the bench. He has served as an arbitrator and mediator since 1999, primarily in international arbitration and in Canadian commercial arbitration. Mr. Greenberg is a member of the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada, which conferred on him the title of Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb.). He is a member of the Quebec Bar, the Canadian Bar Association and the International Bar Association, as well as an associate member of the American Bar Association.


David Mitchell, Jr., and B.J. Walker of Arkansas member Rose Law Firm have been named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2018 Forty & Under Hot List. Selections are based on the top litigators who have proven themselves at a young age to be among the top in the profession. Benchmark noted that Mr. Mitchell is one of the youngest “hot listers” in the country and highlighted his current work defending a multinational oil and gas company that faces a putative nationwide class action relating to allegedly defective piping systems. Mr. Walker focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, catastrophe management, and advising clients regarding compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations. He has defended multiple national and state class actions and multi-district litigation matters. Also at Rose Law, Andrew Rittenhouse has recently joined the firm. His commercial litigation experience includes representing public and private companies in breach of contract disputes, non-compete and other employment contract disputes, and business torts. His patent experience includes assisting clients with patent prosecution and representing clients in disputes over patent rights. A graduate of the University of Arkansas Law School, he is also currently a First Lieutenant in the Arkansas Army National Guard’s Judge Advocate General Corps, where he serves as trial counsel for the 87th Troop Command Brigade.


Florida member firm Ausley McMullen shareholder Richard Doran was recently elected vice chair of the judicial nominating commission for the Florida First District Court of Appeal. He was reappointed for a  three-year term by Governor Rick Scott on July  1st. Mr. Doran previously served two terms as chair of the judicial nominating commission for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida during the administrations of Governors Bush and Crist.


William (Trip) England, Dean Cooper, Russell Mitten, Paul Boudreau and Charles Smarr of Missouri member firm Brydon, Swearengen & England have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. Mr. Smarr is listed in food and beverage law; Messrs. Cooper, Mitten and Boudreau, in energy law; and Mr. England, in energy and communications law.


Philip Maw of New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams has been appointed national managing partner following the retirement of Jared Ormsby. Mr. Maw has been a partner in the firm since 2011 and has led the nationally renowned resource management and environmental team since 2012. He joined the firm in 2004 as a law clerk.  He is recognized by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a recommended and recognized leader in his field. Mr. Ormsby will retire from the firm next month.


Alberta member firm Field Law has expanded its blog to become a portal providing the firm’s clients added information on topics related to wills and estates, construction, commercial litigation and insurance. Plans are also under way for its privacy and craft-brewing lawyers to become contributors to the site. The blog includes insights and updates from the firm’s lawyers designed to increase awareness of key issues in the business and personal lives of clients, potential clients and referral partners. To visit the blog, click here.


Singapore member firm Colin Ng & Partners advised Eggriculture Foods on its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, pursuant to which 125,000,000 shares were offered at an offer price of HK$0.50 per share, raising approximately HK$33.9 million in net proceeds. Eggriculture is a Singapore-based group principally engaged in the production and sale of egg products. Partner Tan Min-Li, along with senior associate Low Zhi Ni and associate Jennifer Lo, advised Eggriculture on the listing. Ms. Min-Li and Stephen Soh, along with senior associate Low Zhi Ni, associate Jennifer Lo and paralegal Samuel Ling, also advised and acted as solicitors for Synagie Corporation in its initial public offering on the Catalist Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. The IPO raised approximately S$11.6 million in gross proceeds and S$9.8 million in net proceeds, which will be used for business expansion. Synagie is Southeast Asia’s leading digital commerce enabler in the body, beauty and baby sector and also the fastest-growing digital commerce start-up in Singapore. It has more than 250 brand partners in the sector including Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark and Shiseido.


The Minnesota Supreme Court last month affirmed lower court rulings striking down a nearly $1.4 million fee that the City of Woodbury sought to charge Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman’s client Martin Harstad as a condition for approving his 183-unit residential development. Woodbury called the fee a “major roadway assessment,” which the city maintained was justified because new residential development “pays its own way and that all associated costs for the installation of public infrastructure to serve new residential development be the sole responsibility of the developing property owner.” The Court instead called it an “infrastructure charge” which it held was unenforceable because “no part of Minn. Stat. § 462.358 [the statute on which Woodbury relied] authorizes a statutory city to impose an infrastructure charge.” The Supreme Court said that, “Had the Legislature intended to authorize a city to condition subdivision approval on a ‘cash fee’ for infrastructure improvements, it would have used those precise terms . . . . The Legislature did not do so.” Larkin Hoffman’s team of Rob Stefonowicz, Gary Van Cleve, Peter Coyle and Bryan Huntington represented Mr. Harstad in the litigation. The entire opinion of the Court can be found here.


Germany member firm Graf von Westphalen recently advised the Midwich Group on the acquisition of Nuremberg-based Bauer und Trummer GmbH, which trades as New Media. The Midwich Group, which is headquartered in the United Kingdom, is one of the leading distributors of technology solutions in the audiovisual sector with operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Iberia, the Benelux and Australasia. Midwich has longstanding relationships with over 330 vendors including blue-chip organizations such as Samsung, LG, Epson and NEC. The Graf von Westphalen team was led by Dr. Ritesh Rajani and included partners Dr. Malte Evers, Dr. Frank Tschesche, Stephan Menzemer and Dr. Patrick Wolff, associated partners Dr. Christian Triebe, Lutz Leonard Lamprecht, Johan van der Veer and Dr. Andreas Wolowski, and associates Dr. Michael Engel and Sven-Erik Holm. The sellers were advised by KPMG Law in Nuremberg.


Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese has launched a new website, which the firm says is designed to elevate the visitor’s experience while embodying the firm’s brand. Streamlined menus and simplified navigation, all within a responsive layout, provide more ways for clients to access resources, information on attorneys and government relations professionals and the legal services the firm provides. The website also provides immediate insight into the firm’s culture, with quick access to the firm’s attorneys and advisors, experience and practice offerings and news and thought leadership. To view the firm’s website, click here. Also at Adams and Reese, 131 of its lawyers have been cited in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. In addition, the firm was “top-listed” in government relations, environmental litigation and public finance law, which signifies it has the greatest number of lawyers in Louisiana from a single firm in each of those practice areas. It was also “top-listed” in New Orleans for environmental litigation and mass tort litigation/class actions (defendants). Finally, former deputy White House chief of staff Rick Dearborn has become associated with the firm’s government relations practice as senior policy advisor. Mr. Dearborn has more than 30 years of government and private sector experience in Washington, D.C., having served two U.S. presidents, six U.S. senators, a leading think tank and a major trade association. From January 2017 through March 2018, he served as White house deputy chief of staff for legislative, intergovernmental affairs and implementation under President Donald Trump. Mr. Dearborn is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He is not licensed to practice law, and maintains a separate consultancy as a partner with The Cypress Group.


Thomas Sanchez has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans’ litigation division as an associate in the Pittsburgh office. He litigates commercial disputes and has represented clients in cases involving contract disputes, business torts, product liability, patent infringement, unfair competition, business dissolution matters, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and environmental matters. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Also joining the firm in the Pittsburgh office are Matthew Meade and Edward Flynn. Mr. Meade is joining as a partner in the data security and privacy group. He focuses his practice on data security, providing advice to clients regarding data breaches, information and records management, and other areas affecting data security. He is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law. Mr. Flynn is a trial attorney with over 35 years of intellectual property litigation experience. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School.  Joining the firm in the Harrisburg office as a litigation associate is Tara Burns. Ms. Burns focuses her practice on labor and employment matters as well as business counseling and litigation. She also represents employers with respect to contract negotiations, interest arbitrations, grievance arbitrations, and employment-related litigation. Ms. Burns received her J.D. from Dickinson School of Law at The Pennsylvania State University. In addition, Christina Frangiosa, a member in the firm’s Philadelphia office, has been elected to a four-year term as a member of the council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law. She was also appointed program chair of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s 2019 spring conference. Ms. Frangiosa’s practice is primarily centered on protecting her clients’ copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights. She is a graduate of Temple University School of Law. Finally, 42 of the firm’s attorneys were recognized in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. The following were also named Lawyer of the Year in Pittsburgh: Nancy Rackoff, for trusts and estates; Timothy Ryan, for intellectual property; and Thomas Sweeney, for product liability litigation (defendants).


Bryan Finlay, Q.C., of Ontario member firm WeirFoulds will be awarded The Advocates' Society Medal at a gala dinner in February 2019. The Advocates' Society Medal is the highest expression of esteem the Society can confer on one of its members. Also, Frank Walwyn has been named by Canadian Lawyer one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada for 2018. Mr. Walwyn’s highly successful corporate and commercial litigation practice extends beyond Canadian borders to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition, Glenn Ackerley, Raj Anand and Lisa Borsook have all been listed in the 2018 Lexpert® Guide to US/Canada Cross-Border Lawyers in Canada. Finally, partner Raj Anand will be recognized as a “high achiever” in Canada's South Asian community at this year's Grant's Desi Achievers Awards Gala in October.


Connecticut member firm Robinson+Cole has had 52 of its attorneys listed in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America, 42 of whom are from Connecticut. The firm continues to have the highest number of lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers® in the state. Additionally, the following two lawyers were named Lawyer of the Year in Hartford, Connecticut, in their respective practice areas: Earl Phillips, Jr., in environmental law; and Michael Maglio, in banking and finance Law. Also at Robinson+Cole, Michael Kearney has joined the firm as a partner in its Stamford office. He is an experienced tax lawyer with a broad-based transactional tax practice involving corporations, partnerships and LLCs. Mr. Kearney’s experience also includes managing tax structuring and due diligence teams. He is a graduate of Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law and has an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.


Maryland member firm Rifkin Weiner Livingston has had five of its attorneys featured in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America including Arnold Weiner, for bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, and criminal defense: white-collar and professional malpractice law (plaintiffs); Aron Raskas, for commercial litigation; Barry Gogel , for professional malpractice law (plaintiffs); Ty Kelly, for criminal defense: white-collar;  and Jonathan Biran, for criminal defense: white-collar.


Ten attorneys from Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton have been listed in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America. They include Rebecca Almon, for environmental law; Timothy Atkinson, for commercial litigation; Tom Downey, for administrative/regulatory law; Michelle Ferguson, for employment law (individuals) and employment law (management); Mark Haynes, for litigation (insurance); John Lewis, who’s appeared on the list since 1989, for mergers and acquisitions law and corporate law; Russell Kemp, for real estate law; Michael Miller, for corporate law; William Tanis, for business organizations and corporate law; and Thomas Wolf, for real estate law.

Utah member firm Parsons Behle & Latimer has launched Parsons Behle Lab, which is led by Kimball Dean Parker. Mr. Parker, who is also head of LawX, a legal design lab at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, said the Parsons Behle Lab’s objective is to sell legal services at a fraction of the typical cost to primarily small or midsized businesses that otherwise would not buy them.  One recent example of the Lab’s success is its development of an automated interview tool called GDPRIQ, which for $10,000 creates a full set of legal documents to comply with the European data privacy law, enabling the firm to serve a much broader swath of its client base at a far more affordable price – and to do it much more quickly. For his efforts to make the law more accessible, Mr. Kimball recently received a Fastcase 50 Award, which honors “the law’s smartest, most courageous, techies, visionaries, and leaders.” He was also named the 2018 Cyber Pioneer by the Utah Bar and one of “Forty under 40” by Utah Business magazine.

Nineteen attorneys from Kentucky member firm McBrayer have been listed in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America including, in the Lexington office, Stephen Amato, Jaron Blandford, Emily Cowles, James Frazier, III, Calvin Fulkerson, David  Guarnieri, Mary Estes Haggin, Lisa English Hinkle, Douglas Logsdon, Robert Maclin, III, Terry McBrayer, Luke Morgan, Brent Rice, Christopher Shaughnessy, Terri Stallard and Jon Woodall; and in the Louisville office, Cynthia Effinger, Robert Watson and Jack Wheat. Best Lawyer® also ascribed Lawyer of the Year status in their respective markets to Stephen Amato, James Frazier, III, David Guarnieri and Cynthia Effinger.  


Marlaine Teahan of Michigan member firm Fraser Trebilcock has been named one of the Top 30 Women in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. The award is given annually to inspiring and accomplished female lawyers who also serve as mentors to others and contribute significant time giving back to their communities. Ms. Teahan chairs the probate and estate planning section of the State Bar of Michigan and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Super Lawyers® also recently named her one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Michigan, one of the Top 50 Female Attorneys in Michigan, one of the Top 50 Consumer Law Attorneys in Michigan, and one of the Top 25 Female Consumer Law Attorneys in Michigan, and Best Lawyers® named her a Lawyer of the Year. Elizabeth Latchana was also named a Lawyer of the Year, for employee benefits (ERISA) law, and the following 18 other attorneys from the firm were listed for inclusion in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers® in America: Michael Ashton, for administrative/regulatory law, litigation – regulatory enforcement (SEC, telecom, energy), and utilities law); Douglas Austin, for real estate law; Stephen Burlingame, for corporate law); Mark Bush, for commercial litigation; Michael Cavanaugh, for administrative/regulatory law, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, litigation (labor and employment); Graham Crabtree, for appellate practice; Anita Fox, for commercial litigation; Jennifer Utter Heston, for administrative/regulatory law; Max Hoffman, Jr., for administrative/regulatory law; Peter Houk, for arbitration, mediation; Mark Kellogg, for closely held companies and family businesses law; Darrell Lindman, for employee benefits (ERISA) law; David Marvin, for administrative/regulatory law, corporate law, and utilities law; Thad Morgan, for commercial litigation and litigation (construction); Brian Morley, for DUI/DWI defense; Michael Perry, for environmental law; Gary Rogers, for bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, and litigation (insurance); and Thomas Sparks, for administrative/regulatory law. Finally, the Fraser Trebilcock Supreme Court team scored a major victory before the Michigan high court on behalf of its client Voters Not Politicians, placing on the November ballot VNP's proposal to create a citizens' redistricting commission to draw nonpartisan congressional and legislative boundaries by means of an amendment to Michigan's constitution. The court held that the proposal sought an amendment to – and not a general revision of – the constitution, and thus was properly subject to voter approval rather than a full-blown constitutional convention. The firm’s team members included Graham Crabtree, who argued the case in the Supreme Court, Peter Houk, and Jonathan Raven.


Chambers & Partners has ranked Mexico member firm Sánchez Devanny in nine practice areas in its latest edition of its Latin America Guide, as follows: regulatory compliance, corporate and M&A, general business law, international trade and customs, labor, social security and immigration, life sciences, real estate, tax and high net worth individuals. In addition, it has ranked the following 19 partners at the firm: Abel Mejía, Alfredo Kupfer, Alfonso López, Daniel Maldonado, David Puente, Ernesto Silvas, Francisco Andrés Gámez, Gerardo Prado, Guillermo Villaseñor, Humberto Morales, José Alberto Campos, José Antonio Postigo, Mariana Eguiarte, Rafael Villamar, Ricardo León and Turenna Ramírez. Eduardo Sotelo and Oscar Quiroz have also been cited as two associates to watch. Also at Sánchez Devanny, José Antonio Postigo-Uribe has been elected managing partner of the firm’s Mexico City office. Mr. Postigo-Uribe is a partner in the corporate and M&A practice group and also heads the energy industry group. He has more than twenty years of experience advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, general finance, business transaction structuring, joint ventures, corporate restructuring, corporate planning, general corporate law, privatizations, public and private bidding processes, PPPs, project finance, infrastructure development, energy, and real estate projects.


Angel West of Iowa member firm Nyemaster Goode has been named one of the 2018 Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation, publisher of a litigation-focused legal guide that evaluates leading law firms and attorneys nationwide. The only Iowa attorney named to the list, Ms. West is making her seventh consecutive appearance on the annual compilation. She has more than 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer, defending individuals and corporations in business torts, products liability, contract and other commercial disputes. Benchmark Litigation cited her work in general commercial, product liability and securities litigation when including her on the list.