State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
January 2018


It is with great sadness and regret that we report the passing January 4 of New Jersey member firm Carella Byrne name partner and former New Jersey governor Brendan Byrne at the age of 93. He was among the original 17 governors who founded SCG Legal in 1989. Governor Byrne was first elected New Jersey’s chief executive in 1973 in one of the biggest landslides in the state’s history. He was reelected in 1977. After leaving office, he joined Carella Byrne, and also became part owner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team. A beloved presence at SCG Legal meetings, he will be remembered always for his keen political sense, formidable legal skills and sharp wit.


Makenna Porch has joined Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans in its Philadelphia office as a member of the firm’s financial services litigation group. She focuses her practice on residential and commercial real estate litigation, primarily in the areas of tax lien and mortgage foreclosures. She represents lenders, financial institutions, and servicers throughout the foreclosure process, from commencement through disposition of the action. Ms. Porch has also defended lenders in bankruptcy actions in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Prior to entering private practice, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jeffrey Arlen Spinner of the New York Supreme Court and as a legislative aide to former Congressman Walter Herger (R-CA). She is a graduate of the Touro Law Center.


Singapore member firm Colin Ng & Partners’ mergers and acquisitions practice has once again this year been ranked in Asia Legal Business’ M&A Rankings. The rankings are based on the volume, complexity and size of work undertaken, presence across Asia, key personnel hires and growth in the practice, key clients and new client wins, as well as the firm's visibility and profile in the region. Singapore leads Southeast Asia’s mergers and acquisitions market, accounting for over 70% of the region’s mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2017.


Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1958, the firm began as a small law firm in a suburban mall, eventually becoming a regional “go-to” firm in real estate and land use law and a nationally recognized leader in franchise and distribution law. It is now one of the largest full-service firms in Minnesota, with 80 attorneys providing legal services to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, land use, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. 


Chuck Fax has been elected an equity partner at Maryland member firm Rifkin Weiner Livingston. Mr. Fax is currently co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel in a nationwide class action against Whirlpool Corporation in which the trial court observed that “the [impressive] results obtained by class counsel . . . undoubtedly took the most capable and experienced professionals in the country,” and awarded approximately $15 million in attorneys’ fees. The decision is currently on appeal. He also serves as co-lead counsel in a putative worldwide class action brought on behalf of survivors of the Hungarian Holocaust in World War II, seeking reparations against the Hungarian government for its complicity in the Holocaust. A graduate of George Washington University Law School, Mr. Fax has taught federal and Maryland discovery practice and procedure at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and has been named a Washington, D.C., and Maryland “Super Lawyer”® for the past ten years. Also at Rifkin Weiner Livingston, Camille Fesche has joined the firm in its Annapolis office. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Georgetown University Law Center, Ms. Fesche will focus her practice on government relations and lobbying.


Jeff Brooks has been elected chair of Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese’s executive committee and Mitch Boult and Leslie Henry have been elected to serve as members of the firm’s executive committee. After serving as chief counsel and director of special projects for Congressman Richard Baker, Mr. Brooks joined the firm in 1997, launching its Washington office, where he launched the firm’s federal legislative practice. Mr. Boult counsels multinational corporations on intellectual property matters and is especially skilled in developing strategies for monetizing and enforcing intellectual property rights around the globe. Ms. Henry leads the firm’s growing toxic tort practice in Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, working from the firm’s New Orleans and Houston offices. Also at Adams and Reese, Marshall Hevron has been named partner in the firm’s New Orleans office. Mr. Hevron, whose practice focuses on real estate litigation, has litigated numerous eminent domain cases for major utility and pipeline companies. He has also handled a number of cases concerning servitude rights and other property issues under Louisiana law. Mr. Hevron is also a member of the firm’s charter school team and assists charter school clients with corporate governance and compliance issues under the Louisiana Code of Ethics.


Melanie Figueroa of Los Angeles member firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp has been named to Crain’s New York Business’ 2018 list of leading women lawyers in New York City. The list recognizes 100 legal trailblazers who have "found multiple paths to excellence." Ms. Figueroa is managing partner of the firm’s New York office. Her practice focuses on representing public and private companies in securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing transactions, including PIPEs, underwritten IPOs and follow-on public offerings, in addition to IPO alternatives such as reverse mergers. The New York Law Journal in 2017 named her a “Rising Star,” and in 2016 Profiles in Diversity Journal named her one of its “Women Worth Watching.”


Fabio Guzmán Saladín and Pamela Benzán Arbaje of Dominican Republic member firm Guzmán Ariza have coauthored the Dominican chapter of Getting the Deal Through: Restructuring & Insolvency (2018), which provides a comparative analysis of restructuring and insolvency regulations across the globe, with answers to questions in key areas such as applicable legislation, excluded entities, secured lending and credit, competent courts, voluntary liquidations and reorganizations, involuntary liquidations and reorganizations, and doing business during reorganizations, among others. It is published by Law Business Research.




Preston Clark Worley of Kentucky member firm McBrayer has been appointed by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council, filling the unexpired term of Councilmember Jennifer Scutchfield. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Mr. Worley focuses his practice on real estate, transactional, administrative law and litigation matters. His primary areas of concentration are land development, property management, real estate, affordable and multifamily housing, corporate and nonprofit governance, and alcoholic beverage control law.


Charlene Sell and Nick Kovacevich have been named partners at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Both are members of the firm’s corporate team. Ms. Sell focuses her practice on assisting with business acquisitions and sales, drafting and providing advice on commercial contracts and terms of trade, dealing with employment matters and helping clients' protect their brand, while Mr. Kovacevich specializes, among other things, on public and private mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investment, startups and growth-stage businesses, joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and constitutions, commercial contracts, and franchising.


César Barrero and Javier Ezeta have been named partners at Colombia member firm Philippi, Prietocarrizosa, Ferrero DU & Uría. Mr. Barrero is a trilingual (English, Italian, and Spanish) lawyer, with expertise in infrastructure contracts, public and private bidding, public-private partnerships, and shipping law. He completed his legal education at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. Mr. Ezeta is a bilingual lawyer (English and Spanish) whose practice is focused primarily on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and financing. A law graduate of Universidad de Lima, he also holds an LL.M. in securities and financial regulation law from Georgetown University Law Center.


The Illinois League of Financial Institutions has presented Herman Bodewes of Illinois member firm Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes with the 2017 Arnold J. Rauen Award. The Rauen Award honors an individual who has provided outstanding leadership and effectiveness in legislation and in regulatory activities on behalf of the League. The award was presented to Mr. Bodewes in Chicago at the League’s 138th annual meeting. With the conferment on Mr. Bodewes of this year’s award, the League’s Board of Directors voted to rename the award the Herman G. Bodewes Award.