State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
June 2018

This year’s SCG Legal midyear meeting attracted a record number of attendees, with more than 160 attorneys and their guests having gathered in London earlier this month. Hosted by U.K. member firm Mills & Reeve, the two-day confab began Thursday afternoon with a keynote presentation delivered to a standing room only audience by Tomorrow’s Lawyers author and artificial intelligence expert Richard Susskind. Mr. Susskind’s presentation was followed by an address on what the future holds for London in a post-Brexit world by Sir David Wootton, Alderman of the Ward of Langbourn. Friday’s program featured sessions on the global life sciences industry, privacy and GDPR, technology and the driverless revolution and how in-house counsel view the challenges with which their companies find themselves faced today. The meeting was capped with a private tour and banquet at the iconic Westminster Abbey. For more information about this year’s midyear meeting, click here.


SCG Legal, in cooperation with Italy member firm Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati, will host a reception for SCG Legal member attorneys at this year’s International Bar Association meeting in Rome on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the firm’s Rome office, which is located at Viale Castro Pretorio 122. To register for the gathering, please contact Diane Case. For more information about the location of the firm’s offices, contact Paola Poltronieri at +39 349 3011864 or by email at


Diego Gómez-Haro Katznelson has joined Mexico member firm Sánchez Devanny as partner in the firm’s Mexico City office. He will be a member of its real estate, infrastructure and hospitality practice group, as well as its corporate and project finance practice group. Mr. Gómez-Haro Katznelson completed his legal education at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. He also has an LL.M. in corporate governance and practice from Stanford University. He has extensive experience in handling real estate transactions, including structuring investment vehicles, acquisition and sale of assets, leasing, development and construction of projects, due diligence and financing. Before joining Sánchez Devanny, he was general counsel in Mexico for The Blackstone Group, a multinational private equity, asset management and financial services firm.


Australian (Melbourne) member firm Hall & Wilcox recently acted on behalf of Australian Unity in partnering with Merricks Capital for an A$500 million portfolio of senior property loans, including land subdivision, construction financing and bridging finance. The firm advised on and prepared the contractual documents for the arrangement. The team was led by financial services partner Harry New with special counsel John Bassilios and lawyer Avi Gordon. Also at Hall & Wilcox, the firm last month celebrated National Pro Bono Day and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism & Transphobia. The firm’s pro bono practice has grown significantly under the guidance of special counsel Nathan Kennedy, assisting refugees, persons with disabilities, the elderly, persons with mental illness and everyday Australians who cannot afford access to legal services. The firm also recognizes LGBTIQ inclusion as a key aspect of its broader commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion and supports and celebrates LGBTIQ individuals throughout the communities it serves.


Zach Butterworth has joined Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese in its New Orleans office as a member of the firm’s government relations practice. Mr. Butterworth advises clients on law, public policy and government relations matters in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. He has led coalitions across a spectrum of policy areas. On the federal level, he has worked closely with Louisiana’s congressional delegation and with key staff and members on Senate and House committees relevant to the interests of Louisiana. Before joining Adams and Reese, Mr. Butterworth served as executive counsel and director of intergovernmental affairs for the City of New Orleans, overseeing all intergovernmental affairs and acting as the primary liaison for legislative negotiations with all federal, state and local elected officials and more than 100 boards and commissions. He is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.


Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran has appointed seven new partners, adding to the firm’s expertise on its dispute resolution, tax, competition, banking, planning and insurance teams. The new partners include Karol Fox, who works with international and domestic clients on a range of banking transactions including leveraged finance, acquisition finance, trade finance, commercial real estate development finance and corporate restructuring; Lisa Joyce, who advises public and regulatory bodies, professional disciplinary bodies and private clients on dispute avoidance and management in the regulatory sphere; Niamh Keogh, who advises domestic and international clients on inward investment into Ireland, real estate and debt acquisition structures, corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity listings and international tax structuring; Michael Madden, who advises clients on state aid, antitrust and merger control, with particular expertise in the areas of telecommunications and broadcasting regulation; Deirdre Munnelly, who acts for Irish insurers, U.K. underwriters and self-insured companies in defense of public liability, employer liability and other insured claims; Deirdre Nagle, who practices in both contentious and non-contentious planning and environmental law; and John O’Leary, who specializes in domestic and multijurisdictional contractual, tortious and shareholder disputes. With the addition of the aforementioned, the firm now has 87 partners and over 450 staff in its offices in Dublin, London, New York and San Francisco.


The Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation honored Connecticut member firm Robinson+Cole during its Celebrating Leaders for Justice event in West Hartford last month. The event honors leaders in the legal industry who have dedicated their time, expertise, and financial resources to help the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation end poverty and fight for justice in the Greater Hartford area. Robinson+Cole helped found GHLAF in 1993. George Hastings, a partner in the firm, served as the foundation’s first president and remained active on the board until August 2016, shortly before his death. Today, both managing partner Stephen Goldman and partner Norman Roos continue to serve on the GHLAF board of directors.


Ira Lefton of Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans was elected last month to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation’s board of trustees. Mr. Lefton focuses his practice on commercial litigation with a primary emphasis on litigation relating to real estate. He has an extensive experience in construction litigation, serving as lead counsel in Pennsylvania for all cases on behalf of the largest manufacturer of EIFS (synthetic stucco). He has also done significant work in the product liability field involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, engineered products, and asbestos and mold, and has handled antitrust litigation, contractual dispute litigation, and numerous intellectual property cases. Mr. Lefton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, Francine Li joins the firm as a member of its intellectual property group. Ms. Li represents clients on a wide range of patent matters including patent prosecution, client counseling, and patent litigation. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was a pharmaceutical researcher in the areas of drug discovery and development. Her technical background also spans the fields of chemicals, materials, laboratory automation, and process development and optimization. Ms. Li received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, and Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association.


Victoria Jones has been elected a member of Arkansas member Rose Law Firm. Ms. Jones, who works in the firm’s Little Rock office, advises clients on labor and employment law, regulatory and administrative law, general civil and commercial litigation, and government relations. A graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law, she was named an employment and labor Rising Star in 2016 and 2017 by Mid-South Super Lawyers.


Virginia “Ginny” Lawson has rejoined Kentucky member firm McBrayer as a member of the firm’s real estate practice. Ms. Lawson began her career as a REALTOR®, later becoming a lawyer. In addition to representing real estate brokers and their companies, she practices in the areas of creditor’s rights and professional liability defense, as well as estate settlement and probate. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Law. Also at McBrayer, Preston Worley has been named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Fayette County Bar Association. The award honors a member of the FCBA who has practiced in Fayette County less than ten years and who has both admirably fulfilled his duties as an attorney and shown dedication to the improvement of the community.


Ontario member firm WeirFoulds this month hosted an "enrichment opportunity" and speed mentoring event with Girls E-Mentorship, a Toronto-based charity. Spearheaded by associates Megan Mah and Kayla Theeuwen, the speed mentoring event brought together a diverse group of WeirFoulds lawyers, law clerks, law students, legal assistants and human resources, business development and marketing professionals, who shared their career experiences with GEM girls. At the event, the firm its pledge to provide an annual scholarship to help further a GEM girl's educational and career aspirations.


Texas member firm McGinnis Lochridge has announced it is expanding into the Dallas market with the opening this month of a new office to be headed up by board-certified labor and employment attorney Felicity Fowler. The office will focus primarily on serving the complex transactional and litigation needs of the firm’s Dallas clients. Ms. Fowler most recently was a partner with Haynes and Boone and has more than 25 years of experience representing management in employment litigation and related proceedings. A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, she will be a partner in the firm. McGinnis Lochridge has added 16 attorneys since January 2018 and currently has offices in Austin, Houston, Dallas and Decatur, Texas. The Dallas office is located in the Chase Tower, 2200 Ross Avenue, Suite 4900E.


John Wakefield of Australia (Sydney) member firm Holman Webb was recently named Australian Arbitrator of the Year by Australasian Law Awards 2018. Mr. Wakefield is chairman of the firm and also heads its dispute resolution group in Sydney. He is a fellow and past president of the Australian branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a fellow of the Australian Center for International Commercial Arbitration. He is also a member of the arbitration panel of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Center for Arbitration. Mr. Wakefield last year was elected to the board of trustees of CIArb as its Australasia member. Since 2016 he has been chairman of the board of the Australian Disputes Center. Also at Holman Webb, the firm has bolstered its property and construction practices with the merger of boutique Sydney law firm Bruce and Stewart, which brings over three decades of combined experience in the areas of property, construction, land subdivision, joint ventures, corporate advisory, airport regulation and airport development work.