The award recipients are partners Ken Broughton as a Best Mentor, Omar Alaniz as a Diversity & Inclusion Champion, Benjamin Koplin as a Legal Innovator, and Nicole Soussan Caplan as a lawyer On the Rise.
Broughton is the managing partner of the firm’s Houston office, a first-chair trial lawyer, and an experienced litigator focused on energy, commercial, product liability, and aviation litigation. He is a passionate mentor, and his mentees affirm that he shares his time, knowledge, and creative energy to help build their careers and ultimate success. “I strive to build a good friendship and eliminate any perception of ‘us vs. them’ that associates typically feel toward partners. I want them to know I am on their side,” Broughton said.
Alaniz is the hiring partner in Reed Smith’s Dallas office. His primary practice focuses on representing distressed companies in out-of-court workouts and chapter 11 restructurings. A true champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, Alaniz has fought for positive change throughout his career. Today, he serves as the Fifth Circuit council member of the American College of Bankruptcy’s DEI Committee, as a board member of the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association, and in the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI’s) Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. At Reed Smith, Alaniz is an active member of the firm’s global LGBTQ+ business inclusion group, PRISM, which stands for “Pride, Respect and Inclusion Simply Matter.”
Austin-based Koplin is a key member of the firm’s global Life Sciences and Health Industry Group, well-known for his technical savvy, innovative, and transformative problem-solving abilities. An accomplished full-stack developer, he has designed and implemented dozens of new technologies based on his clients’ needs, including corporate risk management solutions, information management processes, and product architecture.
Based in Houston, Soussan Caplan is a partner in Reed Smith's Energy and Natural Resources Group, where she represents energy industry clients in a broad range of complex business litigation matters, as well as disputes arising from exploration and production in U.S. shale plays. As a young lawyer “On the Rise,” she represents clients in high-stakes litigation, where she serves as a trusted advisor and problem solver. With a deep passion for social justice, Soussan Caplan served as a Teach for America corps member in an underserved area of Los Angeles before law school. As a lawyer, she became active in leadership roles for the Anti-Defamation League, the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the Houston Bar Association, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
These lawyers and other finalists and winners will be celebrated at an in person event on September 14, 2022 at the Arts District Mansion in Dallas.