January 11, 2016 – Reed Smith announced that 24 associates and counsel have been promoted to partner. The new partner class of 2016 includes Jesse J. Ash (Washington, D.C.), Siddesh Bale (Chicago), Kate J. Brimsted (London), Gregory Chase (New York), Andrew J. Clark (London), Kevin B. Dreher (Chicago), Monica Dupont-Barton (London), Rick L. Etter (Pittsburgh), Kerry Halpern (Philadelphia), Justin J. Kontul (Pittsburgh), Sara A. Lima (Philadelphia), Michelle A. Mantine (Pittsburgh), Brendan M. McNallen (San Francisco), Edward A. Mullen (Richmond), Angel Ng (Hong Kong), Nipun J. Patel (Philadelphia), Matthew Petrillo (Chicago), Christopher M. Sheaffer (New York), Angelina Soon (London), Peter J. Stuhldreher (Houston), William Sutton (London), Julia Y. Trankiem (Los Angeles), Thomas Webley (London), and May Wong (Hong Kong).
“The members of Reed Smith’s 2016 partner class are talented, hard-working attorneys who represent the international strength and growth of our firm,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “These individuals exemplify excellence in practice and commitment to client service. We are pleased to recognize and honor their contributions to the firm by welcoming them into the partnership.”
Reed Smith 2016 Partner Class
Jesse J. Ash (Washington, D.C.) is a member of the firm's Life Sciences Health Industry Group. His practice focuses on products liability litigation, with extensive experience handling matters for an array of multinational companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, health care, automotive and alcoholic beverage industries in both state and federal courts. As national and regional counsel for some of the world’s largest companies, Jesse has managed thousands of cases through discovery, trial and/or settlement. He has also represented clients on a wide range of compliance issues, governmental investigations and large-scale civil action discovery responses. He is a member of the Sedona Conference on Electronic Discovery and a member of the Reed Smith Social and Digital Media Task Force.
Siddesh Bale (Chicago) is a member of the firm’s Corporate & Transactional Advisory Group. He focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions, emerging company/venture capital transactions, other material business transactions and board/management advisory matters. He has represented public and private companies and financial sponsors in an array of corporate transactions. Additionally, he regularly represents founders and investors in emerging company transactions, including angel and series investments. His frequently counsels clients on cross-border transactions in frontier markets throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. Siddesh previously practiced law in Singapore representing U.S. and international companies, and state-owned enterprises doing business throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Siddesh passed the SEC series 7, 24, 55 and 63 exams and was an intern with the Appeals Division of the UNICTR for Rwanda.
Kate J. Brimsted (London) specializes in data privacy and information technology in the firm’s IP, Information & Innovation Group. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the field of information governance law, and has been recognized as an expert in the major law directories for a number of years. Kate’s practice encompasses cybersecurity, cross-border data transfers (including post-Safe Harbor compliance and litigation and regulator-mandated document production), freedom of information, confidentiality, and compliance “health checks.” Kate has a master’s degree in engineering, and a significant number of her clients are drawn from the energy and infrastructure sectors. She is co-author of the Law Society’s Data Protection Handbook.
Gregory Chase (New York) is a member of the firm’s Shipping Industry Group. Recognized as one of the “Top 10 Lawyers” in shipping worldwide by Lloyd’s List (2014), Greg represents major lenders, operating companies, and equity investors in large ship finance and other transactions relating to the maritime shipping industry. Greg has deep experience with syndicated and bi-lateral secured loan facilities, work-outs and debt restructurings, leasing financing, joint ventures and other private equity and corporate transactions, often involving parties from multiple jurisdictions from around the world. He also handles vessel construction contracts, multi-vessel construction programs, complex vessel charter arrangements, and the sale and purchase of significant marine assets. Greg is a director of New York Maritime, Inc.
Andrew J. Clark (London) is an English and Australian dual-qualified lawyer and part of the firm’s Corporate Group. He focuses on advising clients in a broad range of corporate finance and company/commercial transactions, including large and medium-sized cross-border and domestic mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and public takeovers. He also regularly advises clients on various capital markets transactions and on-going regulatory compliance requirements. He has particular experience in acting for clients in the media and technology, financial services, energy and natural resources, and shipping sectors.
Kevin B. Dreher (Chicago) is a member of the firm’s Insurance Recovery Group (IRG) and represents policyholders globally with respect to counseling and litigation dispute resolution across all lines of insurance, including CGL, property, D&O, ocean and inland marine, E&O, workers’ compensation, and others. Kevin has litigated and negotiated resolution of disputes with all major U.S. and most international insurers in litigation across the country, and in international arbitrations in London and Bermuda. Additionally, Kevin has represented clients in class actions, securities/broker-dealer and enforcement actions, white collar and corporate investigations, product liability defense, outsourcing, and business disputes involving breach of contract and related commercial matters. Kevin is co-chair of the IRG Risk Transfer Group and is a member of the firm's China team.
Monica Dupont-Barton (London) is a member of the firm’s Financial Services Industry Group and heads up the French lending desk in London. Specializing in acquisition and leveraged finance, Monica advises direct lending funds, financial institutions, private equity funds and corporate clients on cross-border financing transactions across the credit spectrum. She has extensive acquisition finance experience, as well as dual capabilities in leveraged finance and distressed debt investments. Her expertise lies in structuring leveraged transactions across multiple jurisdictions and with complex intercreditor arrangements through first/second lien, unitranche, first loss/second loss, term loan B and high yield products. Most recently, Monica has applied her expertise in English law unitranche transactions to financings in France, England, the Netherlands and Italy.
Rick L. Etter (Pittsburgh) is a member in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. He has successfully defended non-union and union employers in all manner of employment and labor matters, including administrative actions and single plaintiff, class action, and collective action federal and state lawsuits. Rick has a focus on counseling and defending employers in complex wage and hour matters arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws. He also devotes a significant portion of his practice to advising and representing clients in restrictive covenant and trade secret matters, and has extensive experience litigating non-compete, trade secret, and unfair competition cases. In addition to counseling employers on employment and labor matters, Rick counsels and represents colleges and universities on Title IX and Clery Act issues.
Kerry Halpern (Philadelphia) is a member of the Corporate & Transactional Advisory Group, focusing on executive compensation and employee benefits. She counsels both public and private companies throughout North America and Europe in a variety of industries, including financial services, life sciences, consumer products and technology. Kerry frequently advises compensation committees and executive management on compensation and benefits issues, as well as employee benefit issues that arise in the context of mergers and acquisitions. She has significant experience with disclosure of executive compensation under U.S. securities laws, advising clients on disclosure and shareholder outreach, benefit plan design administration, and tax planning. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.
Justin J. Kontul (Pittsburgh) is a member of the firm's Financial Industry Group, whose practice focuses on financial services litigation, including national and statewide putative class actions, shareholder derivative lawsuits, consumer finance actions, and other complex commercial disputes. Justin has defended clients against claims alleging violations of the Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Company Act of 1940, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and various state unfair trade practices statutes. He also has represented loan servicing companies regarding inquiries by the Office of the United States Trustee, and chapter 13 Trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. Prior to attending law school, Justin worked as an investment banker in New York City.
Sara A. Lima (Philadelphia) is a member of the firm’s State Tax practice. She focuses on unclaimed property issues, guiding clients in a broad range of industries through matters including unclaimed property audit defense and voluntary disclosure. Sara provides legal opinions regarding the ambiguity in state laws, and assists clients in preparing internal policies and procedures. She is a member of the Government Relations Advocacy Committee of the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO), and her work before the Uniform Law Commission and Delaware Senate Unclaimed Property Task Force on behalf of UPPO earned Reed Smith the 2015 UPPO Award of Merit. Sara provides pro bono legal assistance to children in immigration matters, including asylum status, permanent residence and humanitarian parole.
Michelle A. Mantine (Pittsburgh) is a member of the firm’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Group, focusing her practice on competition and antitrust. She handles pre- and post-merger antitrust counseling relating to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and complex class actions. Michelle has advised numerous clients facing investigation by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general. She also provides counseling on electronic discovery issues related to various complex litigation matters. Michelle represents a wide range of clients in the primary manufacturing industries – steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices – as well as major financial institutions, investments advisors, and health insurers. In addition to her practice, Michelle has been an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy at Duquesne Law School.
Brendan M. McNallen (San Francisco) is a member of the global Energy & Natural Resources Industry Group. His practice focuses on project development and finance in the energy generation, storage, transmission and distribution, infrastructure and natural resources sectors, with a specific focus on renewable energy. He has advised on energy projects throughout the Americas, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Brendan has a specific focus on the development and financing of wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel, and other renewable energy projects. Brendan has significant experience in India and Central Asia, including in Kazakhstan, where he lived and worked assisting with the successful financial restructuring of two of the nation’s largest banks.
Edward A. Mullen (Richmond) is a member of the firm’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Group. He focuses his work on an administrative and regulatory practice before all Virginia state agencies, and has a legislative practice before the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia congressional delegation. In addition to his practice, Edward serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, teaching a course in legislative drafting and statutory interpretation. Edward serves on a variety of boards and committees across the commonwealth, and has been recognized by Virginia Business among the Legal Elite for Legislative/Regulatory/Administrative Law in each of the past five years (2011-2015).
Angel Ng (Hong Kong) is a member of the firm’s Corporate Group. She specializes in corporate finance (secondary debt and equity offerings), mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. Angel also advises on Hong Kong listing rules compliance and takeovers code-related matters. After joining the firm in 2007, she spent time as a director in the HSBC Hong Kong private bank regulatory compliance department from 2013, before returning to Reed Smith in 2014.
Nipun J. Patel (Philadelphia) is a member of the Commercial Litigation Group, focusing his practice on commercial disputes, employment litigation, and financial services litigation. He has extensive trial and appellate experience – including as first chair – in litigation before federal and state courts in multiple jurisdictions. Nipun also counsels employers on various compliance issues, including employment agreements and workplace policies. Nipun is active within the firm and in his community, holding leadership positions on nonprofit boards and routinely performing pro bono work for which he has earned accolades.
Matthew Petrillo (Chicago) is a member of the firm’s global Energy & Natural Resources Industry Group, and advises clients on all aspects of financing and commercial arrangements related to physical commodities and the assets utilized for the storage, processing and transportation of such commodities. Matthew works with clients in this sector on all facets of commercial lending, as well as acquisition, inventory, receivables, and other types of trade finance. He also advises clients in connection with domestic and cross-border credit facilities, commercial paper programs and receivables securitizations. Matthew has significant experience representing multinational commodity trading companies in tolling, throughput, and revenue commitment arrangements involving terminals, storage facilities, refineries, splitters and other logistical assets in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Christopher M. Sheaffer (New York) is a member of the firm’s Corporate & Transactional Advisory Group. Chris concentrates his practice on private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, securities law compliance, corporate governance issues, and general corporate law. Chris was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers (2013-2015) and is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth. He serves on the Board of Directors of the United States branch of Friends International, a social impact charity focused on the development of youth in Cambodia and Thailand, and is a member of the Legal Committee of Global Potential, a New York-based nonprofit organization focused on empowering youth through international travel and social awareness.
Angelina Soon (London) is a member of the firm’s Financial Services Industry Group. Angelina’s practice specializes in the financing, securitization and restructuring of commercial real estate debt. She regularly advises facility agents and security trustees on real estate investment, development financing transactions and “loan on loan” financing for portfolio acquisitions (both performing and non-performing) in jurisdictions across Europe. She acts for large servicers and special servicers in the commercial real estate market and is actively involved in the European commercial mortgage securitization market, having acted for the servicer/special servicer on 12 new CMBS transactions since 2013 when the markets reopened.
William Sutton (London) is part of the firm’s UK Pensions Law team. The bulk of his practice involves advising pension scheme trustees and employers on the full range of pension issues, particularly including tax regime compliance, funding and investments, scheme mergers, scheme closure, liability management, employer debt, buy-ins/buy-outs and automatic enrolment. In addition, he advises clients on the pension aspects of the sale and purchase of companies or businesses, and has dealt with the full range of issues that can arise in such transactions. Will has developed particular focus acting in public sector outsourcing projects, involving dealing with the full range of public to private sector pension issues.
Peter J. Stuhldreher (Houston) is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group and represents employers in all areas of employment law litigation and counseling. Peter has extensive experience representing employers before administrative agencies and in lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. In addition to defending employers in cases involving claims of all types of discrimination, unlawful harassment, and retaliation, Peter focuses his practice on representing employers in wage and hour matters, as well as theft of trade secrets and non-compete matters.
Julia Y. Trankiem (Los Angeles) is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group and focuses her practice on representing management in a broad range of labor, employment, and employee benefits matters under state and federal law. She has represented employers in class and collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws and has counseled employers in complex FLSA/wage and hour investigations. Her wage and hour experience includes litigation involving claims of misclassification, off-the-clock work, and meal and rest period violations. She has significant experience in defending wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, and other employment-related matters. She has obtained defense verdicts at jury and bench trials, as well as in arbitration hearings and favorable summary judgment rulings.
Tom Webley (London) is a member of the Banking and Financial Services Litigation and Regulatory Groups. Tom specializes in financial services litigation and regulatory investigations and enforcement, as well as cyber-related issues. He has considerable experience representing banks and their employees in relation to issues ranging from acting for banks recovering under insurance policies having been the victim of fraud to representing individuals in FCA and SFO investigations involving alleged LIBOR and FX manipulation.
May Wong (Hong Kong) is a member of the firm’s Corporate Group. She focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity work, initial public offerings, corporate reorganizations and general commercial work for private and publicly listed companies in Hong Kong. Prior to embarking on a career as a lawyer, she was a research assistant and technician in the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and was involved primarily in medical research and clinical drug trials.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers in 26 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute-resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, entertainment and media, shipping and transport, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, technology, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
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