Dentons Announces US Promotions

Dentons US LLP today announces the elevation of 15 partners. The promoted lawyers are resident in 11 practices in 12 offices across the US.

Those promoted to partners are Grant Ankrom, Amberlee Cook, Kelly Fair, Sara Holzchuh, Nicholas Jackson, Robin Johnson, Raleigh Johnston, Heather Khassian, Gale Monahan, Tania Moyron, Kiran Patel, Ryan Reeves, Sara Dutschke Setshwaelo, Christine Vrettos and Ryan Westhoff.

We are delighted to congratulate our promoted colleagues, and reward their dedicated work in serving our clients and their commitment to the legal community, said US CEO Mike McNamara. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our clients future through these highly-accomplished lawyers. They reflect our communities and practices and confirm our long-held belief that inclusiveness and our commitment to diversity makes us stronger.

More than 50 percent of the new partners are women and more than a quarter are diverse.

Promoted lawyers represent practice areas including Capital Markets, Commercial Litigation, Corporate, Government Contracts, Health Care, Intellectual Property & Technology, Native American Law & Policy, Real Estate, Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy, Tax and White Collar & Government Investigations.

Elevated to partner:

Grant Ankrom (Commercial Litigation, St. Louis) focuses his practice on class action and commercial litigation, representing both public and private companies in the insurance, food and beverage product, and real estate industries. His experience extends to commercial matters involving claims of consumer fraud, products liability, breach of contract and violations of RESPA, RICO and numerous state consumer protection statutes.

Amberlee Cook (Tax Chicago), who is also a member of the Firms Tax-Advantaged Investments practice, focuses on transactional tax, equity and finance matters, with specific experience in housing tax credits, energy tax credits, historic tax credits and new markets tax credits. She counsels clients on a broad range of issues that arise throughout the life of an investment, from acquisitions and origination to wind-ups and dispositions. Cooks background includes energy tax credit portfolio management for the largest financial institutions in the world, and she represents developers and financial institutions in acquiring, constructing and financing projects generating more than 10 gigawatts of energy using wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies. She also advises client on large-scale credit enhanced investments, secondary market transactions, proprietary fund investments and direct investments in the affordable housing industry.

Kelly Fair (Commercial Litigation, San Francisco) is co-leader of Dentons US cannabis group and focuses on representing cannabis and hemp industry clients in a broad range of regulatory matters and commercial transactions. Kelly also represents insurance and financial services clients in all phases of complex commercial litigation and cybersecurity and data protection. She has extensive experience litigating consumer fraud class actions brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), commercial breach of contract cases, lawsuits alleging unfair and deceptive business and trade practices, cybersquatting and domain name disputes, and trademark and trade secret misappropriation claims. Fair also advises clients on cybersecurity and data protection policies and procedures, and emergency response strategies.

Sara Holzschuh (White Collar & Government Investigations, Kansas City) advises and represents companies, boards of directors, special committees and senior management in government investigations, actions and trials; and conducts internal investigations for US domestic and multinational firms. She also defends US clients engaged in cross-border transactions against US federal criminal and civil charges of mail, tax and wire fraud; alleged violations of US securities laws; False Claims Act allegations; alleged violations of US sanctions and export control laws; and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions. She reviews compliance programs and recommends corrective measures or enhancements; and conducts anti-corruption due diligence, post-acquisition integration and remediation, and vendor management for clients. When she was a special assistant US attorney she served as a prosecutor on Project Ceasefire, a Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which pursued and prosecuted violent criminals who illegally possessed explosive devices and controlled firearms.

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Nicholas Jackson (Intellectual Property & Technology, Washington, DC) focuses on enforcing patent rights and defending patent infringement claims in a variety of technology areas, including medical devices, wearable technology, consumer products, cellular telephones, consumer appliances, cloud computing, naval architecture, and mechanical devices before the International Trade Commission, in US federal district courts, and in the US Court of Federal Claims. He is registered patent attorney with experience managing a patent portfolio of over 500 pending applications to obtain patent protection for clients in electrical and mechanical technologies including semiconductor manufacturing, optical imaging devices, photovoltaics, surgical equipment and implants, medical devices, and automotive design in the US Patent and Trademark Office and before its Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Robin Johnson (Commercial Litigation, Atlanta) advises and represents insurance companies on coverage and bad faith involving general liability, construction defect, first-party property claims, personal injury claims, and issues relating to additional insured coverage. Johnson has significant experience in rendering coverage opinions and advising insurers on preventing and addressing bad faith claims. She litigates coverage and bad faith disputes in state and federal courts across the country and has been involved in all stages of litigation including the appellate level. Prior to joining Dentons, Johnson also handled the litigation of complex commercial cases involving breach of contract, securities fraud, medical malpractice defense, construction disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, and post-employment restrictive covenants on behalf of business entities and individual clients.

Raleigh Johnston (Corporate, Dallas) represents public and private companies, including real estate investment trusts (REITs), in a variety of corporate, tax, securities, and real estate matters. He advises clients in connection with transactions involving mergers and acquisitions, real estate and private equity fund formations, real estate acquisitions and sales (including sale-leaseback transactions and like-kind exchanges), and joint venture formations. Johnston also counsels clients on a wide range of federal income tax matters related to transactions involving REITs, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. His experience also includes advising clients that invest in, acquire, develop, and lease real estate assets, including entertainment properties, student housing properties, hospitality properties, mixed-use properties, medical properties, and multifamily properties.

Heather Khassian (Intellectual Property & Technology, Houston) is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property, with a particular focus on biotechnology and chemical arts. She counsels and represents clients in intellectual property matters, including litigation matters, intellectual property strategy development, patent drafting and prosecution, licensing and other agreements, opinion work, and freedom to operate assessments. Khassian has experience with a broad range of technologies including biotechnology, chemicals, polymers, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, wireless communications and semiconductors. Khassian is also experienced with USPTO appeals and interferences, and cases pending before the US International Trade Commission.

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Gale Monahan (Government Contracts, Denver) focuses on government contracts counseling, litigation and internal investigations. His practice includes a particular emphasis on cost and pricing, the Cost Accounting Standards, business systems, domestic preference, and international compliance issues. Monahan also represents contractors in traditional contract disputes and False Claims Act cases in the federal courts, in claims before the boards of contract appeals, and in bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Tania Moyron (Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy, Los Angeles) has extensive experience in corporate restructuring, bankruptcy and related litigation matters. She represents chapter 11 debtors, creditors and equity committees, liquidating trustees, principals, and secured and unsecured creditors in all aspects of corporate bankruptcy, as well as asset purchasers in bankruptcy and receivership cases. Her client base includes a variety of industries, including health care, retail, entertainment, trucking, real estate and restaurant franchise industries.

Kiran Patel (Commercial Litigation, New York) represents clients facing government investigations and litigation, with a particular focus on the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He has substantial experience defending companies and executives in connection with investigations by the DOJ, SEC, and other government agencies, including matters involving an international element. He has litigated in several federal and state courts, and has a track record of success in briefing, oral argument, and trial.

Ryan Reeves (Capital Markets, New Orleans) represents issuers, sellers and servicers in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities transactions, as well as purchasers and sellers in whole loan transactions, especially in the distressed market. His clients run the gamut in the investment market from large multinational banks to hedge funds and regional banks. He also represents both lenders and borrowers in both repurchase and straight lending arrangements.

Sara Dutschke Setshwaelo (Native American Law & Policy, San Francisco), as the elected Chairwoman of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians and a former staff member of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of the US Department of Interior, is keenly attuned to challenges facing Indian Country. She advises and supports tribal clients on complex matters involving tribal sovereignty and governance, government-to-government relations and business and economic development which includes gaming, energy, conventional and bond financing, and tax analysis. Dutschke Setshwaelo has assisted with the federal land acquisition process (aka fee-to-trust) for gaming and non-gaming projects; drafted and reviewed tribal governing documents and intergovernmental agreements; advised on a variety of Indian lands issues including land claims, leasing and rights-of-way and Section 81 approval requirements; advised tribal clients regarding labor and employment matters; and represented tribal clients in Indian Child Welfare Act matters.

Christine Vrettos (Capital Markets, New York) represents issuers, underwriters and placement agents in all aspects of the securitization of loans, real-estate owned (REO) properties and securities backed by residential mortgage-backed securities, collateralized loan obligations, commercial mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities. In addition, Vrettos advises clients in the financing of servicing advance facilities.

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Ryan Westhoff (Real Estate, Kansas City) represents developers, owners, tenants, private equity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), institutional lenders and servicers on all facets of complex commercial real estate transactions. His practice encompasses the development, redevelopment, construction, financing, leasing, purchase and sale of a broad range of asset classes, including office and industrial buildings, shopping and entertainment centers, hospitals and senior living facilities, hotels and resorts, apartments, mixed-use properties and undeveloped properties on the local, regional and national levels. Westhoff is well versed in issues relating to bond financing and economic development entitlements and incentives, including property tax abatement and sales tax districts.

In addition, Bumrae Cho, Boris Pesin and Clay Wortham have been elevated to counsel:

Bumrae Cho (Intellectual Property & Technology, Washington, DC) focuses on patent litigation, patent prosecution, and client counseling, with an emphasis on technology. He has significant experience preparing and prosecuting worldwide patent applications in the chemical, biotech and telecommunication areas. Cho previously worked at a Korean law firm and represented several global pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies. He advised clients in Europe, the United States, Japan, China and Taiwan, drafted patent applications for diverse fields of technology and was involved in several pharmaceutical patent litigation in the Korean Supreme Court.

Boris Pesin (Intellectual Property & Technology, Washington, DC) focuses on patent preparation and prosecution, portfolio strategy and IP due diligence. He has more than 12 years experience at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) where he served as a primary examiner and later as a supervisory patent examiner. Pesins experience at the USPTO informs his practice navigating clients through the patent application process in a variety of technologies, including operator interface, document processing, database and file management systems, image processing, network security and business methods.

Clay Wortham (Health Care, Chicago) focuses on health care transactional and regulatory matters, including structuring, negotiating and documenting health care transactions, including pharmaceutical purchase and supply agreements, telehealth and telemedicine professional services agreements, graduate medical education program agreements and various arrangements involving health care facility joint ventures, programs and collaborations. Clay also handles pharmacy and pharmaceutical regulatory matters, including DEA regulatory matters, and regulatory and transactional components to identify and protect health care information privacy and security for arrangements between health care covered entities and with health care information and technology providers and innovators.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons’ polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.

For further information, please contact:
Lisa Sachdev
Manager, Public Relations, US
+1 312 876 2476
[email protected]