Tag Archives: Greenberg Traurig

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Greenberg Traurig Names New Co-Chair

Les Klein, a shareholder in the Phoenix office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, has been named Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Benefits and Compensation Group. Klein, with more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation, is joined by Co-Chair Jeffrey Mamorsky from the firm’s New York office.

“This recognition is well deserved,” said John Cummerford, co-managing shareholder of the law firm’s Phoenix office. “Les is well known and respected nationally for his employee benefits and executive compensation experience, and his appointment to Co-Chair of the Global Benefits and Compensation Group gives the Phoenix office a unique perspective and ability to explore unmet needs in our local business community. His proven ability to creatively tackle new regulatory challenges and identify new employer trends aligns well with our business objective of providing the very best client service to all our clients.”

Klein has more than three decades of experience advising public and private companies, non-for-profit corporations, fiduciaries and executives involving various employee benefits and executive compensation matters. Klein is recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is admitted to practice law in Arizona and Illinois. Klein earned his J.D. at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology and holds a B.S., in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Having had the privilege of serving for many years as Co-Chair of our Global Benefits and Compensation Group, I thought it was time for me to step down and allow for some new blood to be introduced into that role,” said Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Steve Lapidus. “I could not be more pleased to announce that Les Klein has agreed to take on that responsibility, and will serve as Co-Chair with Jeff Mamorsky in my stead effective immediately. I know that Les has the confidence and support of all in our group and that makes

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Aerospace forum coming to Greenberg Traurig

Members of Arizona’s business community are invited to the April meeting of the Arizona Aerospace & Defense Forum for an in-depth review of the benefits, risks, and challenges involving negotiating and performing an international agreements including compliance with myriad governmental laws and regulations throughout the world.

Greenberg Traurig, along with law firm Snell & Wilmer, partnered to expand the A&D Forum to Arizona last year. Each month, the A&D Forum alternates from meetings in Phoenix and Tucson.

The group’s next networking and educational session is Tuesday, April 8 from 7 to 9 a.m. at Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office at 24th Street and Camelback. The discussion will be led by Brett Johnson, co-chair of the international industry group and government relations group and a partner at Snell & Wilmer. Topics to be discussed include maximizing international supply chains, risks, benefits and challenges related to international law and the aerospace and defense industry.

WHAT: The Next Frontier: Maximizing A&D Foreign Market Opportunities through Understanding International Agreements

WHERE: Greenberg Traurig, 2375 E. Camelback Rd., #700, Phoenix, AZ 85016

WHEN: Tuesday, April 8, 2014; 7 – 7:30 a.m.: Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking; 7:30 – 9 a.m.: Meeting

COST: A&D Forum Member: Free, Non-member: $40

RSVP: To register click here

SPEAKER: Brett Johnson is a partner and Co-Chair of International Industry Group and Government Relations Group with Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. His practice includes international transactions and compliance, export, government contracting and health care matters, including professional liability defense and commercial litigation. Brett regularly represents parties and witnesses involved with governmental investigations, including export control, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and government procurement compliance laws and regulations. He has experience handling internal investigations and compliance audits for clients on a wide range of matters. Brett also provides training to businesses and governmental agencies concerning compliance matters and the drafting of related corporate policies and international agreements.

lawyer

Williams named 2014 BTI Client Service All-Star

A shareholder at the international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Phoenix office has been recognized for his commitment to client service in the BTI Client Service All-Stars 2014 report.

Greenberg Traurig Phoenix shareholder Quinn Williams has represented public and private corporations, entrepreneurs and investment funds for more than 20 years.

“Greenberg Traurig is proud of Quinn’s well-deserved recognition as a ‘client all-star,’” said Phoenix Co-Managing Shareholder John Cummerford. “His commitment to delivering the highest level of client service has been recognized and appreciated by many throughout his outstanding legal career.”

In addition to Williams, Greenberg Traurig shareholders Ernest LaMont Greer and Donald Stein are also listed as BTI Client Service All-Stars:

· Greer is a Vice President of the firm and Co-Managing Shareholder of the Atlanta office. His practice consists of the representation of clients in various complex litigation matters.
· Stein, a Washington D.C. Shareholder, represents clients involved in federal regulatory issues, specifically U.S. Customs law and trade policy.

“Quality legal counsel and client service is at the core of who we are as a firm. We congratulate Ernest, Don and Quinn on their inclusion in BTI’s elite group of Service All-Stars,” said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are honored to have Greenberg Traurig attorneys recognized for their diligence in embracing and recognizing client needs and achieving their goals as trusted partners and advisors.”

According to BTI, attorneys cannot lobby to be added to the list, self-submit nominations or provide corporate counsel names to be interviewed. The only way to become a BTI Client Service All-Star is for corporate counsel to single out an attorney for a client service performance exceeding all others. BTI conducted more than 300 individual interviews with corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 and large organizations to complete this report. The report lists 330 attorneys from 187 firms.

romance

You May Love Job, But What About Co-Worker?

Love is in the air, and sometimes those amorous feelings lead to claims of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. As Valentine’s Day approaches, employers should be mindful about office romances in light of some interesting statistics:

  • More than 20 percent of married couples met at work, yet nearly half of those employees reported that they did not know if their company had a policy on office romances.
  • According to a recent survey, 59 percent of employees admitted that they have been involved in an office romance.
  • An additional 64 percent answered that they would be willing to do so if the opportunity arose.
  • This same survey reported that 75 percent of employers do not have a policy regarding workplace relationships.
  • AshleyMadison.com (a dating site for married people looking to cheat – yikes!) reports that 46 percent of men and 37 percent of women have had an affair with a co-worker. Among these cheaters, 72 percent percent of women and 59 percent percent of men say that they had their first encounter with the affair partner at a company holiday party … which means now is the time for employers to pay attention!
  • A different 2013 survey indicates that 92 percent of employees feel they should not have to report their office romance to Human Resources.
  • That same survey shows that nearly 85 percent of surveyed workers believe work colleagues should be allowed to have sex and 90 percent admitted being (or having been) attracted to a co-worker.

It’s Only Love, What’s the Harm?

While consensual office relationships are more commonplace than in the past, they can trigger business and legal headaches for employers when the relationship fizzles or is no longer consensual. Moreover, fellow employees may feel resentful, jealous, uncomfortable, or intimidated (especially in relationships between a supervisor and a subordinate), leading to complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Importantly, claims may be brought not only by the individuals in the relationship, but even by third parties. Complaints of “paramour favoritism” are on the rise and are being filed by employees who allege they are overlooked due to preferential treatment towards a co-worker who is engaged in a romantic relationship with the boss.  While courts differ on whether such claims are meritorious, turning a blind eye to such relationships may result in business interruption and liability.

In 2011, for example, the EEOC reported that 11,364 charges of sexual harassment were filed, and 16.3 percent of those were filed by men. The EEOC recovered more than $52 million in damages for sexual harassment claims in 2011. Employers might not be able to prevent love in the office, but they can take action to mitigate potential liability. An important initial measure is to draft a good policy depending on your company’s size, structure, business goals, and culture.  If you implement an office dating policy, you must enforce it uniformly and take appropriate and equal action for violations of the policy.

What Does Company Policy Say?

Now is a good time for employers to update or create a policy governing dating among workers.  While some policies prohibit romantic relationships altogether, many employers recognize that employees will date each other regardless of policy. In fact, they might “sneak around” to avoid violating the policy, which could create even more tension if the relationship is discovered or known only to a select few.  In addition, strict no-dating policies may be difficult to implement and enforce, as they may not clearly define the conduct that is forbidden (e.g., does the policy prohibit socializing, dating, romantic relationships, or something else?).

Some policies interdict dating among management and staff, while others specify that there is to be no fraternization with outside third parties to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of impropriety.  Still, other organizations mandate that employees who date one another voluntarily inform the company about their relationship.

In such cases, the notification policies direct employees to report their dating relationships to Human Resources, the EEO officer, or a member of management, and they ask employees to sign a written consent regarding the romantic relationship. While this type of policy may seem intrusive, these documents are drafted to protect employers from unwanted complaints of future sexual harassment or retaliation.

When asking employees to sign consents, you should again advise them about the company’s sexual harassment policy and remind them about ramifications of policy violations. Document that the employees entered into the relationship voluntarily, were counseled and – if/when the relationship ends – include a memo in their respective personnel records that the relationship ended, and the employees were reminded about the company’s sexual harassment policy.  You should require the dating parties to make certain written representations to shield the company from future claims:

  • The individuals have entered the relationship voluntarily and the relationship is consensual.
  • The employees will not engage in any conduct that makes others uncomfortable, intimidated, or creates a hostile work environment for other employees, guests, or third parties.
  • The employees do not and will not make any decisions that could impact each other’s terms and conditions of employment.
  • The employees will act professionally toward each other at all times, even after the relationship has ended.
  • The relationship will not cause unnecessary workplace disruptions or distractions or otherwise adversely impact productivity.
  • The employees will not retaliate against each other if/when the relationship ends.

Tips for Employers

Employers should prepare and implement a clear policy regarding office relationships or update an existing one, and be sure to disseminate it and obtain employees’ acknowledgements. The policy should address to extent to which office relationships are permissible, and, if appropriate, require employees to promptly disclose the existence (or termination) of a romantic or sexual relationship to a designated member of Human Resources, EEO officer or management.  When the employees involved are in a supervisor/subordinate relationship, disclosure is especially critical so that the employer may effectively address the impact of the relationship (e.g., evaluating if it is necessary to change job duties or reassign the employee(s)).

If harassment occurs despite an employer’s best efforts to prevent and stop it, you will have a strong defense if you can demonstrate that you have done the following:

  • Implement and enforce a sexual harassment and office romance policy that provides a clear reporting channel and prohibits retaliation for good faith complaints.
  • Train new and existing employees on the sexual harassment policy and document the training.
  • Train managers on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to handle complaints.
  • Train employees to report inappropriate behavior.
  • If a relationship develops between a manager and his/her subordinate, transfer one of them, if possible, to eliminate a direct reporting relationship.
  • Promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints.
  • Take appropriate corrective action to address prior incidents of sexual harassment.

Regardless of the type of policy your company adopts, be sure to customize it to the needs and actual practices of your business. Train employees and managers on expectations governing office romances. A well-drafted and uniformly enforced fraternization (or non-fraternization) policy will not prevent workplace relationships altogether, but it can protect you if you encounter office romances.

 

Mona M. Stone, of counsel, works in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Panel will discuss Cybersecurity at GPEC

Members of Arizona’s business community are invited to the February meeting of the Arizona Aerospace & Defense Forum for a discussion centered on cyber-security including risks, trends and what businesses need to keep their businesses safe and secure online.

This event will be hosted at the offices of Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) located at 2 N. Central Ave Suite 2500 Phoenix, Arizona 85004. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb.11 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. There will be networking from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

The forum will be led by panelists Bill Ross, vice president of information security solutions at General Dynamics C4 Systems; Ty Lindteigen, chief technology officer at SAIFE; Raz Yalov, chief technology officer of 41Parameters and Nadya Bliss, director of strategic project development at Arizona State University.

Greenberg Traurig, along with law firm Snell & Wilmer, were instrumental in the formation of the Arizona Chapter of the Aerospace and Defense Forum. Each month, the A&D Forum alternates from meetings in Phoenix and Tucson.

Registration required by going here.

Ivan Rosenberg, president and CEO of Frontier Associates is the executive director and co-founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, director, research and strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council serves as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

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Greenberg Traurig Named 'Law Firm of the Year'

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has been named “Law Firm of the Year” in the U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2014 edition of Best Law Firms in two categories: Government Relations and Litigation-Real Estate. According to U.S. News and Best Lawyers, only one law firm is given the “Law Firm of the Year” designation in each of the 87 practice areas ranked nationally in the guide. In Arizona, Greenberg Traurig is the only firm with a first-tier ranking in equipment finance law.

In addition to the most overall first-tier rankings in the United States and most overall first-tier metropolitan rankings, Greenberg Traurig was also ranked in the following categories:
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Government Relations Practice
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Litigation – Real Estate
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Real Estate

“We are honored to have been selected for this national recognition,” said John Cummerford, Greenberg Traurig’s co-managing shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office. “This award recognizes the skill and dedication to client service of the professionals in our practice.”

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Greenberg Traurig Named ‘Law Firm of the Year’

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has been named “Law Firm of the Year” in the U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2014 edition of Best Law Firms in two categories: Government Relations and Litigation-Real Estate. According to U.S. News and Best Lawyers, only one law firm is given the “Law Firm of the Year” designation in each of the 87 practice areas ranked nationally in the guide. In Arizona, Greenberg Traurig is the only firm with a first-tier ranking in equipment finance law.

In addition to the most overall first-tier rankings in the United States and most overall first-tier metropolitan rankings, Greenberg Traurig was also ranked in the following categories:
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Government Relations Practice
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Litigation – Real Estate
·         Most first-tier rankings in the United States in Real Estate

“We are honored to have been selected for this national recognition,” said John Cummerford, Greenberg Traurig’s co-managing shareholder in the firm’s Phoenix office. “This award recognizes the skill and dedication to client service of the professionals in our practice.”

Aerospace and defense industry - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Aerospace & Defense Forum launches Arizona Chapter

The Aerospace & Defense Forum, a global aerospace and defense organization promoting collaboration and commerce among industry leaders, has established an Arizona chapter which will launch in October.

An impressive line-up of Arizona business leaders will lead the Arizona Chapter Steering Committee and host monthly meetings and networking events. The Phoenix meetings will be hosted by the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and the Tucson meetings will be hosted by law firm Snell & Wilmer. Monthly chapter meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Phoenix and Tucson, and include networking opportunities, presentations by aerospace and defense industry experts and small group discussions and at least once a year, a tour of an A&D facility not generally available to the public.

Ivan Rosenberg, President and CEO of Frontier Associates is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, Director, Research and Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will serve as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

In addition, those serving on the founding Arizona A&D Steering Committee include:
* Jerry Fellows, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Brett Johnson, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix
* Richard Katz, Counsel, Snell & Wilmer, Tucson
* Bruce Macdonough, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Peter Vedder, Director, Civil Space and Space Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems

“We’re thrilled to bring this proven collaborative format to the Arizona A&D community,” said Rosenberg. “A&D companies have discovered that A&D Forum membership and group involvement provides an unmatched source of new ideas for improving both their top and bottom lines, as well as a forum for learning best practices and solving problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Arizona chapter will take place Oct. 8, with a keynote presentation by Lt. Gen. Gene Tattini, Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), entitled,  “Dare Mighty Things: Turning Around Two A&D Organizations.” Tattini is also former Commander of the United States Air Force Space and Missile System Center.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported more than $13 billion in defense contracts with Arizona ties in 2012 alone. These high-paying jobs make a significant economic impact in our state and we are proud to support and encourage industry growth,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-Managing Shareholder Bruce Macdonough. “We also look forward to raising the visibility of Arizona a top-tier destination for the best aerospace and defense companies to grow and prosper.”

Each monthly meeting is free of charge, but registration is required. To RSVP for the Oct. 8 meeting, visit: https://adfazoct13.eventbrite.com.

Aerospace and defense industry - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Aerospace & Defense Forum launches Arizona Chapter

The Aerospace & Defense Forum, a global aerospace and defense organization promoting collaboration and commerce among industry leaders, has established an Arizona chapter which will launch in October.

An impressive line-up of Arizona business leaders will lead the Arizona Chapter Steering Committee and host monthly meetings and networking events. The Phoenix meetings will be hosted by the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and the Tucson meetings will be hosted by law firm Snell & Wilmer. Monthly chapter meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Phoenix and Tucson, and include networking opportunities, presentations by aerospace and defense industry experts and small group discussions and at least once a year, a tour of an A&D facility not generally available to the public.

Ivan Rosenberg, President and CEO of Frontier Associates is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, Director, Research and Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will serve as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

In addition, those serving on the founding Arizona A&D Steering Committee include:
* Jerry Fellows, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Brett Johnson, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix
* Richard Katz, Counsel, Snell & Wilmer, Tucson
* Bruce Macdonough, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Peter Vedder, Director, Civil Space and Space Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems

“We’re thrilled to bring this proven collaborative format to the Arizona A&D community,” said Rosenberg. “A&D companies have discovered that A&D Forum membership and group involvement provides an unmatched source of new ideas for improving both their top and bottom lines, as well as a forum for learning best practices and solving problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Arizona chapter will take place Oct. 8, with a keynote presentation by Lt. Gen. Gene Tattini, Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), entitled,  “Dare Mighty Things: Turning Around Two A&D Organizations.” Tattini is also former Commander of the United States Air Force Space and Missile System Center.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported more than $13 billion in defense contracts with Arizona ties in 2012 alone. These high-paying jobs make a significant economic impact in our state and we are proud to support and encourage industry growth,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-Managing Shareholder Bruce Macdonough. “We also look forward to raising the visibility of Arizona a top-tier destination for the best aerospace and defense companies to grow and prosper.”

Each monthly meeting is free of charge, but registration is required. To RSVP for the Oct. 8 meeting, visit: https://adfazoct13.eventbrite.com.

legal

Greenberg Traurig Expands Phoenix Labor Practice

The Phoenix office of the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, has expanded its Labor and Employment Practice, adding two seasoned shareholders to serve client demand. Three accomplished employment attorneys, all listed in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America, and two experienced associates, now comprise the firm’s growing Phoenix practice group.

The group will host its 13th Annual Labor and Employment Seminar on Wednesday, October 2nd at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presentations will focus on emerging trends in labor and employment law and suggestions and strategies for enhanced compliance with applicable laws, in areas such as social media, the Affordable Care Act, immigration, wage and hour and workplace investigations.

Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix Labor and Employment Practice includes shareholders Laurent Badoux and James Nelson, counsel Mona Stone, and associates Dana Hooper and Lindsay Schafer. The group has a wide mix of experience in labor and employment litigation and advice. Specifically:

* Laurent Badoux focuses his practice exclusively on labor and employment law, with an emphasis on compensation, employee relations and transnational employment issues. His broad range of experience includes collective and class actions litigation, collective bargaining agreement negotiations and arbitration, restrictive covenants and the defense of administrative charges involving various state and federal agencies across the U.S. Badoux is a frequent lecturer, both nationally and internationally, a former UNLV adjunct faculty member and has extensive experience in employee training.

* James Nelson represents employers and plan fiduciaries in matters concerning ERISA compliance, fiduciary responsibility, collective bargaining, wage and hour, employee benefits, safety, discrimination, wrongful termination among others. Nelson’s litigation experience includes complex litigation, class action defense, administrative proceedings and appeals.

* Mona Stone advises both entrepreneurs and Fortune 50 companies on employment policies and agreements, compliance with local, state and federal laws including the FCPA and employee issues. She is a published author on employment law including employer guides on EEOC investigations, employment handbooks and policies and non-compete agreements. Having successfully defended numerous employee complaints at administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations and trials throughout the U.S., Stone is called upon to be a frequent speaker at seminars and client training sessions.

* Dana Hooper focuses her practice in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law and sports law. Her litigation experience includes alternative dispute resolution and collective and class action defense. Hooper is certified as an athlete’s agent and provides legal representation to sports-oriented individuals and businesses.

* Lindsay Schafer works with clients on business litigation and complex commercial disputes. She maintains a particular practice emphasis on employment litigation. Schafer is experienced defending administrative complaints and lawsuits involving claims of employment discrimination, breach of employment contract and wrongful discharge in federal and state court.

Cost to attend the Labor and Employment Seminar is $75 per person or $50 each for groups of three or more. Admission includes lunch and refreshment. For more information and to register, please visit: http://www4.gtlaw.com/marketing/LE/21955/index.html. Registration deadline is Sept. 25.

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29 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers

The international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, announced that 29 attorneys from its Phoenix office are named in the 2014 Best Lawyers in America list released this week. In addition, three Phoenix attorneys are recognized as “Lawyer of the Year.” According to Best Lawyers®, only one attorney from each practice and metropolitan area is chosen. The Greenberg attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year” are:

* Brian H. Blaney, Securities Regulation
* William R. DeHaan, Public Finance Law
* Bruce E. Macdonough, Securities/Capital Markets Law

For the seventh consecutive year, the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP is ranked No. 1 for having more attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America than any other law firm in the U.S. The 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in America lists 348 Greenberg Traurig attorneys across the firm’s U.S. offices.
More than 60 percent of the attorneys in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office are included in the 2014 ranking.

The attorneys named to the Best Lawyers list and their first year listed are:

* Laurent Badoux (2014) Labor Law – Management
* Brian H. Blaney (2010) Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, Securities Regulation, Venture Capital Law
* Mary E. Bruno (2013) Employment Law – Management
* Rebecca Lynne Burnham (1999) Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law
* Michael Cafiso (2007) Public Finance Law
* David D. Cleary (2012) Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation – Bankruptcy
* John E. Cummerford (2003) Copyright Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law
* Michelle A. De Blasi (2013) Energy Law, Environmental Law
* William R. DeHaan (2007) Public Finance Law
* Gerald L. Fellows (2005) Litigation – Patent, Patent Law
* Karl A. Freeburg (2013) Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Finance Law
* Harry J. Friedman (1999) Tax Law
* Stacey F. Gottlieb (2010) Criminal Defense: White-Collar
* Brigitte Finley Green (2007) Public Finance Law
* Jean E. Harris (2010) Securities/Capital Markets Law, Securities Regulation
* Robert S. Kant (2003) Corporate Law
* Leslie A. Klein (2006) Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (Chicago and Phoenix)
* Bruce E. Macdonough (2009) Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law
* Kevin J. Morris (2012) Banking and Finance Law, Real Estate Law
* James Nelson (2012) Employment Law – Management (Sacramento and Phoenix)
* Pamela M. Overton (2009) Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
* David M. Paltzik (2008) Real Estate Law
* Gil Rudolph (2003) Banking and Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law
* Brian J. Schulman (2012) Litigation – Securities, Securities Regulation
* Paul F. Sefcovic (2013) Public Finance Law
* Lesa J. Storey (2003) Real Estate Law
* Jeffrey H. Verbin (1995) Banking and Finance Law, Equipment Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law
* E. Jeffrey Walsh (2005) Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction, Litigation – Real Estate
* Quinn P. Williams (1995) Corporate Law, Franchise Law, Venture Capital Law

According to the Best Lawyers website, the “Top Listed” designation is given to the firm that has the most listed lawyers in a particular location and practice area. The award is based exclusively on number of listed attorneys.

Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office is top-listed based on number of attorneys in the following states:

· Phoenix: Commercial Finance Law, Equipment Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, Public Finance Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, Securities Regulation, Venture Capital Law

Best Lawyers in America, compile the lists of attorneys by in-depth peer-review surveys where millions of lawyers can confidentially evaluate their peers. The 2014 Best Lawyers of America edition was accumulated with more than 4.3 million confidential evaluations provided from attorneys across the country. The publication’s lists are currently printed in 70 countries and have international exposure.

iPhone Business Apps

‘Bring Your Own Device’ trend a growing concern

The rise in popularity of smart phones, tablets and laptops has blurred the increasingly thin line between professional and personal life, between work time and personal time. But it’s is also creating security concerns for business owners who let their employees use those tech toys for work.

“Employers need to address the question of how to react to the inevitable or current use of personal or shared devices by their employees,” said Cheri Vandergrift, a staff attorney for Mountain States Employers Council, a leader in human resource and employment law services for the business community. “From IT issues to privacy and litigation concerns, companies that ignore the rising ‘Bring Your Own Device’ tide may find that BYOD brought nothing but disaster.”

While an AccelOps Cloud Security Survey of IT security personnel ranked BYOD as the top source for fear of incurring data loss, there are also concerns regarding employee privacy should litigation ensue and the question of using personal devices goes into the courtroom. The use of personal devices in the workplace stirs questions within the IT, legal and human resources departments of companies.

“Data access and ownership are significant legal issues that surround the BYOD trend,” said John Balitis, director at Fennemore Craig. “Employees accessing employer systems with personal devices can create major network security risks and employer IT staff accessing the devices to support them can infringe on employee privacy. Further, how to define who owns what information on the devices is challenging.”

Laurent Badoux, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office, said there are a number of legal issues that could arise from the BYOD trend. Among them:

* Breach of confidentiality — especially with medical or financial data.
* Commercial espionage or unfair competition.
* Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims of unreported or unpaid time.
* Dispute as to ownership of data stored on personal devices.
* Claims of harassment, defamation, invasion of privacy, etc. from improper social media posting of workplace conduct.
* Negligence torts if an exployee tries to answer a work text or email while driving and causes an accident.

“The most glaring risk (an employer takes) is that sensitive confidential corporate data becomes compromised, either because an outsider is able to access that data through an employee’s device or to copy data stored on that device,” Badoux said. “When their sensitive data becomes compromised, companies face damage to the bottom lines and public image.”

According to Travis Williams, senior counsel at the Frutkin Law Firm, if a company believes information is jeopardized, or upon termination of an employee’s employment, the employer may have the right to seize the device for a short time to ensure proper protection or removal of company’s sensitive information.

“Employees need to understand that business information on their device is the property of the employer,” Williams said. “The employer has the right to protect the information. The protection may allow the employer to seize or force ‘wipe’ the device to ensure proper removal of the information.”

While there is no doubt that the BYOD trend has given tech-savvy employees the opportunity to create a more flexible schedule and therefore increase their productivity, experts said it’s imperative that companies find a balance between protecting sensitive work data, while still providing employees flexibility and independence.

“Have a policy that specifically addresses what employees can and cannot do with PEDs (personal electronic devices) used for work-related purposes and enforce that policy,” said Tibor Nagy, Jr., a shareholder at the Tucson office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. “Be sure the policy addresses what happens to employer data when the employee leaves employment.”

Experts said companies who worry about issues related to the BYOD trend should look to impose tighter security constraints, develop technology guidelines and policies or employ mobile-device management tools, services and systems.

“An employer absolutely should implement a BYOD policy if the employer allows or encourages employees to use personal devices for work,” Balitis said.

Badoux said an effective BYOD program should include:

1. Mandatory Mobile Device Management software
2. Clarification of expectations on ownership of data, privacy and access to dual-use devices.
3. “Acceptable Use” procedures harmonized with the employee handbook or agreement).
4. A well-crafted social media policy.

“Do not allow highly sensitive employer, personnel, health information, or customer data to be stored on an employee’s PED, unless you are certain that device will be used and protected to the same degree as an employer-owned device,” Nagy said. “Only allow PEDs that are ‘enterprise; enabled. Enterprise requirements include encryption of storage media; the ability to remotely wipe or clean a device; the ability to enforce password changes and password complexity; the ability to apply upgrades and patches; and the ability to revoke rights to data or corporate network access.”

energy supply - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

Arizona needs clear message to capitalize on energy

States with the most successful industry clusters have a common characteristic — unwavering support from government, industry and the public. The oil and gas industry in Texas was built with support for the industry from all levels. Such support is not garnered unless the industry has a common voice in articulating its needs.

To some extent, Arizona has a robust energy industry. With the largest nuclear power plant in the nation, as well as hydropower and coal resources, our state wields considerable strength in contributing to the region’s power generation. However, as our current energy resources inevitably age and require upgrades or replacements, it is critical that Arizona is strategic about its future resources. It is for that reason that the Arizona Energy Consortium (AEC) recently released the Arizona Energy Roadmap, as a methodology for creating a strategic focus for the growth and further development of the energy industry.

As an environmental and energy attorney working heavily in the energy sector, I have experienced first-hand where the issues lie in the development of energy projects. Whether representing a manufacturer, developer, utility, investor or energy off taker, I have witnessed that any unnecessary barriers to getting projects to market limit Arizona’s ability to grow its industry. It is with this focus in mind that I helped establish and co-chair the AEC. Not only to remove the unnecessary barriers, but also to help create a common voice for our energy industry.

Creating a long-term plan for a state with such a diverse energy mix does not come without its challenges. For instance, sometimes the more established sectors such as coal and natural gas do not necessarily support or understand the need for an emerging renewable energy industry. In fact, in many cases the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors are at odds because they feel they are in direct competition with each other. However, the AEC is working to educate both sectors on how they can support one another. A “winner take all” approach is not the desired outcome since a diverse energy mix creates a more stable, secure and reliable industry. By working together to find ways traditional fossil fuels can firm intermittent renewable power, as well as utilize common infrastructure, the sectors are beginning to speak, although slowly, with a common message.

Another barrier to development is inefficient permitting processes. Regardless of the technology, permitting delays cost time and money and in many instances can delay a project indefinitely. Since the creation of energy generation projects drives the need for manufacturing, permitting delays also create issues for the growth of the industry cluster. If there are fewer projects coming online, then there are fewer manufacturers who will be attracted to the state to site their facilities. Some of Arizona’s jurisdictions have had success reducing permitting timeframes to better support industry. The AEC is working to continue this process statewide for utility-scale projects, as well as support other entities working to improve the process for distributed generation.

Arizona has the opportunity to benefit from a robust energy economy if it can only address the redundancy in permitting and the confusing messaging. The AEC is focusing these efforts in an attempt to drive economic development, a diversified energy mix and higher paying jobs.

Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium, is a shareholder in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig. De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises clients on energy and environmental sustainability, including traditional and renewable energy project permitting, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Michelle De Blasi - 50 Most Influential Women in AZ Business

Michelle De Blasi – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Michelle De BlasiShareholder, Greenberg Traurig

De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises clients on energy and environmental matters, including traditional and renewable energy project development, environmental permitting and compliance, and greenhouse gas emissions. She is also co-chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium.

Surprising fact: “I grew up on a working farm in rural Colorado, but I started my career near the ocean working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

Biggest challenge: “Finding a good work-life balance as a working mom. There are sometimes challenges, but many rewards, and I’m proud my kids know both are options for them.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Aerial view of site of new industrial park.

Getting Arizona Back To Business: Q&A With Rebecca Burnham

 

Q&A: Rebecca Burnham, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig

 

Q: More and more, institutional investors are dominating real estate investment in Arizona. What’s driving this trend? It is a good or bad thing?

A: This is a national trend that we are seeing replicated in Arizona. There are two key things driving this: First, the economy is in recovery and there is a renewed faith in real estate as an attractive asset class. Second, and related, is interest rates — they are historically low, which is driving investors to broaden their portfolios to include a wider

Rebecca Burnham

Rebecca Burnham

range of assets offering superior yield potential. Most investors do not have the expertise to make direct investments in real estate and, rather, place cash and reserve monies with major institutional players. These large institutional funds, in turn, have to find opportunities to place the cash and see Arizona as a great investment. This is not a bad thing for Arizona as this activity represents a significant amount of net new investment. It boosts our economy and gives us good exposure. There is some cause for concern, in a global sense, in that the search for yield can lead to pricing that may or may not be based on market fundamentals. Still, we have a ways to go before real estate prices here are in the “red” zone again and, so far, this is mostly real equity coming in, not leveraged dollars.

Q: Do you see state land sales making a comeback this year? Where will be the hot spots?

A: Absolutely, they will make a comeback when the State Land Department is ready and able to sell. The constraint will continue to be the lack of resources at a perennially under-funded government agency. Given that most of the proceeds generated from state land are ear-marked for the public schools, one can hope that our state leaders will realize the revenue potential and make an investment now that will should lead to great returns in the future. I believe the hot spots will continue to be in Desert Ridge, Paradise Valley — the Northeast Valley in general. Other areas that will likely see significant interest include the Black Canyon Corridor, the areas around Peoria and around the greater East Valley region. All of these areas saw significant investment and interest in the past and investors are interested in returning to them for future growth.

Outside the metro areas, signs are that it will be a slower comeback but the state land trust represents an enormous and very valuable asset. In the last up cycle, state land sales became a major factor and, as the market recovers, are likely to be an even bigger factor in our growth over the next decade.

Q: What are your real estate clients telling you — are we in a full market recovery? Which sectors are specifically active?

A: What I am seeing and hearing is cautious optimism. Residential continues to lead the comeback, and to some extent and in certain areas, commercial development. Due to our weather, topography and favorable economic climate, Arizona remains a “hot spot” for growth and we have seen several large corporate re-locations announced recently and there are many smaller deals that have happened or are in the works. It’s nice to see people smile when you say the words “real estate” again.

Q: Should people be concerned about the rapid recovery we are seeing on the residential side? Are we headed for another downfall?

A: The market does not appear to be overheated at the moment. Values are up, but nowhere near where they were a few years ago, and underwriting seems to be more conservative. One unequivocally positive thing I can say is this is — without a doubt — one of the best opportunities in my lifetime to purchase a home and obtain a favorable mortgage. Given that many folks are still recovering from the recession, not everyone will be able to take advantage of this but, for those with jobs and a current income, this may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Q: You have seen many cycles come and go — what insights do you offer your clients?

A: Cycles come and go, but, as I see it, the fundamentals don’t change — be adaptable, work hard, use leverage carefully and sparingly, never lose sight of your core principles — and, of course, a little luck never hurts. Seriously, though, I believe our character and relationships are what sustain us through the tough times and, when things are better, how nice to be able to enjoy that with people you respect and care for.

Q: Immigration reform and a sizzling job market have put a strain on the real estate industry to find qualified workers throughout the state. How is this impacting your clients?

A: A dearth of qualified workers is something we are seeing across all industries around the state but it seems construction is especially affected. There is a “black hole” of sorts as a result of the recession. A lot of people retired and many simply left the state or moved into other endeavors. As a result, the lack of qualified and experienced employees is likely to create a drag on the economy, including the real estate industry, for some time until businesses are able to ramp-up, train people and get them back into jobs. That said, the real estate industry, in my experience, is remarkably resilient and resourceful and will work through this, I am sure. I am just glad to be part of it and, as ever, remain optimistic and see great things ahead.

Rebecca Burnham represents real estate development interests in connection with the acquisition, planning, development, financing, operation and sale of real estate developments, as well as legislative and public policy matters pertaining to economic development and land use.

 

legal

8 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys make Chambers USA

The 2013 Chambers USA Guide includes eight attorneys from the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

The Greenberg Traurig Phoenix attorneys recognized and their practice areas are:

Corporate/M&A: Brian H. Blaney, Robert S. Kant, Bruce E. Macdonough and Quinn Williams
Environmental: Michelle A. De Blasi
Labor/Employment: Leslie A. Klein
Real Estate: Rebecca Lynne Burnham and Lesa J. Storey

Firm-wide, 186 Greenberg Traurig attorneys and 33 practice areas are included in this prestigious ranking. Chambers and Partners, publisher of the annual guide, selects attorneys and practices for inclusion based on thousands of interviews with practicing lawyers and clients around the world.

“We are pleased that our Phoenix office and attorneys have, once again, been recognized by Chambers for their very extensive expertise and experience,” said Phoenix Co-Managing Shareholder John E. Cummerford. “This is a prestigious honor, particularly as it is based on feedback from peers and clients, and it reflects positively on the quality of our Arizona attorneys.”

The firm has received a number of awards from Chambers and Partners throughout the years, including the Chambers Global Awards 2007 USA Law Firm of the Year, five Chambers Awards for Excellence and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, the firm received the Chambers USA Award for Excellence in Real Estate during the Chambers and Partners USA 2013 America’s Leading Lawyers for Business awards ceremony held last week in New York.

In the 2013 Chambers USA Nationwide rankings, Greenberg Traurig is recommended for client service in Capital Markets and REITs, and for commercial awareness in Environmental and Wealth Management law.

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Greenberg Traurig among ‘Best Corporate Law Firms’

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, with more than 50 Arizona-based attorneys, has been named one of America’s Best Corporate Law Firms by Corporate Board Member, an NYSE Euronext company, and global business advisory firm FTI Consulting, Inc. in their annual survey of directors and general counsel of publicly-traded companies. The award was presented Tuesday as part of Corporate Board Member’s 6th Annual Legal Recognition Dinner in New York.

“We are very grateful for this honor,” said John Cummerford, a co-managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “This is especially noteworthy since this recognition comes from our peers in the industry – general counsel of public companies – and reflects the respect our firm has earned worldwide.”

Each year, Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting team up to conduct research to reveal those law firms that directors and general counsels believe to be the most respected legal counsel nationwide. This year, Greenberg Traurig is included on the 2013 Top 25 National Law Firm General Counsel’s Rankings list.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys represent both public and privately-held clients in a wide range of industries and in transactions including mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, public and private offerings of securities, as well as litigation, real estate, intellectual property, tax and other matters.

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Greenberg Traurig among 'Best Corporate Law Firms’

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, with more than 50 Arizona-based attorneys, has been named one of America’s Best Corporate Law Firms by Corporate Board Member, an NYSE Euronext company, and global business advisory firm FTI Consulting, Inc. in their annual survey of directors and general counsel of publicly-traded companies. The award was presented Tuesday as part of Corporate Board Member’s 6th Annual Legal Recognition Dinner in New York.

“We are very grateful for this honor,” said John Cummerford, a co-managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “This is especially noteworthy since this recognition comes from our peers in the industry – general counsel of public companies – and reflects the respect our firm has earned worldwide.”

Each year, Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting team up to conduct research to reveal those law firms that directors and general counsels believe to be the most respected legal counsel nationwide. This year, Greenberg Traurig is included on the 2013 Top 25 National Law Firm General Counsel’s Rankings list.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys represent both public and privately-held clients in a wide range of industries and in transactions including mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, public and private offerings of securities, as well as litigation, real estate, intellectual property, tax and other matters.

Pending Favorable Legislation For Investors In Renewable Energy

Despite significant investments in renewable energy technologies in the US, manufacturing and deployment of renewable energy has lagged relative to the size of the US economy according to the recently released “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race 2012,” published by The Pew Charitable Trust. In an effort to spur investment, bipartisan legislation was recently re-introduced to allow investors in renewable energy projects to get the same treatment under the US tax code that allows investors in coal, oil and gas to utilize Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) to attract capital. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act would amend the US tax code to allow entities producing electricity from certain renewable energy sources, alternative fuels and storage devices to monetize the tax benefits in the same manner as when investing in more traditional forms of energy. If this legislation passes, it will provide the opportunity for increased development in renewable energy in the US, which means improved economic development for our economy.


For more information contact Michelle De Blasi, Shareholder
Greenberg & Traurig
deblasim@gtlaw.com; 602.445.8485; www.gtlaw.com

Pamela Overton Risoleo

31 Phoenix Greenberg Traurig attorneys earn honors

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP with 50 Arizona-based attorneys, has 22 attorneys on the 2013 Southwest Super Lawyers list, an independent rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. In addition, the publication also named nine Greenberg Traurig attorneys as Southwest Rising Stars.

“We are extremely proud of this independent recognition by Super Lawyers,” said John E. Cummerford, a co-managing shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office. “The professionals included on this list are exceptional and truly deserving of this honor. I’m proud of the strength and local roots of our Phoenix office which is supported by our firm’s national resources and global reach.”

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters organization, is a research-driven, peer-influenced rating service of lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The mission of Super Lawyers is to bring visibility to those attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice.

Six Greenberg Traurig attorneys were also recognized on the “Top 50 Southwest Super Lawyers” list. They are: Brian H. Blaney, Rebecca L. Burnham, Robert S. Kant, Jeffrey H. Verbin, E. Jeffrey Walsh and Quinn P. Williams.

Three Greenberg Traurig attorneys were included in the Super Lawyers “Top 25 Arizona Women” list. They are: Rebecca Lynne Burnham, Stacey F. Gottlieb and Pamela Overton Risoleo.

More than 60 percent of the attorneys in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office are included in the 2013 ranking. The attorneys named Southwest Super Lawyers include: Gil Rudolph, Jeffrey H. Verbin (Banking), David D. Cleary (Bankruptcy), Brian H. Blaney, Robert S. Kant, Bruce E. Macdonough, Quinn Williams (Corporate/Securities), Michelle De Blasi (Environmental), John E. Cummerford, Jerry Fellows, Frank G. Long (Intellectual Property), Laurent R. G. Badoux (Labor and Employment), Nicole M. Goodwin, Stacey F. Gottlieb, Pamela Overton Risoleo, Brian J. Schulman, Peter W. Sorensen, E. Jeffrey Walsh (Litigation), Rebecca Lynne Burnham, Kevin J. Morris, David M. Paltzik and Lesa J. Storey (Real Estate). Southwest Rising Stars include: Greenberg Traurig attorneys Michael L. Aguirre, Logan V. Miller, Katherine A. Swenson and Jeremy D. Zangara (Corporate/Securities), Kimberly A. Warshawsky (Intellectual Property), Dana L. Hooper, Nathan T. Mitchler, Laura Sixkiller and Tracy L. Weiss (Litigation.)

The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Super Lawyers Magazine features the list and profiles of selected attorneys and is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-accredited law school libraries. Super Lawyers is also published as a special section in leading city and regional magazines across the country. In the United States, Super Lawyers Magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers.

merger

Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice honored

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, with more than 50 Arizona-based attorneys, ranked among the top law firms representing investment banks and financial advisors in mergers and acquisition transactions in 2012, according to Corporate Control Alert.

Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice ranked 4th among all law firms representing investment banks and financial advisors in U.S. mergers and acquisitions, with 17 transactions in the 2012 Banker Representation listing, published by Corporate Control Alert, a journal of legal and financial deal-making trends. Firms were ranked by the total number of deals valued at $100 million or more from January 2012 to December 2012. Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice was credited with several high-profile banker representations, including Group Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V. in its pending $20.1 billion acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev and ConAgra Foods, Inc. in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc.

“Ranking fourth among all U.S. law firms affirms Greenberg Traurig is a leading law firm in M&A transactions for investment banking and financial advisory firms,” said Quinn Williams, a Corporate/ M&A shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office.

Greenberg Traurig’s Corporate and Securities/M&A Practice has more than 350 attorneys in more than 30 offices around the world providing counsel and services to companies and entrepreneurs throughout Americas, Europe and Asia. Greenberg Traurig’s practice groups and attorneys have been recognized as No. 1 in their respective geographic regions by The National Law Journal, Chambers & Partners, Corporate Board Member magazine, Latin Lawyer magazine and numerous regional and local professional publications and rankings.

merger

Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice honored

The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, with more than 50 Arizona-based attorneys, ranked among the top law firms representing investment banks and financial advisors in mergers and acquisition transactions in 2012, according to Corporate Control Alert.

Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice ranked 4th among all law firms representing investment banks and financial advisors in U.S. mergers and acquisitions, with 17 transactions in the 2012 Banker Representation listing, published by Corporate Control Alert, a journal of legal and financial deal-making trends. Firms were ranked by the total number of deals valued at $100 million or more from January 2012 to December 2012. Greenberg Traurig’s M&A Practice was credited with several high-profile banker representations, including Group Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V. in its pending $20.1 billion acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev and ConAgra Foods, Inc. in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc.

“Ranking fourth among all U.S. law firms affirms Greenberg Traurig is a leading law firm in M&A transactions for investment banking and financial advisory firms,” said Quinn Williams, a Corporate/ M&A shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office.

Greenberg Traurig’s Corporate and Securities/M&A Practice has more than 350 attorneys in more than 30 offices around the world providing counsel and services to companies and entrepreneurs throughout Americas, Europe and Asia. Greenberg Traurig’s practice groups and attorneys have been recognized as No. 1 in their respective geographic regions by The National Law Journal, Chambers & Partners, Corporate Board Member magazine, Latin Lawyer magazine and numerous regional and local professional publications and rankings.

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Women to watch in healthcare, energy, aerospace and technology

Here are some of the the Arizona innnovators who Az Business magazine thinks will be making waves in healthcare, energy, aerospace and technology in 2013:

Ruth Carter
Owner, Carter Law Firm
carterlawaz.com
Her background: After graduating from ASU Law School in 2011, she opened her own law firm in January 2012 and focused her practice on social media law, intellectual property, business formation and contracts, and flash mob law. She will deliver a talk entitled “Protecting Your Copyrights in Digital Media” at the South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in March 2013. She also wrote the book “The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed.”
Fun fact: She was selected as an American Bar Association Legal Rebel in September 2012.
Her goal for 2013: To help entrepreneurs, writers, and artists turn their ideas into reality, to help them push the limits of what’s possible without crossing the line.

Michelle De Blasi
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
gtlaw.com
Her background: De Blasi focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on natural resources matters. She advises local and multi-national clients on energy and environmental sustainability, including the development of traditional and renewable energy power plants, climate change, and greenhouse gas emissions. She is a leader in many community organizations, including serving as the Co-Chair of the Arizona Energy Consortium, which has recently released the Arizona Energy Roadmap to further develop the state’s energy industry.
Fun fact: “I wanted to be an environmental attorney since junior high.  Working for six years at NOAA starting in law school was an amazing way to begin my career.”
Her goal for 2013: “Continue to assist my clients’ growth and expansion, including improving the regulatory and business atmosphere in the areas where they are located.”

MaryAnn Guerra
CEO, BioAccel
bioaccel.org
Her background: BioAccel was named the most promising initiative among the six winners of SSTI’s 2012 Excellence in TBED (technology-based economic development) awards. In three years, BioAccel — whose mission is to transform high-risk technologies into new businesses and high-wage jobs — has supported 11 companies in Arizona, investing more than $4 million directly as well as helping get an additional $15.5 million in downstream funding.
Fun fact: “I love camping outdoors in tents. After gathering wood from the forest, I  build the campfire, cook, then relax under the moonlight — with wine if possible.”
Her goal for 2013: “Personally: spend more time with my husband.  Professionally: expand BioAccel’s overall capacity, validate BioInspire as a model and help launch the BioAccel Accelerator Fund.”

Chevy Humphrey
President and CEO, Arizona Science Center
azscience.org
Her background: She oversees the $8 million operation of Arizona Science Center’s 185,000-square-foot facilities with more than 400 employees and volunteers. She is in line to become the next president of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, an international organization representing science centers and museums with more than 600 members in over 40 countries worldwide. She currently serves as its secretary-treasurer.
Fun fact: Humphrey secured the largest gift in the Center’s history – $3.5 million.
Her goal for 2013: “Maintain excellence as Arizona’s largest provider of informal science education while providing educators with professional development and resources supporting the new common core education standards.”

Mary Juetten
Founder and CEO, Traklight.com
traklight.com
Her background: While earning her JD at ASU, Juetten combined her new knowledge of the law with accounting designations and 25 years of management, business and financial consulting experience to create Traklight.com in 2010.  Traklight is an online software as service company that offers products for inventors, creators, start-up or small companies to identify, secure, and manage their intellectual property to reduce the risk of infringement and IP loss, all without any prior knowledge of IP.
Fun fact: She played ice hockey in Canada and Phoenix.
Her goal for 2013: “I plan to spend more time outside with my husband: golfing and hiking.  Traklight will build upon our October launch and expand nationally in 2013.”

Kim Kundert
Vice president of clinical operations
Clinical Research Advantage
Her background: Kundert received the 2012 Silver Stevie Award — which honors the world’s bets and brightest female entrepreneurs and executives — for Female Executive of the Year in the Business Services category. Kundert has been a driving force behind the rapid growth of CRA, a clinical trial management organization that has helped trial sponsors bring drugs to market more quickly and efficiently.
Fun fact: She was born in Germany on Christmas Day.
Her goal for 2013: “My goal is to open 20 new clinical trial sites.”

Jessica Langbaum
Principal scientist, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
banneralz.org
Her background: Langbaum is actively involved in research activities focusing on the use of brain imaging for studying the earliest evidence of Alzheimer’s and on the design and execution of preclinical Alzheimer’s treatment trials. Langbaum has published papers in leading scientific journals on cognitive training, brain imaging and Alzheimer’s disease.
Fun fact: Her family has been in Arizona for generations.
Her goal for 2013: “Enroll 100,000 people in our Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry (endALZnow.org/registry), launch the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative (API)/Genentech trial, prepare for the next API-led trial, and potty train my son.”

Paula O’Neal Wichterman
Vice president, medical private banker, National Bank of Arizona
nbarizona.com
Her background: Wichterman is vice president in the Private Bank of National Bank of Arizona. Prior to joining NB|AZ, she spent 9 years in various advisor roles at two other lending institutions in both private banking and credit administration. In her role at NB|AZ, Wichterman is responsible for increasing NB|AZ’s focus on the physician and medical banking market.
Fun fact: “Being the Southern girl that I am, I LOVE to shoot sporting clays. It is a great stress reliever after a long week at work.”
Her goal for 2013: “I want to always inspire my family and friends. I try my best to lead by example. Whether it is at home or at work, I want to be the best that I can be.”

Angela Perez
Partner, Snell & Wilmer
swlaw.com
Her background: Perez is an Arizona native who holds a biology degree from Harvard University and law degree from The University of Arizona. She practices law in the field of business and finance, with special attention to representing clients in the biotechnology industry. Perez represents companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start-up to liquidity. Perez is committed to using her education and experience to improve the strength of Arizona’s economy by facilitating the growth of Arizona’s biotech industry.
Fun fact: Formed Snell & Wilmer’s Bioscience and Healthcare Industry Group shortly after graduating from law school.
Her goal for 2013: “Contribute to the success of my firm and clients by providing sound legal advice; support Arizona’s biotech industry; and shower my young family with love.”

Darcy Renfro
Vice president and coordinator of the Arizona STEM Network, Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz)
sfaz.org
Her background: Renfro is leading the way for Arizona’s STEM — science, technology, engineering, math — education initiatives. She spearheaded the development of SFAz’s Arizona STEM Network, a first-of-its-kind strategic effort to help transform Arizona’s educational system. The Network will help teachers and students prepare for the state-adopted, internationally benchmarked Common Core Standards, higher-education and careers that will help ensure our state remains globally competitive.
Fun fact: Arizona is just one of 16 states in the U.S. with developing or existing STEM Networks.
Her goal for 2013: “Increase the access and quality of STEM opportunities for Arizona’s students and teachers to inspire excitement and achievement in math and science.”

Virginia Rybski
President and CEO, Regenesis Biomedical, Inc.
regenesisbio.com
Her background: Rybski has combined 35 years of experience founding, building and growing emerging bioscience companies by developing and launching numerous advanced-technology, healthcare related products. She strategically positioned the company as a regenerative medicine business; raised $5.3 million in capital; has grows sales for 8 consecutive years; and helped it earn a position on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2012.
Fun fact:
Her goal for 2013: “Focus on improving patient care, and helping to provide better patient outcomes while lowering the overall cost of care. Healthcare, now more than ever, needs collaboration between providers, patients, and manufacturers like Regenesis, to help rein in spiraling costs.”

Joyce Schroeder
Chief science officer, Arizona Cancer Therapeutics
arizonacancertherapeutics.com
Her background: Schroeder, program co-leader in Cancer Biology and Genetics at the Arizona Cancer Center, is moving toward clinical trials for breast cancer treatment that inhibits metastatic breast cancer growth at cellular level and it is non-toxic. In layman’s terms, this could block breast cancer growth without the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. She is also associate professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona.
Fun fact: She is an avid Stephen King reader and loves Star Wars.
Her goal for 2013: “My goal for 2013 is to get our breast cancer drug approved by the FDA to be given to patients.”

Lori Singleton
Manager of Sustainability Initiatives and Technologies, SRP
srpnet.com
Her background: Singleton’s primary focus at SRP is environmental and renewable energy issues. Under her direction, SRP has provided incentives to more than 12,000 customers who have installed solar energy systems on their homes and businesses. In addition, she is an active volunteer and effective advocate serving on the boards of Audubon of Arizona and the National Solar Energy Power Association.
Fun fact: “Ballroom dancing is my passion. For me, it not only helps keep me physically fit but allows me to focus on something other than looming deadlines and work projects.”
Her goal for 2013: “As a Valley Forward board member, I will work to promote environmental quality statewide, elevate our state’s image and drive balanced policy as the organization evolves into Arizona Forward.”

Joy Seitz
Vice president of business and policy development, American Solar
americanpv.com
Her background: Since joining Scottsdale-based American Solar in 2009, Seitz has been a leading advocate for Arizona’s solar industry, making her presence felt everywhere that decisions are made about solar energy — city halls, Salt River Project and the Arizona Corporation Commission. Her company has designed and installed solar electric for more than 3,500 customers and created partnership with homebuilders including Shea Homes and AV Homes.
Fun fact: “I am a proud ASU West Campus graduate from the School of Global Management and Leadership, with an emphasis in finance.”
Her goal for 2013: “To put the power of solar energy into the hand of every homeowner. It is time that every Arizona homeowner understands that they can control what energy powers their home.”

Lois Wardell
Principal, Arapahoe SciTech
arapahost.com
Her background: Wardell’s technology focus includes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and associated sensor technologies.  By developing partnerships with other innovators, she has been able to tackle technical challenges in emerging fields such as those in polar science. One example is a sterilization system for an ice drill that will access an Antarctic sub-glacial lake below a half-mile of ice to explore this unknown frontier on our planet.
Fun fact: Wardell has worked on all seven continents.
Her goal for 2013: “My goals include continued development of technology for exploration (both Earth and beyond) and to increase my focus on outreach activities to inspire students.”

srp installs solar energy systems

Energy Consortium’s Roadmap puts state of path to build industry

Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.

That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.

“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”

This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.

Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy

“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”

Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.

ROADMAP CONTRIBUTORS

Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Cleantech Open
Dircks
DIRTT
DMB Associates
Energy Services Coalition
EnviroMission
Faithful+Gould
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Greenberg Traurig
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Golder Associates
Hensel Phelps
Ikoloji
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Kolbe Connect
Matthew McDonnell
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Stream Energy
Tucson Electric Power
Valley Forward
Valley Partnership