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    Locke Lord Elects 12 New Partners in 7 U.S. Cities; Half of Those Promoted are Women

    News Release

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    December 16, 2016Locke Lord has promoted 12 lawyers from seven offices and four Practice Groups to Partnership level, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

    Half of the 12 newly-elected Partners are women. The lawyers represent the Firm’s Corporate, Litigation, Finance, Banking and Real Estate and Intellectual Property Departments.

    The new Partners include:

    In Chicago:

    Carolyn Blessing concentrates her practice in IP Pharmaceutical matters and Hatch-Waxman litigation. She represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in all aspects of federal intellectual property litigation, including pre-litigation activities, Paragraph IV Certifications, filing, fact and expert discovery, claim construction, motion practice, pre-trial, trial and post-trial phases. In 2016, she was listed as a “Rising Star” in Illinois by Super Lawyers magazine. Blessing serves as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee for the Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law. She served as Chair of the Firm’s St. Procopius Legal Aid Clinic from 2014 through 2016.

    Jennifer Garner practices real estate law and has experience working on local and national matters involving the acquisition, disposition, financing and leasing of commercial properties. She drafts and negotiates purchase and sale agreements, financing documents, reciprocal easement and operating agreements, and leases. A significant portion of her practice includes office, retail and industrial leasing for both landlords and tenants.

    Andy Miller is a member of the Firm’s IP Pharmaceutical Practice Group. He focuses his practice primarily on complex litigation matters with a distinct emphasis on large-scale patent-infringement actions under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for pharmaceutical products. Miller is well-versed in all pre-trial, trial and post-trial phases of federal-court litigation. He has also represented clients in antitrust actions. 

    Ben Sykes concentrates his practice on insurance, health care and administrative matters. He has experience advising insurers, managed care organizations, health care providers, state agencies, managing general agents and third party administrators on complex issues relating to compliance with various federal and state insurance laws and providing counsel on transactional matters. His insurance practice includes extensive experience with reinsurance transactions in all lines of business for the insurance industry.

    Bilal Zaheer focuses his practice in the area of business litigation and dispute resolution in both state and federal court, where he advises clients on a variety of business law matters, including complex commercial contract disputes, corporate governance disputes, business and securities fraud, issues arising under the Uniform Commercial Code and adversary proceedings pending in bankruptcy court. Zaheer is experienced in all phases of litigation, as well as in mediation and arbitration. He has been recognized on several occasions as a "Rising Star" in Illinois by Super Lawyers magazine and in 2015 and 2016, he was named an "Emerging Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers magazine. Zaheer serves as Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee and the Diversity & Inclusion Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He is also Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Division for the South Asian Bar Association of North America.

    In Dallas:

    Susan Adams practices in the area of commercial litigation, with a particular focus in antitrust and energy litigation. She represents clients in a broad range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, financial services, security services, governmental entities and educational institutions. Adams has experience representing clients in both state and federal court at the trial court and appellate level. She has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in Texas by Super Lawyers magazine from 2014 through 2016. Adams serves as an Advisory Board member and General Counsel of the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation.

    In Hartford:

    Julie Mahaney practices insurance regulatory and general corporate law. She advises clients in all sectors of the insurance and financial services industries on mergers and acquisitions and corporate law governance. Mahaney also represents clients on a broad range of insurance regulatory and compliance matters, including formation, company licensing, holding company act requirements, affiliate transactions, change of control requirements, restructurings, producer agreements and rate and forms filings. She also represents managing general agents, insurance agents and third party administrators with respect to licensing and compliance issues. In 2013, Mahaney was recognized as a "New Leader in the Law" by the Connecticut Law Tribune.

    In Houston

    Sara Longtain concentrates her practice in labor and employment law. She has litigated a wide variety of employment-related disputes, including, but not limited to, claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate (both religion and disability) and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wage and hour disputes under the Fair Labor Standards Act, defense and enforcement of covenants not to compete and non-solicitation agreements and workers' compensation retaliation claims. Longtain has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in Texas by Super Lawyers magazine from 2014 through 2016.

    Hunter Summerford concentrates his practice on energy and oil and gas matters. He has extensive acquisition and divestiture experience with respect to upstream assets, and additionally represents and counsels oil and gas companies in all phases of their business operations and transactions, with a particular emphasis on the midstream space. Summerford has broad experience in the midstream and downstream sectors relating to the construction and operation of petrochemical facilities, pipelines, storage facilities and related assets.

    In Los Angeles:

    Kelly Biggins concentrates her practice on business litigation, insurance litigation and insurance coverage. She has gained experience representing clients in a wide variety of litigation matters in state and federal courts including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, false advertising, unfair business practices, commercial fraud and products liability disputes. Biggins’ practice also includes representation of employers in cases involving allegations of employment discrimination and harassment, wage and hour laws and unfair competition claims. She was named a “Rising Star” in Southern California by Super Lawyers magazine from 2013 through 2016.

    In New Orleans:

    Brad Knapp is a member of the Firm's Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Insolvency and Consumer Finance Practice Groups. He advises on a variety of litigation and bankruptcy matters, including representing consumer finance and energy industry clients in bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy litigation. Knapp represents debtor clients in bankruptcy proceedings and represents energy clients in regulatory matters. Knapp also handles a wide variety of state and federal court business litigation.

    In New York:

    Jason Ulezalka is a member of the Firm’s Debt Finance Practice Group. He represents banks, private equity funds, mezzanine debt funds and other financial institutions in a variety of financing transactions, including senior, second lien and subordinated credit facilities, commercial real estate loans and distressed debt investments. In addition to being a debt finance lawyer, Ulezalka is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

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    About Locke Lord LLP
    Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of more than 20 offices designed to meet clients’ needs around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 125 years and is a worldwide leader in the middle market sector. Locke Lord advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries including energy, financial services, fund formation, health care, insurance and reinsurance, private equity and venture capital, public finance, real estate, and technology, media and telecommunications, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.

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