(AUSTIN and HOUSTON) September 22, 2020 – Locke Lord Partner and Executive Committee Member Michelle Earley was selected as a Diversity and Inclusion Champion by Texas Lawyer at the 2020 Texas Legal Awards, recognizing minority lawyers with successful careers who have had an outsized influence on inclusivity initiatives at their firm or organization. Locke Lord Associate Jennie Simmons was named an On the Rise honoree, an award that spotlights lawyers under the age of 40 who have wielded influence in their practice areas in Texas and beyond. Earley and Simmons were honored at a virtual awards event on September 17.
Earley is Co-Chair of Locke Lord's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, where she is responsible for driving the Firm’s strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. During her tenure as a leader of the Committee, Locke Lord achieved Mansfield Rule Certification 3.0 from Diversity Lab, recognizing the Firm for hitting targets designed to boost the representation of diverse lawyers considered for a variety of roles and opportunities within the Firm. Locke Lord has also achieved a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index for the fourth consecutive year. Earley also serves on the Firm’s Lateral Hire Committee. She is a former Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
An active member of the community, Earley serves on The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the Executive Committee of the Austin Area Research Organization and the Board of Directors of Austin Ed Fund and Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center. Earley is also a member of the Junior League of Austin, the Austin Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. and Impact Austin, as well as a regular volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Earley, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Capital Markets Practice Group, handles a wide range of corporate and securities matters for public and private companies with a strong focus on securities offerings and disclosures, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. She has extensive experience in representing issuers and selling stockholders in registered public offerings, Rule 144A transactions as well as equity and debt private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions. Earley also advises management and boards of directors on general corporate governance matters.
Simmons is a member of the Firm’s Corporate and Energy Practice Groups, a member of Locke Lord’s Associates’ Committee and regularly serves as a mentor to Summer Associates, new Associates joining the Firm and lateral hires. She focuses her practice on the representation of clients in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, divestitures, corporate restructurings, corporate governance and general corporate matters. She has represented clients in a wide range of transaction valuations, ranging from $5 million to $2 billion. For example, Simmons co-led Locke Lord’s representation of Nuevo Midstream Dos, LLC, in the purchase of Republic Midstream, LLC, from an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners and also co-led the team that represented Refuel Operating Company, LLC, in its acquisition of approximately 54 convenience stores and related assets owned by Double Quick, Inc. She also co-led Locke Lord’s representation of AMP Americas, including advising AMP Americas in the sale of 20 ampCNG fueling stations to American Natural Gas LLC for $41 million and subsequently co-led the Firm’s representation of AMP Americas II, LLC, in a $75 million investment led by EIV Capital and existing AMP investors.
Simmons is also deeply involved in the Houston community. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, she participated in a Houston Bar Association (HBA) and Houston Volunteer Lawyers city-wide initiative to provide legal advice to victims, just ahead of the hurricane’s one-year anniversary in 2018. She also participates in the HBA LegalLine program and supports the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Houston Society for the Performing Arts and the Houston Food Bank.
About Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord is a full-service law firm with global reach and 21 offices designed to meet clients’ needs in the United States and around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 130 years and is a leader in the middle market arena. Locke Lord focuses on providing the highest levels of commitment, quality and service to clients across its five Key Sectors: Energy and Infrastructure; Finance and Financial Services; Insurance and Reinsurance; Pharmaceutical; and Private Equity. In addition, the Firm advises clients across a broad spectrum of other industries, including fund formation, venture capital, health care, public finance, real estate, technology, cybersecurity and white collar, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.
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