Bryan Cave LLP Elects 14 New Partners

November 19, 2010 – By a vote of the partnership, the international law firm Bryan Cave LLP ( has elected 14 new lawyers to partnership in the firm, effective Jan. 1, 2011. This brings the number of partners firmwide to 372. The new partners are:

Meridyth Andresen, Phoenix
Andresen practices with the Class & Derivative Actions, Commercial Litigation and Antitrust Client Service Groups. She has represented national and local entities in class and individual actions alleging breach of contract, violations of antitrust laws, violations of multiple state consumer fraud statutes, breach of warranties, bad faith and various other state commercial tort claims. Her antitrust practice includes both counseling and litigation of federal and state antitrust issues. She is admitted to practice before Arizona courts and also has appeared before multiple other state and federal tribunals. She received her J.D., with high distinction, Order of the Coif, in 2002 and her B.A. in 1998, both from the University of Iowa.

Leslie Bayles, Chicago
Bayles practices with the Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights Client Service Group. Bayles focuses her practice primarily on representation of corporate clients and financial institutions in creditors’ rights matters, including loan workout and restructuring, and bankruptcy-related litigation. Her experience includes commercial foreclosure and receivership matters, debtor-in-possession financing, bankruptcy claim disputes, and defense of bankruptcy avoidance actions. Bayles received her J.D., magna cum laude, in 2000 from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and her M.A. in 1991 and B.S. in 1990 from Central Michigan University.

Eckart Budelmann, Hamburg
Budelmann practices with the Transactions, Antitrust, Corporate Finance and Technology, Entrepreneurial & Commercial Practice Client Service Groups. Budelmann’s practice focuses on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, banking and finance. Additionally, he has experience representing clients in general corporate matters with particular emphasis on private and public investments, joint venture agreements, privatizations and corporate restructuring. Budelmann received his LL.M. in 2001 from the University of New South Wales. He completed his Second State Exam in 2000 and First State Exam in 1997 at the University of Hamburg.

Nafiz Cekirge, Santa Monica
Cekirge practices with the Commercial Litigation Client Service Group. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, Cekirge practiced law in New York, first with an international law firm and later with a litigation boutique. His areas of experience include mortgage litigation, financial services litigation, mass tort and class action litigation and regulatory investigations. Cekirge has defended major companies against consumer claims, product defect claims and environmental tort claims. He has also represented clients in connection with SEC and DOJ investigations. Cekirge received his J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, in 1999 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.A. in 1997 from Columbia University.

John Dalton, Washington, D.C.
Dalton practices with the Tax Advice & Controversy Client Service Group. He focuses his practice on tax credit transactions, including new markets tax credit, low-income housing tax credit, and historic rehabilitation tax credit transactions and related affordable housing and community development matters. Dalton has represented investors, syndicators, community development entities and developers in structuring, negotiating and closing a wide range of tax credit transactions, including projects involving two or more tax credits, multiple community development entities, tax-exempt sponsors and developers, tax-exempt bond financing and numerous other federal and state grants and subsidies. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, Dalton specialized in bank regulatory issues. He received his J.D., cum laude, in 1997 from Washington and Lee University and his B.A. in 1990 from the College of William and Mary.

Arindam Kar, St. Louis
Kar practices with the Antitrust, Franchise & Consumer Law, Class & Derivative Actions and Commercial Litigation Client Service Groups. Kar’s antitrust practice encompasses a broad spectrum of antitrust litigation and counseling, including the representation of companies and individuals in federal and state antitrust investigations. Kar also has experience in franchise and distributor law in terms of litigation and counseling of corporations on compliance with federal and state franchise and distributor regulations. Kar’s class action practice focuses on antitrust class action defense. His commercial litigation experience includes the representation of individuals and corporations, including condemnation and complex real estate litigation matters. During law school, Kar was active in the University of Iowa College of Law Immigration Clinic and he continues to handle pro bono immigration matters. He received his J.D., with distinction, in 2001 from the University of Iowa and his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1997 from Saint Louis University.

Susan Kovarovics, Washington, D.C.
Kovarovics practices with the International Trade and While Collar Defense Client Service Groups. Her practice focuses on matters involving International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. anti-boycott laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Kovarovics designs and implements compliance programs and provides training sessions on export and defense trade controls, trade sanctions, customs, anti-corruption and anti-boycott matters. She also designs and leads internal audits and reviews to assess compliance in these areas. Additionally, Kovarovics conducts internal investigations and advises clients on future actions based on the results of investigations, including appropriate disciplinary and other corrective measures in response to violations of corporate policies and trade regulations. She counsels clients on voluntary disclosure matters and represents clients in enforcement proceedings before federal authorities. Kovarovics received her J.D., cum laude, in 1996 from Georgetown University and her B.A., summa cum laude, in 1993 from Drew University.

Aaron McKown, Irvine
McKown practices with the Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Client Service Groups. He focuses his practice primarily in complex business and intellectual property litigation in both state and federal courts. He has represented numerous multinational companies in complex litigation matters and has a wide range of experience in corporate and partnership disputes, unfair business practices, trademark, patent and copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and client counseling. McKown also has developed a specialty in life settlements, premium financing and trustee liability through his representation of lenders, brokers and trusts in the life settlement industry. He received his J.D., with honors, in 2000 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his B.A., cum laude, in 1996 from the University of Southern California.

Michelle McMahon, New York
McMahon practices with the Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors’ Rights Client Service Group. McMahon’s practice focuses on corporate restructuring, bankruptcy and bankruptcy litigation. She has represented secured and unsecured lenders, special servicers of securitized commercial mortgages, indenture trustees, creditors’ committees, unsecured creditors, landlords, investors and debtors. McMahon also advises buyers in acquisitions of distressed assets and other transactions involving troubled companies. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, McMahon was an associate in the bankruptcy and reorganization groups of firms in Delaware, New York and California. She received her J.D. in 1999 from Georgetown University and her B.B.A. in 1996 from Western Michigan University.

Brandon Neuschafer, St. Louis
Neuschafer practices with the Environmental Client Service Group. Neuschafer’s practice includes regulatory compliance, transactional counseling and litigation with respect to the many environmental, safety and health laws administered by EPA, OSHA, FAA, DOT and various state agencies. A significant component of his work relates to emerging agriculture and food issues, including advising chemical and pesticide manufacturers and marketers on regulatory compliance and transactional issues. Neuschafer also advises industrial clients on Clean Air Act compliance and enforcement matters. He received his J.D. in 2001 from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.A., summa cum laude, in 1998 from Washburn University.

Suzanne Rodekohr, Kansas City
Rodekohr practices with the Tax Advice and Technology, Entrepreneurial & Commercial Practice Client Service Groups. Rodekohr’s practice concentrates on advising clients in transactional and business tax issues, including the structuring, negotiation and documentation of acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations and related tax matters. In addition, Rodekohr advises clients on general corporate issues, including choice of entity, limited liability company agreements, employment agreements and deferred compensation. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, Rodekohr was a judicial clerk for the Hon. John C. Minahan Jr. in United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Nebraska, where she gained experience with bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related tax issues. She received her J.D., with distinction, and master of professional accountancy in 1999 from the University of Nebraska and her B.S., magna cum laude, in 1995 from Minnesota State University – Moorhead (formerly Moorhead State University).

Christopher Schmidt, St. Louis
Schmidt practices with the Commercial Litigation and Class & Derivative Actions Client Service Groups. His litigation practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, lender liability litigation, toxic tort claims and class action defense. He handles cases on behalf of institutional firm clients, including responsibility for an extensive case load and supervision of other attorneys in all facets of client counseling and litigation. Mr. Schmidt has served as the lead trial attorney in both state and federal court trials. Through his commitment to pro bono cases, he has developed a national reputation for handling international child abduction cases. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2002 from Saint Louis University and his B.A. in 1996 from the University of Notre Dame.

Jonathan E. Stern, Chicago
Stern practices with the Corporate Finance and Transactions Client Service Groups. His practice concentrates in the area of corporate finance and securities, acting as lead corporate and securities counsel in various corporate and securities transactions and counseling clients on broker-dealer and investment adviser compliance and formation issues and issues related to state securities regulators and enforcement actions. Stern has experience in counseling clients on transactions across a wide range of corporate finance areas, including the Securities Act of 1933, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. He also has significant experience in all aspects of structuring and syndicating real estate projects. He received his J.D. in 2001 from Indiana University and his B.S. in 1998 from the State University of New York-Binghamton.

Brent W. Vincent, Chicago
Vincent practices with the Environmental and Commercial Litigation Client Service Groups. Vincent is an environmental lawyer who specializes in litigation and also focuses on counseling clients on regulatory compliance and other environmental issues. He is experienced in litigating complex toxic tort, superfund and insurance coverage matters, as well as litigating other complex tort and commercial matters. He received his J.D. in 1999 from Northwestern University and his B.A., cum laude, in 1994 from Washington and Lee University.

Bryan Cave LLP ( has a diversified international legal practice. The firm represents a wide variety of business, financial, institutional and individual clients, including publicly held multinational corporations, large and mid-sized privately held companies, partnerships and emerging companies. Subsidiaries Bryan Cave International Trade and Bryan Cave Strategies provide trade and customs consultancy and government relations and strategic counsel, respectively. Aided by extensive investments in technology, Bryan Cave’s more than 1,000 lawyers and other professionals in 26 offices across the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia efficiently serve clients’ needs in the world’s leading business and financial markets.

For more information:
Meghan Newton, Goodman Media International, Inc.
(212) 576-2700 /

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