Eversheds Sutherland Announces New US Partners and Counsel


(December 23, 2021)Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce the election of 15 new partners and the promotion of 11 new counsel, effective January 1, 2022.

“Each of these attorneys has been a very significant contributor to the firm on many fronts, and we are grateful for the excellent service and valuable perspectives they provide to our clients,” said Eversheds Sutherland Co-CEO Mark D. Wasserman. “This outstanding group, which spans all of our practices and sectors as well as seven of our US offices, will be a large part of our continued growth and success as they embark on the next stage of their careers.”

The following attorneys have been elected partner:


Umar R. Bakhsh (Intellectual Property), resident in the Atlanta office, counsels clients on various aspects of intellectual property procurement and enforcement as well as licensing, purchases and other transactional matters. He is experienced in patent and trademark prosecution, litigation, privacy and cybersecurity matters, and providing evidence of use and freedom to operate opinions. His clients are leaders in the software, e-commerce, cybersecurity, consumer electronics, wireless communication, gaming and control system spaces.


Joshua L. Belcher (Energy), resident in the Houston office, has a national, multidisciplinary practice counseling clients in the utility, power and pipelines sectors. He guides clients through mergers and acquisitions, financings, project development and energy commodities transactions, with a focus on helping companies identify and manage complex environmental business risks in the context of the transaction and ongoing operational compliance. He has extensive experience in both the development and acquisition of utility-scale and customer-sited energy projects.


Kathleen Dempsey Boyle (Real Estate), resident in the Chicago office, counsels clients on all aspects of commercial real estate, development and redevelopment, acquisitions and dispositions, and on different types of leases, including drafting and negotiating ground leases, build-to-suit leases, and existing building leases. She represents developers, landlords and tenants regarding retail, mixed-use, office, warehouse and industrial projects.


Ronald D. Coenen Jr. (Insurance), resident in the Washington DC office, advises financial institutions, such as life insurance companies and fund complexes, on complying with regulatory requirements under the federal securities laws. He provides advice regarding various types of securities offerings and asset management vehicles, including variable and index-linked annuity contracts, mutual funds and ETFs.


Thomas F. Dugan (Real Estate), resident in the Washington DC office, represents clients in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions. He provides counsel to master and special servicers in the acquisition of servicing rights for structured finance transactions for agency, commercial mortgage-backed securities, single-asset single-borrower and whole business securitizations.


Dwaune L. Dupree (Capital Markets), resident in the Washington DC office, counsels investment funds and business development companies (BDCs) on a broad range of corporate, regulatory, compliance and corporate governance matters. He also advises clients on various capital markets transactions, and ensures compliance with federal securities laws and regulations promulgated by the SEC.


Kevin Finnegan (Insurance), resident in the New York office, counsels insurance and financial services clients on a broad range of transactions and issues, including mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions, regulatory compliance and general corporate matters. He has helped clients structure and complete sales and purchases of insurance companies and other entities, acquisitions of blocks of insurance business using reinsurance, company formations and related capital raising, and a variety of other transactions, and advises clients on related regulatory issues.


Issa J. Hanna (Investment Services), resident in the New York office, assists broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment funds, insurance companies and distributors in navigating the regulatory requirements applicable to their businesses. His experience includes guiding clients through day-to-day compliance issues, representing them before federal and state regulators and self-regulatory organizations, developing agreements, policies and procedures and disclosures to effectuate various business initiatives, and counseling clients through regulatory issues arising out of transactional matters.


Ben Marzouk (Investment Services), resident in the Washington DC office, advises financial institutions on compliance with federal and state securities laws, including SEC and FINRA rules and regulations. His securities regulatory experience, which covers broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment funds, also extends to anti-money laundering compliance and digital asset transactions.


Aaron C. Moody (Finance, M&A & Private Capital), resident in the Atlanta office, focuses his practice on critical business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financings, venture capital investments and private placements. He also provides general corporate representation and advice to clients and negotiates complex commercial arrangements.


Ian S. Shelton (Litigation), resident in the Austin office, has a national disputes and appellate practice with a focus on class action, energy, construction and complex commercial litigation. He is licensed in both Texas and California and advises corporate and individual clients in commercial and technology disputes, including business torts and intellectual property disputes.


Brandi A. Taylor (Litigation), resident in the San Diego office, counsels technology companies in product development with a focus on global data privacy compliance. She regularly advises clients building and integrating emerging technologies, including augmented and virtual reality, as well as video game developers and social media platforms. She also assists companies in preparing and implementing multijurisdictional privacy compliance programs.


Kyle E. Wamstad (Energy), resident in the Atlanta office, represents clients in various transactional and regulatory matters in the electric power, renewable energy, natural gas, crude oil and refined products sectors. His recent transactional experience includes purchase and sale, asset purchase, power purchase, procurement, interconnection, transportation/transmission service and asset management agreements.


Sean D. Wissman (Insurance), resident in the Washington DC office, represents clients on a wide variety of corporate transactions. Much of his practice has been focused on the insurance industry and he routinely represents insurance companies on mergers and acquisition, reinsurance, and other transactional matters.


Michael J. Woodson (Litigation), resident in the Austin office, advises clients on complex commercial litigation matters with an emphasis on enforcement and all aspects of labor and employment issues. He represents clients in various business disputes, including trade secret cases, non-compete issues, discrimination, harassment and retaliation, FLSA, FMLA, WARN, and other federal and state statutes. Additionally, Michael assists clients in all matters concerning traditional labor issues.


The following attorneys have been promoted to counsel:


Charles C. Capouet (Tax), resident in the Washington DC office, advises clients on the full range of state and local tax matters, including sales and use, excise, income and transfer taxes. He instructs clients on the taxation of cloud computing and digital goods. He counsels clients in tax controversy matters, including administrative protests before state tax authorities across the United States. He also counsels on tax compliance and policy matters.


Elizabeth S. Cha (Tax), resident in the Washington DC office, counsels clients on state and local tax matters, including sales and use taxes, telecommunications taxes and other taxes imposed on regulated entities. Liz represents clients in tax controversy and counsels clients on state tax planning, structuring and integration. She also counsels clients on unclaimed property matters, such as voluntary disclosure and audit management.


Andrea L. Gordon (Litigation), resident in the Washington DC office, advises clients on white collar, compliance, SEC and FINRA matters. She has extensive experience conducting internal investigations, evaluating and developing corporate compliance programs and representing both corporate and individual clients in regulatory inquiries, administrative proceedings and complex commercial litigation. She also focuses on matters involving the FCPA and anti-money laundering.


Jeanne M. Waters (Capital Markets), resident in the New York office, counsels investment funds and business development companies (BDCs) on a variety of corporate, regulatory, compliance and corporate governance matters. She advises clients on compliance with the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. She regularly counsels clients on a broad range of issues facing funds and their boards of directors, including corporate governance and compliance matters, disclosure issues and strategic planning. She also represents clients in various public and private offerings.


Hunter D. Raines (Finance, M&A & Private Capital), resident in the Atlanta office, advises clients on complex and transformative business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestures, joint ventures, private placements and venture capital investments. He also regularly provides general corporate advice to clients ranging from small startups to established enterprises, as well as corporate governance advice to individual shareholders and partners. 


Sarah Razaq Sallis (Litigation), resident in the Washington DC office, was formerly an attorney in FINRA’s Department of Member Regulation and offers clients a decade of securities industry regulatory and enforcement experience. She advises broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, financial institutions, public companies, and individuals in private litigation and arbitration matters, as well as examinations, internal investigations and prosecutions by FINRA, the SEC, the NYSE, the DOJ and state securities regulators. She uses her deep understanding of the federal securities rules and regulations to help clients successfully navigate complex securities enforcement matters. 


Alexander F.L. Sand (Insurance), resident in the Austin office, advises clients across sectors on a broad range of cybersecurity and data privacy matters, with a focus on financial services and technology companies. He regularly advises clients on complex and evolving privacy and cybersecurity regulations, including CCPA/CPRA, GLBA, HIPAA, CDPA, CPA, FCRA, NY DFS cybersecurity regulations, NY SHIELD Act, MA data security regulations and state data broker requirements. He also advises clients responding to data breaches and related regulatory investigations.


Jim L. Silliman (Litigation), resident in the Houston office, represents clients in the energy, construction and offshore services industries in complex commercial and maritime litigation. He advises them on complex contract disputes, business tort claims, bankruptcy matters, and catastrophic offshore Jones Act claims in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels and in arbitration. He also serves clients in emergency and crisis response efforts, internal investigations and general business advice.


Laura Taylor (Tax), resident in the Washington DC office, focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation matters. She regularly counsels clients on compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HIPAA and various other federal and state laws relevant to employee benefit plans and executive compensation.


John M. Zerwas, Jr. (Energy), resident in the Austin office, advises clients on regulatory and transactional matters involving energy and electric utility issues. He frequently represents electric utilities, retail electric providers, generation companies and power marketers before various state and federal regulatory agencies, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas.


John Allen Zumpetta (Insurance), resident in the Washington DC office, counsels clients on unclaimed property and insurance regulatory matters. His unclaimed property practice focuses on defending clients in multistate unclaimed property audits, assisting clients in voluntary disclosure programs, and advising clients on a wide range of unclaimed property compliance issues. With respect to insurance clients, he advises on regulatory compliance, insurance and reinsurance transactions and corporate governance matters.


About Eversheds Sutherland
As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 70 of the Fortune 100, 61 of the FTSE 100 and 128 of the Fortune 200.

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 74 offices in 35 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalized alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labor law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax. 

Eversheds Sutherland is a global legal practice and comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms. The use of the name Eversheds Sutherland is for description purposes only and does not imply that the member firms or their controlled, managed or affiliated entities are in a partnership or are part of a global LLP. For more information, visit eversheds-sutherland.com.


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