Akin Gump Promotes 16 to Partnership

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has promoted 16 of the firm’s lawyers to the partnership, effective January 1, 2011:  Shar Ahmed (Houston), Timothy J. Becker (New York), Daniel I. Fisher (Washington), Ron Grabov-Nardini (New York), Blayne A. Grady (Washington), Alice Hsu (New York), Stephen S. Kho (Washington),Vanessa Liborio Garrido de Sousa (Geneva), Gary M. McLaughlin (Los Angeles), James T. Meggesto (Washington), Deborah Newman (New York), Arik Preis (New York), Joseph L. Sorkin (New York), James R. Tucker Jr. (Washington), Jessica M. Westbrook (New York) and Phyllis Y. Young (Houston).

R. Bruce McLean, Akin Gump’s chairman, said, “These accomplished men and women have demonstrated significant dedication and commitment to our clients and to our firm.  I congratulate each of them on their achievement and welcome them to the partnership.”

Mr. Ahmed is a member of the firm’s energy and global transactions practice.  He advises issuers and underwriters on public and private capital markets transactions as well as acquirors and targets on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.  He received his B.B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 and his J.D. in 2001 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. 

Mr. Becker is a member of the firm’s tax practice.  He provides a broad range of U.S. and international tax advice, with a focus on the formation and operation of domestic and offshore private investment funds, including hedge funds and private equity funds.  He received his B.A. cum laude from Loyola University Maryland in 1998, his J.D. and M.B.T. from the University of Southern California in 2002 and his LL.M. from the New York University School of Law in 2008.

Mr. Fisher is a member of the firm’s corporate practice. He advises public and private companies on negotiated and contested acquisitions and divestitures, tender offers, exchange offers, joint ventures, spin-offs and proxy contests and handles corporate deals for private equity firms and their portfolio companies.  He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1999 and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2002.

Mr. Grabov-Nardini is a member of the firm’s tax practice.  He provides tax planning advice to clients on a wide range of business transactions, focusing on the formation and operation of private investment funds, including hedge funds and private equity funds, as well as financial restructurings and reorganizations.  He received his B.A. magna cum laude in accounting from the Tel-Aviv University School of Business in 2000, his LL.B. magna cum laude from the Tel-Aviv University Buchman Faculty of Law in 2000 and his LL.M. in international taxation from the New York University School of Law in 2002. 

Mr. Grady is a member of the firm’s investment funds practice.  He advises private equity sponsors and investors as well as public and private companies on private equity fund formation, fund investment, mergers and acquisitions, and securities offerings.  He received his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999 and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2002.

Ms. Hsu is a member of the firm’s corporate practice.  She advises issuers, underwriters and selling stockholders on public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities.  She received her B.A. from Wellesley College in 1996 and her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1999.

Mr. Kho is a member of the firm’s international trade practice.  He focuses on trade policy and dispute resolution in the international arena. He received his B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia in 1991, his J.D. with honors from the University of Maryland in 1995 and his LL.M. with distinction from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1998.

Ms. Liborio Garrido de Sousa is a member of the firm’s litigation practice.  She focuses on international litigation and arbitration, with an emphasis on complex, high-value disputes involving major infrastructure construction projects, consortia and joint venture agreements, sales of goods, collateral management agreements, insurance coverage, aviation and consultancy agreements.  She received her J.D. from the University of Geneva Law School in 1999 and her LL.M. from the New York University School of Law in 2003.  

Mr. McLaughlin is a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice.  He represents employers on matters involving wage and hour issues, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, public policy violations and employment contracts. He received his B.A. with distinction in 1996 and his J.D. in 2001 from the University of Virginia, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Meggesto is a member of the firm’s policy practice.  He advises Indian tribes, tribal governmental instrumentalities and tribally owned corporations nationwide on complex litigation and transactional matters.  He received his B.S. with honors from the State University of New York at Brockport in 1993 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Albany Law School in 1997.

Ms. Newman is a member of the firm’s litigation practice.  She advises hedge funds, creditors’ committees, private equity firms, public companies, special committees of boards and individuals on litigation matters in state, federal and bankruptcy courts.  She received her B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan in 1997 and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2002.

Mr. Preis is a member of the firm’s financial restructuring practice.  He represents informal and official committees of creditors, debtors, individual creditors, rights offering backstoppers and lenders in both in-court and out-of-court restructurings.  Mr. Preis received his B.A. with honors in 1997 from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. in 2000 from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mr. Sorkin is a member of the firm’s litigation practice.  He advises insurance and financial services companies, private equity organizations, commercial lenders, investment funds, real estate developers, debtors and creditors’ committees on complex commercial litigation matters in state, federal and bankruptcy courts.  He received his B.A. in East Asian studies in 1994 from the University of North Carolina and his J.D. cum laude in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was a member of Order of the Coif.

Mr. Tucker is a member of the firm’s policy practice.  He previously served Republican members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He advises clients in the energy, health care, technology, telecommunications, transportation and agricultural sectors on legislative and regulatory policy.  He received his B.A. in politics from Washington and Lee University in 1992 and his J.D. from Mercer University in 1997.

Ms. Westbrook is a member of the firm’s tax practice.  She provides tax advice relating to the formation and operation of domestic and offshore investment funds; domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and restructurings; international private equity investments; and partnership matters.   She received her B.S. cum laude in accounting from the University of South Alabama in 1999, her J.D. cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2002 and her LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law in 2003.

Ms. Young is a member of the firm’s energy and global transactions practice.  She advises lenders on secured lending transactions as well as both private and public company borrowers.  She received her B.B.A. with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998 and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2001. 

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers and advisors in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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