LA Times Honors Deborah Festa, Neal Marder as ‘Legal Visionaries’

(Los Angeles) – Akin Gump is pleased to share that two of its Los Angeles lawyers—corporate partner Deborah Festa and litigation partner Neal Marder—were recognized in Los Angeles Times’ Business of Law 2022 feature among its select group of Legal Visionaries.

The Times notes that “to be named a standout attorney in what is surely one of the most impressive regional fields in the industry is quite an achievement,” with the criteria for selection including average success rate, settlements and verdicts won from 2018 to 2021, leadership positions within the firm and community, and board affiliations and recognitions.

Ms. Festa’s profile notes her as a “recognized leader in the field” working at the “critical nexus of investment management and private credit.” She is listed as spearheading the firm’s structured finance and securitization work on the West Coast and as being regularly called upon by leading institutional investment managers and global investment firms “in highly complex finance transactions, particularly collateralized loan obligation issuances.”

She is also described as representing start-ups in the “fintech” or financial technology space that raise debt financing and equity capital and redeploy raised funds to U.S.-based small businesses. Her pro bono work is also noted, in particular her work with Restore Her Voice concerning an employment authorization application based on humanitarian parole and affirmative asylum before the Asylum Office.

Mr. Marder’s profile describes him as “a highly accomplished trial lawyer and class action litigator” in California and the U.S. who has obtained “highly favorable outcomes” and “significant and precedent-setting victories” for clients in state and federal courts.

He is noted as a “recognized leader” in complex and class action litigation who is known for his “innovative strategies and compelling case presentations.” Mr. Marder is described as having tried to verdict and arbitrated more than 50 cases for clients that include AEG Presents, Eastman Kodak, McDonald’s, and The Cheesecake Factory.