MoveMakers & NewsMakers for July 30, 2020
See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."
SWMW Law, a law firm focusing on asbestos, mass tort, consumer and personal injury litigation, is pleased to announce that Suvir Dhar, an experienced asbestos litigator, has joined the firm as a partner.
“Suvir is an attorney well-known for giving a voice to the voiceless, both inside and outside of the courtroom,” said SWMW founding partner Ben Schmickle. “We treat our clients like family, and his approach to asbestos law is absolutely aligned with that philosophy.”
As a partner at SWMW, Suvir will be closely involved in leading asbestos trial teams, working closely with the firm’s clients across the country in each stage of the litigation process. “SWMW has great vision and a really engaged leadership team, and they really encourage their attorneys to be creative and personalized in their approach to client care,” said Dhar. “That was really appealing to me both from a legal and philanthropic perspective. They’ve also fostered a familial culture that’s very evident in the interactions I’ve had with both the legal team and staff.”
Prior to joining SWMW, Suvir spent 10+ years at one of the country’s largest asbestos law firms, where he successfully recovered several multi-million dollar settlements for mesothelioma victims and their families.
“These are people who did everything right,” says Dhar. “They sacrificed. They worked hard to support their families, and they’ve had their hard-earned right to retirement taken away by a terminal cancer diagnosis. We can’t give back that time to these families, but we can hold corporations accountable for their actions, and get compensation for that suffering.”
Outside of the courtroom, Suvir is passionate about supporting the greater St. Louis community, serving as a volunteer for The Little Bit Foundation; and on the board of the De La Salle Charter School, which gives underprivileged students the educational and social support they need to succeed. “Quality education is the door to everything,” says Dhar. “My wife and I are both very passionate about getting students access to the services they need, because often there’s a lot of complexities and hurdles to their story that need to be addressed.”
Dhar grew up in St. Louis County, where he graduated from Lafayette High School. He received his undergraduate degree in pre-law from William Jewell College in Liberty, and his J.D. from Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
Dhar was named one of the “40 under 40” by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2019, where he was lauded as the “Robin Hood for cancer patients” and cited for many of his volunteer and community service efforts with various youth and family organizations in St. Louis.
Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Charlotte Street Foundation as the recipient of the firm’s 2020 Charitable Giving Program grant in Kansas City.
The $50,000 grant will be received over the course of three years, and the first installment was used toward the construction for Charlotte Street’s new permanent headquarters, located at 3333 Wyoming Street in the heart of the Roanoke industrial corridor. The nonprofit art organization’s new multiuse facility will co-locate its longest-standing programs into one newly renovated campus, incorporating the foundation’s Studio Residency, exhibition space, flexible black box performance space, office, and new resources like a shared workshop, library/archive, and collaboration/gathering spaces.
After 20 years of nomadic work with Kansas City’s art community, Charlotte Street is poised to realize a vision critical to its commitment to strengthening Kansas City’s community of artists, who will see many benefits including cross-disciplinary exchange, audience development, and investments in safer, more accessible, better-equipped spaces. Charlotte Street will also be well positioned to host gatherings of arts professionals and visiting groups across its broad national and regional network, exposing local artists to new networks and opportunities.
“Charlotte Street’s new headquarters and campus is possible through the support of a community of visionary philanthropists and donors, like Spencer Fane, who care about artists and the arts in Kansas City,” said Amy Kligman, Charlotte Street’s executive/artistic director. “We appreciate all of the efforts to help us achieve the mission of making Kansas City a dynamic home for artists of various career stages and disciplines to thrive, while serving as natural catalysts for an exciting, innovative, and culturally rich community.”
Charlotte Street has launched a $10 million comprehensive capital campaign that includes not only the new facilities but also an endowment to ensure the foundation’s long-term financial sustainability. In the months to come, the organization will release additional information as the work to transform the site develops. The new facility will open to the public at a time to be determined through discussions about COVID-19 safety recommendations with Kansas City public health officials.
“While the current delays for Charlotte Street are unfortunate, Spencer Fane remains committed to supporting a diverse and rich arts community in Kansas City,” said Patrick J. Whalen, managing partner at Spencer Fane. “Artists need support to encourage, nurture, and help them gain opportunities for professional development, public exposure and access to qualified art professionals who can challenge their work, practices, and processes. Giving back remains one of the firm’s true passions, and during these challenging times, this becomes more important than ever to maintain our community’s reputation for valuing creative, social and economic resources for artists.”
Charlotte Street was established in 1997 by advocate David Hughes in response to needs articulated by artists within the community for an organization that supports their efforts. Despite a nomadic existence during the past two decades, the organization has offered new and important resources to individual artists and groups that encourage valuable artist recognition by building upon core principles of supporting, challenging and empowering artists of exceptional vision.
Services provided by Charlotte Street include:
- Providing annual cash awards, project-based grants, special commissions and specific travel opportunities to visual and generative performing artists.
- Providing free studios and performance and exhibition spaces to theater, dance, music, film/video and visual artists for the creation and presentation of new work.
- Facilitating venues and opportunities for public exposure to these exhibitions and performances, and facilitating artistic collaboration and exchange.
- Planning and collaborating on behalf of Kansas City artists and the arts community with philanthropic, business and civic leaders.
- Engaging national philanthropic and cultural leaders with Kansas City artists and the arts community.
The Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City provides significant support to select local nonprofit arts organizations through a $50,000 donation to each over the course of three years. The program has been designed as a rotation so that one new recipient enters the program each year, with another exiting upon completion of its three-year cycle. Current and past recipients include Crossroads Preparatory Academy, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council, and Kansas City Art Institute.
The primary goal of the program is to encourage long-standing relationships with nonprofit organizations and to provide Spencer Fane employees with additional opportunities to become involved with the firm’s charitable causes.