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MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Nov. 11, 2020


See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis | Kansas City

St. Louis

Lewis Rice has announced John C. Bodnar and Jaime R. Mendez have been elected to serve as members of the firm’s management committee. Both are former longtime members of the firm’s recruiting committee, and Bodnar has served as chairman of Lewis Rice’s associate development committee.

“Both John and Jaime have demonstrated exceptional leadership at the firm, and they each bring something unique to the committee,” said Rick Walsh, firm chairman. “We look forward to the fresh ideas and perspectives John and Jaime will contribute.”

Bodnar joined Lewis Rice in 1996 and practices in the firm’s corporate department. He represents public companies, large private companies, and middle market private companies located across the country and in varied industries in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. In his mergers and acquisitions practice, Bodnar provides counsel in all forms of transactions, from multibillion-dollar public deals to middle market private company transactions.

“John and I have worked side-by-side on a number of large-scale deals over the years,” said John Riffle, corporate department chairman and management committee member. “I know firsthand John’s ability to successfully manage extremely complex transactions from start to finish. We will value the business savvy and pragmatism he will bring to the committee.”

Mendez also came to Lewis Rice in 1996 and practices in the firm’s estate planning department. He advises individuals who require sophisticated estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. He also advises individual and corporate fiduciaries in connection with estate and trust administration and devotes a significant portion of his practice to representing individuals with estate and gift tax audits.

“Jaime is an exceptional estate planning attorney and has a well-earned reputation as a leader in this area of the law,” said Marian V. “Bo” Mehan, estate planning & probate department co-chair and longtime management committee member. “The nature of our practice area is very personal, and Jaime is incredibly good at relating to people and building relationships. His ability to connect personally has certainly contributed to his success as an attorney, and it has also made him a terrific mentor and leader at Lewis Rice. He’ll make great contributions to the firm serving as a member of the management committee.”

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has elected four new partners from its St. Louis office: Adam Braun, Jason Meyer, Jonathan Potts, and Curtis Tiffany.

Adam Braun’s practice focuses on the representation of companies in their compensation and employee benefits matters, particularly in the context of mergers and acquisitions. He regularly counsels public and private companies on the design, drafting and operation of equity-based compensation, employment, change in control, and deferred compensation plans, programs and arrangements, including the related tax, ERISA, securities law and accounting implications of those arrangements. In addition, Braun advises public and private companies on corporate governance and compliance matters, including with respect to executive and director compensation disclosures in public filings and tax-qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans. He regularly negotiates employment agreements for both executives and companies.

Jason Meyer has substantial litigation experience, including in patent and trademark, trade secrets and employee non-compete matters. He has represented various commercial clients across the country in a wide array of federal and state lawsuits, often related to patent matters involving diverse technologies. He has extensive experience guiding cases through every stage of litigation, including discovery, dispositive motions, trial and appeal, and has assisted clients in successfully navigating various forms of alternative dispute resolution. In addition, Meyer has been involved in various pro bono matters, including assisting nonprofits and individuals with intellectual property matters and contract disputes, and serving as lead counsel in a prisoner civil rights trial in federal district court.

Jonathan Potts is a business litigator with extensive experience in the areas of commercial litigation, class action defense and sports litigation. He represents clients in high-stakes class action lawsuits and strategic appeals in state and federal courts across the country. Potts defends businesses faced with bet-the-company litigation, complex consumer lawsuits and shareholder derivative actions. Potts also represents and advises leading sports organizations in the constantly evolving space of head injury/concussion litigation. His clients span all industries and sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, professional sports teams and privately held companies. Potts also advises clients on minimizing their litigation exposure in connection with mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance disputes, and naming rights/sponsorship deals. Potts maintains a deep pro bono practice committed to overturning wrongful convictions and has successfully exonerated two innocent men wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder.

Curtis Tiffany’s practice concentrates on mergers and acquisitions, corporate legal matters and complex commercial transactions. He represents public and private companies in a variety of industries including the technology, food, agribusiness and pharmaceutical industries. He is a member of the firm’s M & A and corporate finance and securities & corporate governance groups.

Kansas City

Michelle Wade, an aviation lawyer with Jetstream Aviation Law, wrote an article "How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Private Plane,” published on Forbes.com in October. With over 20 years in the aviation industry, she develops solutions for complex domestic and cross-border acquisition, as well as financing and leasing transactions involving corporate jets. Wade became an official member of Forbes Business Council in 2020.

Michael McKinley of Kansas City has been elected a partner with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. He is a project development and real estate lawyer with an emphasis on data centers. He has experience representing buyers and sellers in connection with the acquisition and development of data center facilities as well as representing landlords and tenants in short and long-term colocation leases and service level agreements. McKinley has helped numerous clients on data center divestitures, including planning and the resulting sale or leaseback transactions. His experience also includes negotiation of fiber agreements and wireless facility agreements; utility matters, power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements; state and local incentives, tax issues and legislative affairs; and renewable energy facility development.


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