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Duane Morris receive Women’s Impact Network for Success awards

The Duane Morris Women’s Impact Network for Success (WINS) has honoured three attorneys for their efforts to advance women in the legal profession. Manita Rawat, managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office, and Chicago partner Lisa T. Scruggs received the Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award. Philadelphia partner Linda B. Hollinshead received the Margery Reed Professional Excellence Award. Rawat, Scruggs and Hollinshead received the awards at Duane Morris’ virtual annual firmwide meeting.

The Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award recognises significant contributions, including professional development, leadership and mentoring, made by a lawyer to women in the legal profession. The award is named in honour of the late Cheryl Blackwell Bryson, a Duane Morris partner in Chicago who died in January 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Bryson was a leader in many significant civic and community causes, and she was repeatedly honoured throughout her career as a major pioneer, both as a female lawyer and as a lawyer of colour.

Likewise, Margery Reed spent her entire professional career as an attorney at Duane Morris, including 24 years as a partner of the firm. As demonstrated by her numerous awards, including her admission as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, Reed was repeatedly recognised as one of the best commercial bankruptcy lawyers in the country. A consummate partner, Reed was incomparably selfless in giving of her time and talents to assist her colleagues and mentor junior lawyers. She was a true professional in every sense, and her unwavering commitment to her clients and colleagues, the firm and the profession of law is the reason this award for professional excellence is given in her name.

Despite her extremely busy schedule, Manita Rawat was chosen for going out of her way to work with young female lawyers and serve as a mentor to them in terms of “work product, marketing and what it means to be a good firm citizen.” She is committed to having open and honest discussions with young attorneys related to practice and personal issues.

Rawat is the managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. She counsels clients on a variety of issues related to intellectual property, working primarily with software, mechanical and aerospace technologies. Rawat also has significant experience with patent office post grant proceedings (including inter-parts review and re-examination). She also has substantial experience in supporting intellectual property issues related to corporate deals, such as mergers and acquisitions and investment funding. Rawat also assists clients in patent licensing and transactional matters, including structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements. She has significant experience with providing technical support on patent litigation matters at various stages of a case as well. In 2020, Rawat was honoured with a Women of Influence Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal. She is a member of the firm’s governing Partners Board and serves on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Lisa T. Scruggs was chosen for her dedication to mentoring young female attorneys. “In a profession that can often be dominated by competitiveness and egos, she goes out of her way to provide kind leadership.”

A core member of the Education Industry group at Duane Morris, Scruggs provides litigation and counselling services for education and school reform organisations, including individual charter and private schools, early childhood centres, charter school networks, charter and education management organisations, school districts and other education non-profit and for-profit organisations and service providers. She has handled a wide range of litigation, regulatory and policy matters for clients relating to new school development, teacher evaluation, credentialing and certification reforms, public/private education ventures, virtual education/remote learning, school finance and parent and student civil rights. Scruggs has been recognised by Crain’s Chicago Business on its listing of Notable Minorities in Law (2019) and as an Illinois Super Lawyer (Business Litigation and Education Law) for eight years running. She was awarded the firm’s Pro Bono Leadership Award for her work handling a legal challenge to the school funding system in Illinois and is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, joining a cohort of leaders who are “reimagining America’s public schools.”

Although employment issues surrounding COVID-19 have left Linda B. Hollinshead incredibly busy, she is still taking the time to support her colleagues during these unexpected times. She was chosen for the “advice, resources and humour she has contributed to fellow parents these past few months while coping with the new normal.”

Hollinshead practices in the area of employment law. She provides training and counselling to employers throughout the country on a variety of subjects, including monitoring employee attendance, FMLA compliance, medical and religious accommodations, leaves of absence policies, harassment and discrimination prevention, responding to harassment and discrimination claims, FLSA and wage and hour compliance, including employee misclassification, diversity and inclusion, termination of employees, hiring practices, performance appraisals and performance management. Hollinshead also advises public accommodations as well as recipients of federal financial assistance on program accessibility and other compliance obligations. She advises clients in numerous industries, including colleges and universities, manufacturing and retail companies, hospitals and other healthcare organisations, technology companies, financial services organisations, energy companies and not-for-profit entities. Hollinshead is also a member of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group. She also assists employers by drafting employees policies and handbooks, confidentiality and restrictive covenant agreements, employment agreements, termination and severance agreements as well as independent contractor agreements. Hollinshead is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Strategy Team.

Duane Morris launch Meals for Healthcare Heroes program

Duane Morris’ Meals for Healthcare Heroes program provided meals for more than 20,000 medical professionals in 16 cities. Duane Morris’ COVID-19 Strategy Team established the initiative, funded by donations from Duane Morris attorneys and staff, to honour healthcare workers and support local restaurants.

The medical facilities and restaurants included:

  • Atlanta: Piedmont Hospital, Kale Me Crazy
  • Austin: St. David’s Medical Center, Rudy’s
  • Baltimore: University of Maryland Medical Center, Miss Shirley’s
  • Boca Raton: Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Shake Shack
  • Boston: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Saltie Girl
  • Chicago: Saint Anthony Hospital, Wishbone Chicago
  • Houston: Ben Taub Hospital, Los Tios
  • Los Angeles: Memorial Hospital of Gardena, Panda Express
  • Miami: Doctors Hospital – Baptist Health South Florida, Chick-fil-A
  • Newark: Saint Michael’s Medical Center, SuzyQue’s BBQ & Bar
  • New York: Mount Sinai West, Shake Shack
  • Philadelphia: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Murray’s Deli
  • Pittsburgh: UPMC Shadyside, Market Street Grocery
  • San Diego: Stepping Stone of San Diego, Sisters Pizza
  • San Francisco: Laguna Honda Hospital, West of Pecos
  • Wilmington: ChristianaCare, Olympic Subs and Steaks

About the Duane Morris COVID-19 Strategy Team

The Duane Morris COVID-19 Strategy Team advises clients on all aspects of the legal issues and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic including contractual, employment, insurance and healthcare issues. Duane Morris attorneys are fielding inquiries and providing advice in a wide range of areas, including human resources, travel and transportation, immigration and border entry, hospital and healthcare operations, medical and pharmaceutical supply, FDA, food handling and preparation, OSHA, ADA compliance, data privacy, HIPAA, environmental and EPA, international transactions, shipping, supply chain and logistics, financial reporting, insurance liability, real estate issues, including landlord and tenant matters, and all types of contracts and quasi-contracts. Duane Morris has established a blog dedicated to COVID-19 issues and is distributing Alerts and sharing information via webinars and media interviews.

Duane Morris Cannabis Industry Group Recognised by Business Insider

Duane Morris has been named a top law firm for cannabis law by Business Insider. The publication reached out to 29 players in the cannabis industry, from VCs to start-ups to multistate operators, to get their take on the best law firms in the industry.

Firm Profile from the Publication

Founded: 1904

Involved in cannabis: 2015

Recommended by: Panther Opportunity Fund, Salveo Capital

About: Duane Morris’ cannabis industry group, which has been around since 2015, is led by Seth A. Goldberg (Philadelphia), Tracy Gallegos (San Francisco/Las Vegas) and Paul P. Josephson (Cherry Hill, NJ).

Their clients range from those directly cultivating and selling cannabis products to investors in the industry. A spokesperson for the firm said that the group advises clients in a variety of areas, including regulatory, intellectual property, and litigation law.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit the Business Insider website (subscription required).

Duane Morris partner named in “40 Under 40” list

Duane Morris partner Oderah C. Nwaeze has been named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list. The list honours professionals who have demonstrated business success, community involvement, leadership ability and influence. Mr. Nwaeze will be honoured at a reception on August 27, 2020.

Mr. Nwaeze is a trial lawyer with significant experience litigating complex corporate and commercial matters. His experience consists of corporate governance actions, statutory actions arising under Delaware General Corporation Law, state and federal class actions (including matters involving state and federal securities laws, statutory and common law fraud, and breaches of fiduciary duty) and breach of contract disputes. He also represents financial institutions in litigation matters and has a unique understanding of the legal and business sensitivities of banking clients, which he sharpened through a secondment with TD Bank, N.A. in 2018.

Mr. Nwaeze sits on the Duane Morris Philadelphia office’s Inclusion Committee. He also serves on the Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees for Bancroft, a non-profit provider of specialised services for individuals with brain injuries, autism and intellectual disabilities. In March 2019, he was appointed to the board of directors for Campus Philly, an organisation dedicated to fuelling economic growth in Philadelphia by encouraging college students to study, explore, live and work in the Greater Philadelphia tri-state region.

Special Education Partner Spotlight – McAndrews Law Offices

As our firm celebrates our new name of McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse, Ryan, and Marone, we are spotlighting our named partners and celebrating their numerous achievements. These individuals are highly accomplished in our profession and are deeply valued in our firm as a result of their long and successful tenure in our legal family. Previously known as “McAndrews Law Offices, P. C.,” the firm is nationally recognised in the fields of special education, special needs planning, estate planning, and elder law. The firm has become one of the largest law firms in suburban Philadelphia, and also maintains offices in Scranton, Wyomissing, Wilmington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Alexandria (Virginia), and Georgetown (Delaware).

Michael Connolly: As stated by Dennis McAndrews, the Founder and Managing Partner of our firm, “Mike Connolly has proven himself to be an exceptional leader in the field of special education and is recognised in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the mid-Atlantic region as an outstanding attorney whose skills are at the highest level of our profession. Michael assists in the strategic handling of our cases and the management of our Special Education Department with collegiality and professionalism, and he is universally trusted and respected by all stakeholders in the field of special education.”

Our firm’s CEO, Katie Ryan, states that: “Michael is an outstanding mentor, colleague, and friend to everyone in our firm. In addition to his oversight duties as the Supervising Partner for Special Education, Michael handles his own caseload and assists with our federal court litigation with skill, insight, and a complete understanding of the specialised field in which we work. We (and our clients) are fortunate indeed to have Michael as the Supervisor of our Special Education Department.”

With twenty years of experience, Michael represents parents of children with special needs in a variety of education matters at administrative hearings and state and federal court. He has assisted parents in disputes involving their public school related to issues such as eligibility and identification, programming and placement, tuition reimbursement, discipline, bullying, and discrimination. Michael frequently lectures across the state and nationally to parents, educators, and attorneys on special education and other education law related topics.

Dennis McAndrews states that: “Heather has been an outstanding member of our office since 1999, when she first began working for the firm as a law student while simultaneously pursuing a second Master’s degree in Psychology. After law school (and obtaining her second Master’s Degree in Psychology), Heather immediately stepped into a leading role in our firm representing children with disabilities and their families. From the start, Heather has handled special education cases with a high level of professional skill, insight, and compassion for the children and families we serve. After a few years in our Berwyn office, Heather sought to open an office in her hometown of Scranton, and Heather quickly developed a substantial clientele in North-eastern Pennsylvania, and Heather promptly began representation of these families with her usual degree of alacrity and competence. Heather has operated our Scranton office for over a decade and has developed a reputation among parents, advocacy groups, hearing officers, and judges which is second to none. We are grateful every day that Heather is a member of our team.”

CEO Katie Ryan indicates that: “Upon beginning my role as CEO at our firm, it became immediately apparent to me that Heather is a magnificent resource for children and families, and brings tremendous skill and dedication to her work. Every attribute that is necessary to be a successful special education attorney is part of Heather’s toolbox, as she possesses a strong understanding of education, psychological testing, and litigation strategy. She is a frequent resource to other attorneys in our office, who lean on her for her substantial wisdom and invaluable experience.”

BDO USA expands Advisory Practice with addition of AC Lordi

BDO USA LLP, one of the nations leading accounting and advisory firms, today announced the expansion of its Philadelphia practice through the addition of 100 professionals from Philadelphia area-based management consulting firm AC Lordi. The addition enhances BDOs advisory offerings and strengthens BDOs local foothold in the Philadelphia region.

Founded in 2001, AC Lordi specialises in accounting, risk and compliance, business advisory and CFO services. The firms practice areas include SEC reporting, technical accounting, internal and IT audit, SOX compliance and finance transformation, among others. The firm has performed work throughout the U.S. and in more than twenty countries for a broad range of clients, from emerging private equity-sponsored companies to multinational organisations across most major industries.

BDO and AC Lordi are united in our commitment to providing exceptional client service and a holistic, solutions-oriented approach to complex business problems, said Jay Duke, national managing partner of Advisory Services at BDO USA. This expansion builds on our advisory capabilities in the Philadelphia market with an infusion of top-notch local talent and deep industry experience.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the combination of BDO and AC Lordi will be effective June 1, 2019. Upon completion of the transaction, AC Lordi CEO Frank Lordi along with the firms six other principals will become BDO partners.

We are thrilled to combine forces with BDO and increase the breadth and depth of services we can offer to our clients, said Lordi. As part of such a high-caliber advisory practice, we can take advantage of BDOs resources and relationships nationally and around the world. In turn, our team will deepen BDOs management consulting and regulatory compliance credentials in addition to strengthening its presence in the mid-Atlantic region. We are stronger together than apart.

BDO Facts:

  • Over the past six years, BDO USAs cumulative growth rate has far outpaced all other major U.S. accounting firms, with revenues more than doubling from $618 million in 2012 to $1.47 billion in 2018. During that time, BDO entered 24 new U.S. cities and expanded its critical mass in 13 existing markets.
  • BDO represents companies ranging from closely-held private businesses to leading non-profits to Fortune 500 multinationals.
  • BDO USA has industry practices specialised in serving businesses in the construction, energy, financial institutions, asset management, government contracting, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, non-profit, private equity, real estate, hospitality, retail and technology sectors.
  • BDO has been named a Best Company by Working Mother Magazine for eight consecutive years and been recognised with the When Work Works Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for nine consecutive years.
  • BDO has more than 60 offices and more than 650 independent alliance firm locations around the country.
  • BDO USA has been serving clients for more than 100 years since its founding in 1910 (as Seidman & Seidman).
  • As an independent member of BDO International Limited, the firm can leverage the resources of more than 80,000 people in more than 1,590 offices across 162 countries.

About BDO USA

BDO is the brand name for BDO USA LLP, a U.S. professional services firm providing assurance, tax, and advisory services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies. For more than 100 years, BDO has provided quality service through the active involvement of experienced and committed professionals. The firm serves clients through more than 60 offices and over 650 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. As an independent Member Firm of BDO International Limited, BDO serves multi-national clients through a global network of more than 80,000 people working out of 1,590 offices across 162 countries.

BDO USA LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, is the U.S. member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO Member Firms.