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Releases and Announcements

Duane Morris Names 13 Attorneys to Partnership

January 16, 2024

Duane Morris Names 13 Attorneys to Partnership

January 16, 2024

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PHILADELPHIA, January 16, 2024—Duane Morris LLP is pleased to announce that it has promoted to the firm partnership 13 associates and special counsel in seven of the firm’s offices.

These newly named partners are:

Corporate Practice Group: Leen Al-Alami, Philadelphia

Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group: Natalie F. (Hrubos) Bare, Philadelphia; Maria Cáceres-Boneau, New York; Brandon Rainey, Silicon Valley

Intellectual Property Practice Group: Ryan C. Smith, Ph.D., San Diego

Private Client Services Practice Group: Deborah M. Baird, New York; Gretchen Tomanek Shaffer, San Diego

Real Estate Practice Group: David Amerikaner, Philadelphia

Trial Practice Group: Karen L. Alexander, San Diego; Drew T. Dorner, Washington, D.C.; Julian A. Jackson-Fannin, Miami; Sarah O'Laughlin Kulik, Philadelphia; Mackenzie M. Wrobel, Wilmington

“This robust group of elevated new partners reflects the stability of our firm as well as our optimistic outlook for the future. Drawn from six different practices and seven offices, the 13 lawyers who form this year’s class have been selected via a rigorous process, and each has already made significant contributions to Duane Morris,” said Duane Morris Chairman and CEO Matthew A. Taylor. “We continue to execute on our strategic growth plan, which includes investing in talent and advancing our collaborative and collegial culture. We have more great opportunities ahead of us.”

Leen Al-Alami advises private equity and corporate clients in a variety of transactions, both domestic and cross-border, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, as well as in general corporate governance matters. Her clients span a wide range of industries, including technology, gaming, chemicals, mining, healthcare and life sciences. In addition, leveraging her fluency in French, Al-Alami advises corporate clients in France and French-speaking Canada on U.S. corporate law and governance matters, as well as on corporate transactions governed by U.S. law. Prior to becoming an attorney, Al-Alami served as communications analyst and strategist in the office of King Abdullah II of Jordan. She also served as a project manager for government communications in the executive council of the government of Dubai, as well as press and information officer for the European Union delegation to Jordan. In these capacities, Al-Alami devised and helped execute communications strategies in connection with foreign visits and milestones, oversaw press-related matters and advised on crisis response strategies and issues involving policy and political landscape.

Al-Alami is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (J.D., 2013), where she was associate editor of the Journal of Business Law, and Harvard University (M.A., B.A., cum laude, 2004). She is a native speaker of English and Arabic, and is fluent in French and conversational in Hebrew. Al-Alami is a member of the board of directors of the Philadelphia chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce.

Karen L. Alexander is a seasoned trial lawyer with concurrent focuses on white-collar criminal defense and business litigation. She has tried more than 20 cases to verdict, including numerous jury and bench trials in federal court and multiweek arbitrations. Alexander has represented individuals and entities in matters relating to securities fraud, healthcare fraud, the False Claims Act, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mortgage fraud, immigration fraud, criminal tax fraud and FBARs, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, unlicensed money transferring, bulk cash smuggling, criminal environmental matters and political corruption. On the civil side, she has extensively litigated in state and federal courts, arbitrations and mediations. Alexander has substantial experience dealing with contract and shareholder disputes, unfair competition and consumer legal remedies, compliance with federal and California wage-and-hour laws, commercial and residential real property disputes, trademark, regulatory compliance under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other complex litigation issues. Prior to entering private practice, Alexander spent five years as an assistant federal defender for the Southern District of California.

Alexander is a graduate of New York University School of Law (J.D., 2009), where she was production editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics, and Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 2006).

David Amerikaner focuses his practice on eminent domain, land use, project development, environmental, sustainability and other real estate matters. He handles eminent domain matters for utilities, transportation agencies and railroads. Amerikaner also represents private property owners whose properties have been condemned or are under threat of condemnation. He advises developers, energy companies and other large users of land through the process of obtaining permits and approvals to develop their land in several states and local jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. Amerikaner handles litigation matters that arise from land development in jurisdictions including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He also handles environmental remediation matters. Amerikaner regularly counsels private equity firms, banks, sovereign wealth funds and other entities on the environmental aspects of corporate transactions, and he has experience in negotiating and closing real estate transactions. He advises clients on the generation and trading of carbon credits and various types of mitigation credits. Additionally, Amerikaner also counsels clients on reducing their carbon footprints and complying with environmental mitigation requirements, on both voluntary and mandatory bases.

Amerikaner is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2010), Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A., 2006) and Harvard University (A.B., 2001). He maintains a robust pro bono practice, including work on behalf of disadvantaged individuals related to land use, government approvals, real estate transactions and immigration.

Deborah M. Baird concentrates her practice in the areas of taxation and trusts and estates law, advising families and individuals in connection with the planning of significant and complex estate planning matters, including wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, closely held businesses, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning and multigenerational wealth transfer planning. She advises clients on a variety of issues ranging from business succession planning and the valuation issues associated with such planning, to charitable giving and lifetime gifts. Baird is experienced in probate and estate administration and the associated litigation. She frequently represents fiduciaries, including corporate and individual executors and trustees, and beneficiaries in connection with a wide variety of complex issues arising in the administration of estates and trusts. Baird advises with respect to the preparation of estate, gift and income tax returns as well as compliance with provisions of the governing instrument and applicable law and the preparation and settlement of the fiduciary’s account. She is experienced in contested probate proceedings and provides counsel to fiduciaries in estate and gift tax audits before the Internal Revenue Service. Baird also advises in the formation and operation of private foundations and charitable organizations and has assisted several organizations in the process of becoming a public charity.

Baird is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School (J.D., 1997), New York University School of Law (LL.M., taxation, 1999), and Smith College (A.B., 1992).

Natalie F. (Hrubos) Bare is a workplace class action and employment law litigator. She focuses her practice on representing companies in complex wage-and-hour litigation and other high-stakes class action cases. Bare has nearly 15 years of experience managing all phases of class action litigation from inception through resolution, including at trial. She has defended some of the nation’s largest employers against class and collective claims involving hundreds of thousands of employees. Bare’s accomplishments include prevailing on dispositive motions, defeating class certification at trial, obtaining arbitration awards denying wage claims and successfully resolving class action litigation on an individual plaintiff basis. She also advises clients on employment law compliance and class action avoidance. Wage-and-hour compliance is an area of particular focus, including on issues related to worker classification, compensation structures, timekeeping practices, predictability pay, meal breaks, donning and doffing and other compensable time issues. Bare also assists employers in conducting internal audits related to wage-and-hour and other employment practices and in responding to agency investigations into wage-and-hour policies and practices.

Bare is a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law (J.D., 2009), where she was editor-in-chief of the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, and the Pennsylvania State University (B.A., 2006).

Maria Cáceres-Boneau has a diverse practice and extensive experience counseling employers on the laws governing the workplace, litigating employment disputes, providing employee trainings, investigating matters, drafting agreements and workplace policies and advising on business acquisitions. She has represented companies across a broad array of industries, including technology, financial services, real estate, retail, fashion and health care. Cáceres-Boneau also advises not-for-profit organizations and is on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. She has successfully defended employers and managers against claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of contract and wage-and-hour violations. Cáceres-Boneau’s experience includes every phase of litigation from pre-suit demands through trial and appeal.

 Cáceres-Boneau is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D.), Hunter College (M.S.) and Yale University (B.A.).

Drew T. Dorner has a multistate practice and experience handling trials in federal and state courts throughout the country, as well as in arbitrations and mediations in several jurisdictions. He handles all phases of litigation for his clients, from inception through appeal. Dorner’s experience includes commercial, health care, noncompetition, environmental, construction and education-related disputes with amounts in controversy ranging from several thousand to hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to trying cases in courts and arbitrations, Dorner has an active administrative law practice. He frequently counsels clients on compliance with federal regulations and guides clients through challenges to rulemakings and adjudicative actions.

Dorner is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 2011), where he was authorities editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, and Miami University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2008). He speaks German.

Julian A. Jackson-Fannin practices in the area of commercial litigation. He has litigated complex matters in both state and federal courts. During his career, Jackson-Fannin has advised and represented companies of all sizes as well as individuals in a variety of commercial matters, including contract disputes, copyrights, employment disputes, administrative and regulatory challenges, creditor’s rights matters and class action consumer protection disputes. Prior to joining Duane Morris, he served as an assistant public defender in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit, where he represented indigent clients as lead and secondary trial counsel on numerous misdemeanor and felony cases.

Jackson-Fannin is a graduate of Florida A&M University College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2011), where he was editor-in-chief of the Florida A&M University Law Review, and Emory University (B.A., 2003).

Sarah O’Laughlin Kulik focuses her practice on antitrust litigation and white-collar defense and investigations. She has deep and cutting-edge knowledge of e-discovery methods and tools, which she leverages to help her clients efficiently handle large-scale litigation and investigations. Kulik is a member of the Antitrust and Competition Group and the White-Collar Division within the firm’s Trial Practice Group, as well as a team member of the Life Sciences Industry Group. She has defended clients against antitrust claims brought by private litigants and government enforcers. In addition, Kulik has helped clients navigate a wide variety of government investigations, including anti-kickback, securities, market manipulation and research compliance issues. She regularly counsels clients on compliance best practices in order to avoid litigation and government enforcement.

Kulik is a graduate of Cornell Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2014), where she served as articles editor for the Cornell Law Review, and Bucknell University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2011).

Brandon Rainey is a litigator who handles high-stakes disputes for large domestic and international corporate clients in the technology, financial services, infrastructure and manufacturing industries. His practice currently focuses on defending employers in cases involving all types of employment-related claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. Rainey also has deep experience representing corporations in complex commercial disputes involving contract, tort, product liability, intellectual property and regulatory disputes.

Rainey is a graduate of Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 2010), where he was an executive editor of the Journal of Legislation, and the University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 2007). He has served on the board of directors of the California Young Lawyers Association (now the New Lawyers Section of the California Lawyers Association), where he chaired the committee overseeing a critical part of its recent reintegration with the State Bar of California.

Gretchen Tomanek Shaffer focuses her practice on a wide variety of estate planning matters, primarily in the context of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax, revocable and irrevocable trust planning, estate and trust administration, life insurance planning, charitable planning and intra-family transactions. She works with estates ranging from negligible assets, on a pro bono basis, to estates in excess of $2 billion. Shaffer handles planning for clients with closely held businesses, concentrated real estate holdings, concentrated positions of publicly traded stock and ownership of professional sports franchises. She advises affiliates of publicly traded companies on estate and gift tax matters and represents corporate and private fiduciaries in estate and trust administration matters. Shaffer works closely with private foundations and advises boards of trustees and boards of directors of charitable organizations on fiduciary duties and liabilities. She has drafted and overseen the operation of multiple charitable grant agreements in excess of $1 billion on behalf of her clients.

Shaffer is graduate of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2007), where she was symposium editor of the Villanova Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif, and Colgate University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1999).

Ryan C. Smith, Ph.D., practices in the area of patent law. He has extensive experience in intellectual property due diligence and U.S. and international patent prosecution in the areas of biotechnology and chemical arts. In addition, Smith has experience in matters directed to noninfringement, invalidity and freedom-to-operate analyses, as well as intellectual property due diligence associated with mergers/acquisitions, public offerings and private equity investments. His patent strategies have protected several innovative multimillion-dollar drugs including Solosec, a small-molecule drug for women’s health, and Xiflam, a small-molecule drug for treating various ocular diseases. Smith works with entrepreneurs, emerging growth companies, university technology transfer offices and large public U.S. and international companies to identify and develop comprehensive intellectual property portfolios. Prior to entering the practice of law, he was a research scientist at multiple biotechnology companies, including GE Healthcare and Illumina, where he invented a large number of patents fundamental to modern DNA sequencing methods. Smith was a postdoctoral fellow at both Stanford University and IBM-Almaden Research Center, where he researched new polymeric materials for use in semiconductor manufacturing.

Smith is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.), the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., chemistry) and the University of California, San Diego (B.S.).

Mackenzie M. Wrobel is an experienced trial lawyer litigating corporate and commercial disputes primarily in the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Delaware Superior Court as well as arbitral forums. She helps her clients resolve contractual matters and issues related to breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, corporate governance and corporate control. Wrobel is experienced in all phases of litigation and she has tried numerous disputes to verdict and through appeal. Prior to joining Duane Morris, she served as associate legal counsel to Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell. In that role, Wrobel advised Governor Markell and the governor’s cabinet on issues ranging from contract development to state and federal constitutional issues in addition to assisting with the development of public policy.

Wrobel is a graduate of Widener University Delaware School of Law (J.D., 2014), where she was bluebook editor of the Widener Law Review, and Millersville University (B.S., cum laude, 2010), where she served as an appointed member of the board of governors for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 900 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries. Duane Morris has been recognized by BTI Consulting as both a client service leader and a highly recommended law firm.