Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The 25 Notable Attorneys of Georgia for 2023. Best known for its peaches and southern hospitality, Georgia is more than what it seems, offering an accessible standard of living that progressively attracts Fortune 500 companies and a burgeoning educated workforce. At its epicenter is Atlanta, which generates a significant percentage of the state’s GDP and is increasingly seen as an important node in the global economic system. This year’s awardees play a pivotal role in the state, working at prominent companies such as Mercedes-Benz USA, Chick-fil-A Corporate, and The Coca-Cola Company or by developing their career in private practice.
Among this year's awardees is Billy Ching, Partner at Nelson Mullins, who received recognition with an MCCA Rainmakers Award for his proven record over decades of making significant contributions to the community. Awardee Matt Calvert, Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, has spent over 40 years with the firm and is a founding member of its pro bono committee. Also awarded is Marla Butler, Partner at Thompson Hine, who is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than .05% of American lawyers.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The 25 Notable Attorneys of Georgia for 2023.
Partner, Holland & Knight
Rachel Fink is a Partner in the Holland & Knight Atlanta office. As a financial services attorney, she focuses her practice on complex commercial financing transactions across various industries, including the manufacturing, media and telecommunications, and healthcare industries. Fink has significant experience negotiating and documenting senior secured credit facilities, emphasizing leveraged acquisition transactions, often with a junior capital component.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, she was an Associate and financial services attorney in the Atlanta office of Jones Day. Fink graduated from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law with a JD and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame.
Partner, Thompson Hine
Marla Butler is a Partner at Thompson Hine. She represents clients in the medical, semiconductor, power, networking, and other high-tech industries in high-stakes commercial litigations, arbitrations, and trials. She has also developed a deep understanding of technology and is skilled at building and leading diverse teams of lawyers, scientists, and economists. This enhances her ability to devise and implement successful litigation and trial strategies and simplify complex technology concepts for judges, juries, and arbitrators.
Butler is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers who are selected based on effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels and superior ethical reputation.
Senior Counsel, Chick-fil-A Corporate
Katie Whitley is the Senior Counsel of Chick-fil-A Corporate. Whitley first joined the company in 2017, serving as Regulatory Counsel on the Corporate Legal team. Her work focused on regulatory issues in the areas of food safety, new market openings, menus, labeling and nutrition, sustainability and waste, consumer product safety, data privacy, and gift cards.
Before joining Chick-fil-A Corporate, Whitley was an Associate at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Before that, she was an Attorney at Keller and Heckman LLP. Whitley graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law with a JD and an undergraduate degree in political communication from George Washington University.
Senior Counsel, Veritiv
Dave Warren is the Senior Counsel of Veritiv. He first joined the company in 2014. He joined Veritiv in 2014 as Senior Counsel. Previously, Warren was Senior Counsel at Xpedx, a division of International Paper Company. Before that, he was Senior Counsel at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Earlier in his career, he worked with Graydon Head & Ritchey as a Partner. Warren earned a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, an MSFS in international relations from Georgetown University, and an undergraduate degree in economics and French from Bowling Green State University.
Partner, Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy
Karen Winarsky is a Partner in Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy’s Atlanta office. She practices in the area of business immigration law. With experience providing immigration law services for both employers and individual clients, she has handled immigration matters across a wide array of industries, including broadcast and entertainment, information technology, manufacturing, and insurance.
Before this, Winarsky was a Partner at Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and Of Counsel at Paul Hastings. Earlier in her career, she was an Associate at Pederson & Freedman. Winarsky graduated from Washington University St Louis School of Law with a law degree and a bachelor's degree in Spanish and psychology.
Senior Counsel, UCB
Patrick Ryan is Senior Counsel at UCB. He is responsible for handling the company's employment-related issues, lawsuits, and investigations in the U.S. He also supports UCB's legal, ethics, and compliance, talent and HR, DE&I, and communications teams, as well as other U.S. and global business partners in legal matters. He serves as a member of UCB's DE&I Council.
Prior to this role, Ryan was a Partner at FordHarrison LLP, a national labor and employment firm. He specialized in defending employers in litigation, including class and collective actions, brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), and other federal and state employment laws. During law school, Ryan interned at the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of Georgia and was an Editorial Board member of The Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. Ryan graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law with a JD and Albion College with a bachelor's degree in public policy analysis and mathematics.
Attorney & Lead, eXplore: Discovery Resource Center, DLA Piper
Nima Adabi is Attorney and Lead at DLA Piper. A litigation attorney with extensive experience in eDiscovery, Nima manages and oversees eXplore, DLA Piper's internal eDiscovery resource center. He frequently works with clients and DLA Piper attorneys to drive the electronic discovery life cycle and review workflows for his matters. Nima’s practice includes tailoring discovery and review strategies to maximize efficiencies, reduce costs, and achieve favorable results.
Nima utilizes his background in law and technology to identify electronic discovery best practices and risk points and to streamline review workflows. With over a decade of eDiscovery and Project Management experience, Nima has consulted clients and law firms on best practices and procedures for electronic discovery. Previously, Nima was at Troutman Pepper, TransPerfect Legal Solutions, Arent Fox, and Covington & Burling LLP. Nima graduated from UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law with a JD and a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Emory University.
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, HD Supply
Dan McDevitt is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of HD Supply. He is responsible for managing the company’s legal department. He joined HD Supply’s legal department in 2010 as a Director and was promoted to Vice President in 2012.
Before joining HD Supply, McDevitt was a Partner at King & Spalding, where he practiced law for over 12 years. Prior to King & Spalding, McDevitt served as a Judicial Clerk for the Honorable G. Ernest Tidwell on the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia. McDevitt has a Master of Law, JD, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Notre Dame.
Vice President & General Counsel, Mercedes-Benz USA
Matthew Everitt is the Vice President and General Counsel of Mercedes-Benz USA. He first joined the company in 2013 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Previously, Everitt was Senior Counsel, FCPA at Daimler AG. Before that, he was an Assistant Attorney in the middle district of Tennessee at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, he worked with White & Case LLP as an Associate of the white-collar group. Everitt earned a JD from Columbia Law School and an undergraduate degree in European history from Washington and Lee University.
Managing Attorney, Vanderlande
Shawntel Clark is the Managing Attorney of Vanderlande. She first joined the company in 2021. Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel named Clark a 2023 Rising Star in the ninth annual corporate counsel awards.
Previously, Clark was a partner at Taylor English Duma LLP. Before that, she was an Associate at Elarbee Thompson Sapp & Wilson, LLP. Clark earned a JD from Emory University School of Law and an undergraduate public relations and political science degree from Howard University.
Marketing Procurement Counsel, The Coca-Cola Company
Caroline Friday is Marketing Procurement Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company. She was previously Senior Legal Counsel of Information Technology & Services and Licensing & Commercial Contracting at the American Cancer Society. Before this, she was General Counsel and EVP of Marketing, Entertainment & Digital Content at Sixth Day Media, LLC. She was also Global Procurement Counsel at Johnson Controls. Friday graduated with a JD and MBA from Wake Forest University and a bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Vice President of Legal General Counsel, Porsche Cars North America
George Feygin is the Vice President of Legal and General Counsel for Porsche Cars North America. He is responsible for all legal and corporate compliance matters arising in the Porsche Group’s North American businesses and for state and local government relations. Feygin reports to the President and Chief Executive Officer and is an Executive Committee member.
Feygin has spent his career as an attorney in the automotive industry. Prior to his current role, Feygin worked at Nissan North America for 13 years, most recently as Director and Assistant General Counsel. While there, he advised on matters concerning safety and emissions regulations, vehicle automation, corporate compliance, data privacy, on-board and off-board cybersecurity, and product liability. He began his career as a Regulatory Attorney with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Feygin earned his JD from The George Washington University Law School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Montclair State University.
Partner, Eversheds Sutherland
Dan Warren is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland. Warren prepares and prosecutes domestic and foreign patent applications and domestic and foreign trademark applications. He protects the intellectual property of some of the world’s largest companies and best-known brands. He is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
With a background in mechanical engineering, Warren has served as trial and appellate counsel and as an expert witness in patent, trademark, trade dress, and copyright litigation, including litigation concerning medical instruments, athletic equipment, computer software, camouflage, and digital piracy. He previously spent over 22 years at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP as an Intellectual Property Partner. Warren graduated from Emory University School of Law with. JD and Georgia Institute of Technology with a BME in mechanical engineering.
Scott Bertschi is a Partner at Clyde. He focuses his practice on insurance coverage, professional liability defense, and data breach response. Bertschi also regularly represents lawyers and other professionals in malpractice suits and ethics investigations. His experience with insurance claims has led him to provide advice to insurance companies regarding product development, including assisting his clients in drafting policy forms and endorsements.
Bertschi is an active participant in the legal community and has authored numerous articles and publications and presented on insurance-related topics. Most recently, he edited the book, "The Law of Lawyers’ Liability," which surveys the legal malpractice laws of the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. He was formerly a partner in the Atlanta office of Arnall Golden Gregory. Bertschi graduated from Emory University with a JD and a bachelor's degree in economics and political science.
General Counsel, Paylocity
Amber Livingston is General Counsel at Paylocity. She oversees their legal function and leads the company’s legal initiatives. Her job is to anticipate potential issues before they become actual issues so that Paylocity can focus on delivering the highest quality technology and service to its clients.
Before she joined Paylocity, she was the Corporate and Securities Counsel at Motorola Solutions. Earlier in her career, she was a Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Attorney at Skadden in Chicago. Livingston received a JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Emory University.
Vice President & General Counsel, Rooms To Go
Mitch Allen is the Vice President and General Counsel of Rooms To Go. He joined the company over six years ago. Before joining Rooms To Go, he was a Partner at Bryan Cave, where he was a labor and employment attorney. Before this, he was a Partner at Powell Goldstein LLP, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., and Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP. Allen graduated from Arizona State University College of Law with a JD and MBA, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Tulane University.
Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
Scott Rafshoon Partner is a Partner at Squire Patton Boggs. Rafshoon counsels infrastructure developers using the P3 model to structure and finance social infrastructure projects on public and private university campuses. He has represented clients in the redevelopment of military bases closed through the Base Realignment and Closure process. Notably, Rafshoon represented a national, on-campus student housing company in developing and financing a US $575 million student housing facility for the University of California system.
His background as a professional journalist and involvement in numerous political campaigns enable him to provide additional services to his clients. Rafshoon combines legal, and advocacy skills with strategic experience developed over years of work on a wide variety of legislative, regulatory, and policy projects. Before Squire Patton Boggs, he was a Partner at Hunton & Williams LLP, Dentons, and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. Prior to this, he was a Reporter at Newsweek. Rafshoon graduated with a JD from Emory University School of Law and received a bachelor's degree in government from Dartmouth College.
Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Todd McClelland is a Partner at McDermott Will & Emery. He advises companies on complex, international legal issues associated with cybersecurity breaches and compliance, data privacy compliance, and data, technology, cloud, and outsourcing transactions. He is the global head of the firm’s global privacy & cybersecurity practice group.
He was previously a Partner at Jones Day and Alston & Bird LLP. Prior to his legal career, McClelland was an engineer designing and programming industrial control, robotics, and automation systems. This background gives him a unique perspective and understanding of the technology underlying the cybersecurity and privacy issues he addresses. He frequently speaks at professional seminars and has authored many articles on cybersecurity. McClelland graduated from Florida State University College of Law with a JD and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
John Snelling is a Partner in the Atlanta office of Lewis Brisbois. He’s also a member of the Labor & Employment Practice. Snelling practices in the areas of employment litigation, employee relations counseling, human resources policy development, and management training. His focus on employment litigation includes employment discrimination and harassment, restrictive covenant and contract disputes, wage and hour claims, wrongful discharge, and other employment torts.
Before Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Snelling was a Partner at Duane Morris LLP, Troutman Sanders LLP, and Ford & Harrison LLP. He graduated from Emory University School of Law with a JD and received a bachelor's degree in English, political science, and philosophy from Vanderbilt University.
Associate Attorney, Morris Manning & Martin
Parker Stephens is an Associate Attorney at Morris Manning & Martin. He’s part of the firm’s commercial real estate development and finance practice. Parker focuses his practice on all aspects of transactional real estate work, including the acquisition, disposition, and development of retail, industrial, office, multifamily, hotel, and condominium properties. Parker also has significant experience in the area of commercial real estate finance. He represents investment banks, commercial banks, institutional lenders, and real estate developers and owners in connection with permanent and bridge loan originators, construction loans, preferred equity transactions, mezzanine loans, and other subordinate financing structures.
Before this, he was an Associate Attorney at Zachary M. Eastman, P.C. Parker graduated from Georgia State University College of Law with a JD.
Partner, Jones Day
Darcy White is a Partner at Jones Day. She has experience representing both public and private clients and is part of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions practice in Atlanta.
She spent roughly 15 years at Paul Hastings LLP — more than three of which saw her serve as Partner — where she focused on domestic and cross-border transactions, including mergers, stock acquisitions, divisional and other asset acquisitions and dispositions, and joint ventures. White has also worked on behalf of multiple charitable organizations. She has obtained nonprofit status for a number of charitable entities and provided them with ongoing corporate and transaction-related advice. She is a board member of Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network, a trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center, a past board member of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and a past co-chair of ServiceJuris Incorporated. White graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD and received a bachelor's degree in economics from Middle Tennessee State University.
Gerum Yilma is a Partner at McGuireWoods. He primarily focuses his practice on structuring, negotiating, and documenting syndicated, club, single-lender, and multi-currency credit facilities. His experience includes cash-flow, asset-based, leveraged acquisition, dividend recapitalization, and real estate financing transactions, including senior secured, pro rata, second lien, and mezzanine loans.
Before his 12-year tenure at McGuireWoods, Yilma was an Associate Associate at Kilpatrick Stockton and a Senior Specialist at Merrill Lynch. Yilma graduated from The University of Georgia School of Law with a JD and a bachelor’s degree in finance from The University of Georgia.
Partner, Nelson Mullins
Billy Ching is a Partner at Nelson Mullins, where he leads the private equity practice group. He’s been with the firm for over 26 years. Ching counsels companies and their owners, private equity funds, and venture capital funds in a wide array of buy-side and sell-side M&A transactions, equity financings, and complex corporate matters. Ching has led transactions in numerous industries, including business services, SaaS, software, healthcare technology, HVAC, distribution, manufacturing, food and beverage, IT consulting, and much more.
In 2021, Ching received a 2021 MCCA Rainmakers Award for having a proven record over decades and making significant contributions to the community. Ching graduated from Duke University with an MBA and JD and received a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Matt Calvert is a Partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth. He joined the firm’s litigation team in Richmond in 1980. In 1994 he moved to the firm’s Atlanta office and continued his diverse litigation practice. Calvert has tried numerous cases in state and federal courts and argued appeals in state and federal courts. He was a founding member of the firm’s pro bono committee in the 80s and served on the Boards of Legal Aid Societies in Richmond and Atlanta. He is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia United States Circuit Courts of Appeal.
Calvert joined Hunton Andrews Kurth following a clerkship with the Honorable John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Calvert graduated from Washington and Lee University with a JD and a bachelor's degree in economics.
Managing Partner, Duane Morris
Kirk Domescik is the Managing Partner of the Duane Morris Atlanta office. He has been with the firm for over 20 years. He concentrates his practice in the areas of healthcare and corporate law, with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, company organization, and governance. Domescik has particular experience in healthcare transactions, having advised on multiple acquisitions and dispositions involving various healthcare providers.
Domescik is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Atlanta Bar Association. He earned his JD from the University of Georgia School of Law and graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology.