Attorney Intel is pleased to announce The Top 50 Attorneys of Dallas for 2023. As the 9th largest city in the U.S. and the 2nd largest city in the Lone Star State, Dallas boasts a booming economy. In fact, the Dallas-Fort Worth region is home to over 20 corporate headquarters, making the area one of the largest corporate concentrations in the country. This is because Texas state laws have massively benefitted the wider business and legal market, with a lack of state income tax making it a very appealing location for lawyers looking to practice their profession.
These days Dallas is home to numerous law firms, corporate headquarters, and government agencies, providing a wide range of practice areas to choose from. This includes: corporate law, energy law, healthcare law, and many more. This rich diversity empowers attorneys to either specialize or transition between different legal domains, nurturing their professional development. Operating across a wide spectrum of sectors, the individuals awarded this year exude an unwavering passion for delivering the legal guidance essential for the betterment of their organizations and the community.
This year's honorees include Susan Fisher, a Partner at Thompson Coburn, where she draws upon her extensive experience handling transactions exceeding $1 billion for clients, guiding them through every aspect of their business dealings. Next in the spotlight is Patrick Cowlishaw, who holds the position of Partner and General Counsel at Jackson Walker, one of the largest law firms in Texas. Finally, we have Joseph Zopolsky, a member at Glast Phillips & Murray, who has spent his career representing clients in litigation and business-related matters across the country and around the world.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Attorneys of Dallas for 2023.
1. Amy Yeager
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Children's Health
Amy Yeager serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Children’s Health, one of the largest and most prestigious pediatric health care providers in the country. The Children’s Health system, which cares for children through more than 750,000 patient visits annually, includes its flagship hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, as well as Children’s Medical Center Plano, the Children’s Health Care Network, specialty centers, rehabilitation facilities and physician services.
In her role at Children’s Health, Yeager oversees the strategy and direction for legal services. Prior to joining the organization in 2019, Yeager oversaw the legal department for the North Texas division at Baylor Scott & White Health. She was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1993; and is a member of the Dallas Bar Association. Yeager holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and real estate degree from Baylor University and a JD from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.
2. Todd Martin
General Counsel, AdvoCare
Todd Martin is a General Counsel at AdvoCare, a health and wellness company with a commitment to be an advocate who cares. Today, AdvoCare has taken that commitment to the next level by establishing the AdvoCare Foundation. The foundation focuses on the life-destroying epidemic of childhood obesity in an effort to help fulfill its larger mission – to help all children be happy, healthy and safe. The AdvoCare Foundation is attacking obesity by supporting organizations across the country whose work directly impacts the safety and health of children in need.
Martin has 22 years of experience. Before joining AdvoCare, he was a director of legal & regulatory consulting at RGP. Before that, Martin served as a VP and associate general counsel at CoreLogic. Earlier in his career, he worked with Excel Communications as a transactional counsel. Martin graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in biology.
3. Chris McNeill
Partner and Attorney, Blank Rome
Chris McNeill began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is a Partner and attorney at Blank Rome, an Am Law 100 firm with 15 offices and more than 680 attorneys and principals who provide comprehensive legal and advocacy services to clients operating in the United States – and around the world. Their professionals have built a reputation for their leading knowledge and experience across a spectrum of industries. They are also recognized for their commitment to pro bono work in their communities.
McNeill got his start in 2001 as an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. From there, he went on to Fish & Richardson P.C., before eventually rising to attorney and principal at Block & McNeill, LLP, his most recent position prior to joining Blank Rome. McNeill graduated from Harvard Law School with a JD and from the University of Mississippi with an undergraduate degree in political science and government.
4. Joseph Zopolsky
Member, Glast Phillips & Murray
Joe Zopolsky, a member of the Dallas office of the Texas-based firm Glast Phillips & Murray, has served clients as a litigation and corporate attorney for over two decades. As a litigator, he represents clients in lawsuits across Texas and throughout the region via his licensures in six (6) states. His experience in advising clients in an expansive scope of business-related matters is bolstered by the resources of his 60 attorney, full-service law firm, his master’s level business degree, as well as his training and extensive international background. In addition to regularly advising his corporate clientele, he also serves as the outsourced General Counsel to a number of companies. Joe is a frequent speaker at the invitation of clients and at various industry events, and is thankful for the numerous accolades he has received over the course of his career.
5. Jon Spiller
Vice President of Group General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary, Vontier
Jon Spiller is the Vice President of Group General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary at Vontier, a global industrial technology company uniting critical mobility and multi-energy technologies and solutions to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving, more connected mobility ecosystem. Leveraging leading market positions, decades of domain expertise and unparalleled portfolio breadth, Vontier delivers smart, safe and sustainable solutions to their customers around the globe. The company is embraced by over 8,500 colleagues worldwide.
Spiller first joined the company in 2021. Previously, he was a general counsel & CHRO at CTI Foods. Before that, he served as an associate at JONES DAY®. Earlier in his career, he worked with weAttract as a project director. Spiller earned a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law and an undergraduate degree in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.
6. Mike Albers
Attorney and Partner, Hunton & Williams
Mike Albers is an Attorney and Partner at Hunton & Williams, a global law firm serving clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm handles transactional, litigation and regulatory matters for a diverse client base. Notably, the firm boasts significant experience in retail and consumer products, energy, financial services, real estate, and privacy and cybersecurity.
Albers has 25 years of experience. His practice focuses on construction law and commercial and industrial real estate development. In addition, Albers is an Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He is also on the teaching faculty of the Design Build Institute of America and on the panel of Arbitrators and Mediators for the American Arbitration Association. Albers graduated from Southern Methodist University with a JD and from Southern Methodist University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
7. Michael Abcarian
Managing Partner, Fisher Phillips
Michael Abcarian is a Managing Partner at Fisher Phillips. The attorneys at Fisher Phillips are committed to providing value to their clients. They do one thing: represent employers in labor and employment matters. Founded in Atlanta, they're national with 37 offices and more than 500 attorneys. Notably, their attorneys practice before state and federal courts – and administrative agencies in virtually every state. For over 30 years, Abcarian has represented Fortune 500 corporations, units of local government, and local business interests in labor and employment matters. He has handled hundreds of lawsuits in federal and state courts with an exceptional success record, including lead counsel defense of complex litigation and nationwide class actions. Many of Abcarian’s successful cases resulted in defense verdicts for employer clients following trial by jury.
Abcarian handles complex workplace safety matters, including fatality investigations. In addition, he has represented employers in high-visibility proceedings before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Abcarian has also handled significant compensation compliance matters – some involving thousands of employees – in proceedings before the Wage & Hour Division of the U. S. Department of Labor (USDOL). Furthermore, he appears frequently before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defending employers in discrimination matters. Abcarian graduated from Boston College Law School with a JD and from the University of California, Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in political science.
8. Gerry McGrath
Senior Vice President General Counsel and Secretary, Wingstop Restaurants
Gerry McGrath is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Wingstop Restaurants. Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, TX, Wingstop operates and franchises more than 2,000 locations worldwide. The Wing Experts are dedicated to serving the world flavor through an unparalleled guest experience and use of a best-in-class technology platform. They do this by offering classic and boneless wings, tenders, and chicken sandwiches – always cooked to order and hand sauced-and-tossed in fans’ choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavors.
McGrath joined the company in 2020. He brings more than 25 years of legal experience to the Wingstop team. Prior to joining Wingstop, McGrath served as General Counsel for Fogo de Chão for more than five years. Before that, he was previously a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP for 14 years, where he focused on domestic and international transactions, corporate governance, and capital markets. McGrath earned a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law and an undergraduate degree in economics from Texas A&M University.
9. Robert Villasenor
General Counsel Corporate Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer, MoneyGram International
At MoneyGram International, Robert Villaseñor has served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary since January 2020. He also served as interim General Counsel and Corporate Secretary from October 2019 to January 2020. He was appointed Chief Administrative Officer in February 2021. MoneyGram is a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers. Its consumer-centric capabilities enable family and friends to quickly and affordably send money in more than 200 countries and territories, with more than 75 countries now digitally enabled. Villaseñor joined MoneyGram in July 2018 as Associate General Counsel, Corporate & Securities and Assistant Secretary. In that role, he oversaw the Corporate Securities and M&A legal function for the Company.
Villaseñor has over 20 years of experience representing public companies on a broad range of legal issues, including public reporting, lending and capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, investments and various commercial matters. Most recently, Villaseñor worked in the Corporate & Securities Group at Starbucks Corporation from 2012 to 2018. Prior to Starbucks, he served as the chief corporate & securities attorney at two other public companies. He began his career in private practice at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP working in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and capital markets. Villaseñor holds a JD, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. He also holds a BA, with Honors, in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1992-2000.
10. Scott Edwards
Founding Partner, Hartline Barger
Scott Edwards is the Founding Partner at Hartline Barger. Founded in 1994, Hartline Barger LLP serves clients throughout the state and across the country. It maintains offices in Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, Waco, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. They are nationally recognized for their work in product liability litigation and a broad spectrum of practice areas such as personal injury defense, commercial litigation, toxic torts, and warranty and deceptive trade practice litigation.
Edwards is a trial lawyer who handles complex, high-stakes litigation throughout the United States. He has served as lead trial counsel and national counsel for major automobile and tire manufacturers. He has also represented manufacturers of heavy trucks, scaffolding, lifts, industrial equipment and tools, material handling equipment, appliances, electrical equipment and collision repair equipment. Edwards’ practice encompasses a broad range of litigation, including product liability, general negligence, premises liability, toxic tort, personal injury defense, trucking, commercial and deceptive trade practices/warranty. He earned a JD from Baylor University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Baylor University.
11. Matt Henry
SVP, General Counsel and Secretary, Oncor Electric Delivery
Matt Henry began his professional career 29 years ago. Today, he is the SVP, General Counsel, and Secretary at Oncor Electric Delivery. Headquartered in Dallas, the company is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. Oncor (together with its subsidiaries) operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to more than 3.8 million homes and businesses and operating more than 139,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas.
Prior to joining Oncor in March 2018, Henry practiced law as a partner in the Dallas office of Vinson & Elkins LLP, where he led the firm’s energy regulatory practice and focused on representation of regulated energy companies before state and federal government agencies, including the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the State Office of Administrative Hearings and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Before joining Vinson & Elkins, Henry was a partner in the law firm Hunton & Williams LLP (now known as Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP). Henry graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from Howard Payne University with an undergraduate degree.
12. David Rendon
Senior Managing Attorney, Consilio
David Rendon is a Senior Managing Attorney at Consilio, a global leader in eDiscovery, document review, risk management, and legal consulting services. The company supports multinational law firms and corporations using innovative software, cost-effective managed services and deep legal and regulatory industry expertise. Consilio has extensive experience in litigation, HSR second requests, internal and regulatory investigations, eDiscovery, document review, information governance, compliance risk assessments, cybersecurity, and many other areas.
Rendon has 14 years of experience. He began his career in 2009. Before joining Consilio, he was a senior managing attorney at Special Counsel. Rendon graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in political science.
13. Keith Willis
Vice President and General Counsel, CHC Helicopter
Keith Willis began his professional career 15 years ago. Today, he is the Vice President and General Counsel at CHC Helicopter. For more than 75 years, CHC Helicopter has provided safe, reliable, cost‐effective helicopter service in some of the most remote and challenging environments around the world. With extensive experience transporting customers in the oil and gas industry, supporting search‐and‐rescue and EMS contracts, and providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services, the company’s dedication to safety and reputation for quality and innovation help their customers reach beyond what they thought possible.
At CHC Helicopter, Willis leads the Legal Department, which provides support on corporate, commercial, and compliance matters across the company. Over the course of his career, Willis has clerked for two federal judges, worked as outside counsel at an international law firm, and served as in-house counsel at a global technology company. Admitted to the bar in 2008, Willis joined CHC in 2018. Willis graduated from BYU Law School with a JD and from Brigham Young University with an undergraduate degree in English and political science.
14. Ashley Anderson
Ashley Anderson is a Partner at Stinson, a law firm that collaborates with clients ranging from individuals and privately held enterprises to national companies and international public corporations. Working out of 13 offices around the nation, their accomplished attorneys leverage deep knowledge and experience to deliver practical guidance, helping clients minimize risks and realize opportunities. Anderson, who first joined the firm in 2021, has extensive experience representing domestic and foreign purchasers, sellers, lenders and investors in complex real estate transactions throughout Texas and nationwide.
Anderson's practice encompasses a variety of real estate transactions, including the buying and selling of office buildings, retail centers, warehouses, industrial facilities, and raw land and hotels. She also regularly represents landlords and tenants in all stages of commercial lease negotiations. Previously, Anderson was a partner at Thompson & Knight LLP. Before that, she served as a real estate attorney at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. Earlier in her career, she worked with Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP as a real estate attorney. Anderson earned a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law and an undergraduate degree in journalism from Arizona State University.
15. Pat Cowlishaw
Partner and General Counsel, Jackson Walker
Patrick Cowlishaw is a Partner and General Counsel at Jackson Walker, a Texas-based law firm with a national presence and global reach. With more than 450 attorneys, they’re one of the largest firms in the state and provide comprehensive services in a broad range of practice areas. Cowlishaw serves as advisor and advocate in complex litigation and regulatory matters, most often to clients in the electric power, solid waste management, and telecommunications industries. Notably, Cowlishaw leads the firm’s electric power regulatory practice, recognized as leaders in Texas since Chambers began reporting that category in 2011.
Furthermore, in contested proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), in the stakeholder process at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and in state and federal courts in and around Texas, Cowlishaw offers deep experience helping clients make sound strategic judgments and build compelling presentations in fast-changing regulatory and industry environments. Before joining Jackson Walker, Cowlishaw was a partner at Cohan, Simpson, Cowlishaw & Wulff. Before that, he served as a law clerk to Hon. Irving L. Goldberg at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Cowlishaw graduated from Stanford Law School with a JD and from Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in history.
16. Dustin Gunderson
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, SRS Distribution
Dustin Gunderson joined SRS Distribution in 2019 and was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 2020. Gunderson is responsible for all of the company’s legal activities, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and litigation. Prior to joining SRS, Gunderson worked at Ribbon Communications and GameStop in various legal positions. He began his career as a corporate attorney at the law firms of Baker Botts L.L.P. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Gunderson received a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Baylor University.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in McKinney, Texas, SRS Distribution has grown to become one of the largest and fastest-growing building products distributors in the United States. Since the Company’s inception, it has established a differentiated growth strategy and entrepreneurial culture that is focused on serving customers, partnering with suppliers, and attracting the industry’s best talent. SRS currently operates under a family of distinct local brands encompassing more than 710 locations across 45 states. Notably, SRS Distribution is a portfolio company of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. and Berkshire Partners LLC.
17. Travis Booth
VP of Corporate Development & General Counsel, GPM Investments
Travis Booth is the VP of Corporate Development and General Counsel at GPM Investments. Notably, ARKO Corp. owns 100% of GPM Investments and is one of the largest operators of convenience stores in the U.S. Based in Richmond, Virginia, their highly recognizable family of community brands offers delicious prepared foods, beer, snacks, candy, hot and cold beverages, and multiple popular quick serve restaurant brands.
Booth began his career in 2005. Before joining GPM Investments, he was a VP of corporate development, general counsel and secretary at Empire Petroleum Partners. Earlier in his career, he worked with Hirschel, Savitz, Parker & Hollman, PA as an associate. Booth graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law with a JD and from the University of Maryland with an undergraduate degree in sociology.
18. Susan Fisher
Partner, Thompson Coburn
Susan Fisher is a Partner at Thompson Coburn, a full-service, values-driven law firm with offices strategically located in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Southern Illinois, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. The firm represents a sophisticated client base — including Fortune 500, middle-market and emerging companies — across a range of practice areas and industry sectors. Drawing on her experience representing both domestic and foreign-based entities in deals exceeding $1 billion, Fisher guides clients through each phase of transactions, from letters of intent to due diligence to the negotiation of key terms and the drafting of purchase agreements. She is skilled at efficiently managing deal closings, marshaling the insights and work product of subject matter experts and Thompson Coburn attorneys across various practice areas.
Fisher has significant experience in various business combination transactions, including stock purchases, asset purchases and mergers, senior and subordinate financings, and offerings of private securities. She also represents privately-held companies in initial and follow-on venture capital financing. Before attending law school, Fisher served as an auditor for a Big Four accounting firm, where she performed financial statement and internal controls audits for public and private companies. Combined with her CPA license and Master in Professional Accounting, this unique experience allows Fisher to quickly absorb a balance sheet, intimately understand a client's financial considerations going into a transaction, and speak directly to C-Suite executives and boards about their priorities.
19. David O'Dens
David O'Dens is the Chair of SettlePou’s Creditor’s Rights & Bankruptcy practice. SettlePou is a law firm that was launched in 1978 with a focus on commercial lending and real estate transactions — and gradually expanded their services in response to our clients' needs. Today, their firm has grown to include more than 35 lawyers and more than a dozen practice areas. O'Dens has been with SettlePou since joining in 1991. During his career, he has successfully handled cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth and Tenth Circuits, and Texas and Oklahoma state appellate courts. Prior to assuming his role in the firm’s Creditor’s Rights & Bankruptcy practice, O'Dens spent more than three decades handling commercial litigation.
Additionally, he represents real estate brokers and agents in litigation, having successfully defended real estate professionals against a variety of claims. This includes breach of contract, deceptive trade practices, fraud in the sale of real estate, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence. In addition, O'Dens's practice includes appellate advocacy and briefing in complex litigation. Furthermore, he has been an Instructor-in-Law at his alma mater, Oklahoma City University School of Law. O'Dens also earned an undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at El Paso.
20. Joseph McCoin
Vice President and General Counsel, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages
Joseph McCoin is the Vice President and General Counsel at Dallas-headquartered Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States. Based in Dallas, CCSWB produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola brands in Texas and parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
An industry veteran, McCoin began his career in 1999. Before joining CCSWB, McCoin was a VP and operating unit counsel at The Coca-Cola Company. Before that, he served as an HR manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises. Earlier in his career, he worked with Miller & Martin PLLC as an associate. McCoin graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School with a JD and from Columbia University with an undergraduate degree.
21. Alan Hunn
General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Kubota Credit
Alan Hunn began his professional career 29 years ago. Today, he is the General Counsel and Compliance Officer at Kubota Credit, the U.S. marketer and distributor of Kubota-engineered and manufactured machinery and equipment. This includes a complete line of tractors of up to 200 Gross hp*, performance-matched implements, compact construction equipment, consumer lawn and garden equipment, hay tools, commercial turf products and utility vehicles. Notably, Hunn is an experienced Director General with a demonstrated history of working in the captive automotive and equipment finance industry.
Hunn first got his start in 1994 as a counsel at Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation. From there, he went on to Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. and Nissan North America, before eventually rising to general counsel and corporate secretary at EzFill - Mobile Fuel Delivery, his most recent position prior to joining Kubota Credit. Hunn is skilled in a wide range of areas, including Consumer and Commercial Credit Law, Secured Transactions, Privacy and Information Security Law, Corporate Governance, Automotive Finance, eCommerce, Contracts, Regulatory Compliance, Dealer Law, and Consumer and Commercial Litigation. Hunn holds a JD from Texas Tech University School of Law.
22. Ariel Amir
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Progress Residential®
Ariel Amir is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Progress Residential,.one of the largest providers of single-family rental homes in the U.S., with more than 30,000 homes in its portfolio. Amir, who first joined the company in 2018, manages legal operations, including private equity funds, debt financings, acquisitions and dispositions, securities and employment matters, governance, litigation, and legal compliance. Notably, he is recognized for being a strong business partner who uniquely combines legal knowledge, business acumen and strategic goals to effectively manage sophisticated business transactions (restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and initial public offerings) and complex litigation.
Previously, Amir was an EVP and general counsel at The Picerne Group. Before that, he served as an EVP and general counsel at Archstone. Earlier in his career, he worked with Weil, Gotshal & Manges as an associate. Amir earned a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
23. Alex Madrazo
Vice President General Counsel, Borden Dairy Company
Alex Madrazo is the Vice President and General Counsel at Borden Dairy Company. Founded in 1857, Borden is a heritage American brand that produces more than 35 wholesome and delicious products enjoyed by millions of people every day. Borden was the first company to develop a patent for the process of condensing milk as well as the first company to use glass milk bottles. At Borden, Madrazo is directly responsible for all legal matters. He serves as an active member of the company’s executive team, providing strategic counsel on legal, business and operational matters. He also serves as the company’s corporate secretary and manages the company’s risk management department.
With more than 25 years of legal experience, Madrazo most recently served as Vice President, Division General Counsel for Dean Foods Company, where he was responsible for providing legal services to the sales and operations functions of the company. He began his legal career as a litigator at Locke Lord LLP, in Dallas. Madrazo earned his law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He also received his undergraduate degree in financial planning and counseling from Purdue University.
24. Nancy Furney
Partner, Practice Group Leader Taxation, Employee Benefits & Private Business, Winstead
Nancy Furney began her professional career 10 years ago. Today, she is a Partner and the Practice Group Leader of Taxation, Employee Benefits and Private Business at Winstead PC, a business law firm with more than 300 attorneys who serve as trusted advisors to emerging, mid-market and large companies, both public and private. The Winstead team provides a range of core legal services that are critical to their clients achieving their business goals.
Furney has extensive experience in all types of executive compensation and employee benefit matters. She represents a diverse group of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, privately-held companies, governmental and quasi-governmental entities and tax-exempt entities. Additionally, Furney has served in various leadership positions at Winstead; and has been a frequent speaker on ERISA and other employee benefit issues. She graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a JD and from Baylor University with an undergraduate degree in music.
25. Edward Loya
Partner, Epstein Becker & Green
Edward Loya is a Partner at Epstein Becker & Green P.C., which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Loya is an accomplished litigator and former federal prosecutor with a national litigation practice focused on complex business disputes and white-collar defense and investigation matters. Clients, colleagues, and business contacts call on him for his proven judgment and creative advocacy that enable companies and individuals to chart winning paths in a wide range of matters. Notably, Loya regularly represents companies and individuals in white-collar criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.
At EBG, Loya has successfully represented corporations and executives in litigation involving business and employee mobility disputes. He also has significant federal appellate court experience, including authoring briefs on complex civil and criminal appellate issues in the Fifth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Fourth Circuit, and Second Circuit. Previously, Loya was a counsel at Venable. Before that, he served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. Earlier in his career, he worked with the U.S. District Courts as a law clerk. Loya earned a JD from Stanford Law School and an undergraduate degree in humanities and Spanish literature from UC San Diego.
26. Laurie Patton
Partner, Spencer Fane
Laurie Patton is a Partner at Spencer Fane LLP, a law firm that provides an unconventional approach to legal services geared toward protecting and advancing business and personal interests. Their clients are certain that their interests are their priority because they work with leaders – leaders who work decisively, execute with purpose, and understand the importance of flawless timing.
Patton, who has 13 years of experience, represents companies and individuals in a wide range of commercial litigation matters and employment disputes, working closely with her clients to identify their objectives and develop a strategy to achieve those goals. Before joining Spencer Fane, Patton was an attorney at Hiersche, Hayward, Drakeley & Urbach. Before that, she served as an attorney at Hayes Berry White & Vanzant. Patton graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from Texas A&M University with an undergraduate degree in communication and psychology.
27. Patricia Zacharie
Vice President, General Counsel Westwood Professional Services
Patricia Zacharie is a Vice President and General Counsel at Westwood Professional Services, a leading and award-winning, full-service, multidiscipline professional civil engineering firm specializing in public infrastructure, private development, wind, solar, and power delivery projects. Westwood was established in 1972 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through a focus on its people, culture, and clients, Westwood quickly expanded to serve clients across the nation from multiple U.S. offices. With a legal career spanning over 25 years, Zacharie has experience in both the public and private sectors. Over half of her career has involved serving as an in-house legal counsel.
Zacharie has extensive experience partnering with executive teams, supporting business clients, and executing in a fast-paced, dynamic, and entrepreneurial environment. She got her start in 1993 as an assistant attorney general of the commercial and financial litigation division at Texas Attorney General. From there, she went on to the Texas Public Utility Commission, before eventually rising to VP of legal and regulatory affairs at Ambit Energy, her most recent position prior to joining Westwood. Zacharie graduated from SMU Dedman School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in economics.
28. Frank Alvarez
Managing Partner, Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer
Frank Alvarez is a Managing Partner at Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer, the largest minority and women owned law firm in the nation. The firm is composed of exceptional lawyers and staff who all have unique and different backgrounds, experiences, personalities and ideas to guide the firm to success.
Alvarez joined the company in 2015. Previously, he was a partner at Hermes Sargent Bates. Before that, he served as an associate attorney at Cowles & Thompson. Earlier in his career , he worked with Lyons & Rhodes, PC as an associate attorney. Alvarez graduated from St. Mary's University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree.
29. Harriet Tabb
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson
Harriet Tabb is a Partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a law firm nationally recognized for its strengths in energy law with more than a century of know-how in the areas of business, employment, and litigation. Steptoe & Johnson has over 400 attorneys and other professionals practicing in 18 offices in Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. The firm is active in several law firm networks, including the Employment Law Alliance, First Law International, and TerraLex. For more than 30 years, Tabb has represented commercial landlords of both established and new shopping centers and mixed-use developments.
In Texas, Tabb has also worked with the economic development departments for different cities. Almost all of her new clients have hired her after being across the table from her, a great compliment to her work and her work style. Before joining Steptoe & Johnson, Tabb was a partner at McGuire, Craddock & Strother. Before that, she was a partner at Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP. Earlier in her career, she worked with Jenkens & Gilchrist as an associate. Tabb graduated from Stanford Law School with a JD and from Emory University with an undergraduate degree in history.
30. Marc Kesselman
Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Purdue Pharma
Since July 24, 2018, Marc Kesselman has served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Purdue Pharma. Purdue Pharma and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market medications and consumer health products to meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals, patients, consumers and caregivers. An industry veteran, Kesselman previously held numerous roles at Yum! Brands, including General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Chief Government Affairs Officer, and Chief Legal Officer. In addition, Kesselman also previously served as an Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary & Government Affairs at Dean Foods Company from January 26, 2015 until January 15, 2016.
Furthermore, Kesselman served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at PepsiCo (Frito-Lay North America, Inc). In that role, he oversaw a wide variety of legal, regulatory, government affairs and policy issues relating to PepsiCo’s food and snack business in North and South America. Kesselman has also served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His vast experience also includes working as an attorney at Ropes & Gray. Kesselman holds a BS in Government from Cornell University and JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
31. Justin England
Partner, Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP
Justin England is a Partner at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP. He joined the company in 2023. Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP is a leading litigation firm with attorneys servicing clients in 33 offices in 19 states. FMG attorneys serve as trusted counsel to corporations and governments throughout the country, providing practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for legal issues.
Previously, England was a partner at Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP. Earlier in his career, he worked with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP as an attorney. England earned a JD from SMU Dedman School of Law and an undergraduate degree in history from The University of Texas at Austin.
32. Rachel Ullrich
Rachel Ullrich is a Partner at FordHarrison, a firm with lawyers in 29 offices across the country, including two affiliate offices. Their practice focuses on all aspects of labor and employment law. Today's workplace is highly regulated, litigious, and constantly evolving. FordHarrison helps employers minimize the legal risks involved in making employment decisions against this backdrop without compromising business needs. With a fierce commitment to superior client service, their attorneys work with clients to devise strategies to lessen the risks associated with employee claims and ensure compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws and regulations.
Ullrich has 25 years of experience. She is one of the most experienced litigators in her firm and has represented clients in litigations, trials, arbitrations and a variety of administrative hearings (EEOC, Texas Workforce Commission, Department of Labor and other state and federal agencies) nationwide. Before joining FordHarrison, Ullrich was a senior counsel at Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank. Before that, she served as a senior associate at Jackson Lewis LLP. Earlier in her career, she worked with Magenheim Bateman & Helfand as an associate attorney. Ullrich graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a JD and from the University of Houston with an undergraduate degree in hotel restaurant management.
33. Wendy Curtis
Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Board Secretary, Omni Logistics
Wendy Curtis joined Omni Logistics as CLO in 2019 – and currently oversees the legal department. Prior to joining Omni, Curtis served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Legal and Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors of CEVA Logistics, where she led the company’s corporate legal function. Prior to CEVA, Curtis worked at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the firm’s Corporate section, where her practice focused on corporate finance, securities and mergers and acquisitions. Curtis holds a BBS in Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University, where she was a member of the soccer team. She also received a JD, cum laude, from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Omni Logistics specializes in providing a collaborative, consultative approach to unique logistics challenges around the globe. They offer full service logistics solutions including multi-level freight forwarding, warehousing & distribution, and value-added services to manage your supply chain. As global trade increases, in turn, supply chains grow in complexity. Omni is here to help navigate our customers through these ever-increasing intricacies, providing full visibility and communicating at every step of the way.
34. Alan Vickery
Partner, Bowman and Brooke
Alan Vickery is a Partner at Bowman and Brooke, a nationally recognized trial firm with one of the largest product liability practices in the country. The firm's approximately 150 attorneys, with more than 25 first-chair trial lawyers, defend a variety of corporate clients, including many Global 500 and internationally-based companies, in widely publicized catastrophic injury and wrongful death matters, and in other complex litigation throughout all 50 states. Bowman and Brooke lawyers represent their clients and try cases in courthouses across the United States.
Vickery has spent more than 30 years focusing his practice on complex product liability litigation matters for medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers. In this time, Vickery’s pharmaceutical, mass tort and medical device product liability experience includes: the defense of hormone replacement therapy medications, silicone gel breast implants, antidepressant medication, and others. Previously, Vickery was a partner at Faegre Drinker. Before that, he served as a partner at Sedgwick LLP. Earlier in his career, he worked with Jackson Walker LLP as an associate attorney. Vickery earned a JD from Baylor University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Baylor University.
35. Tommy Horan
Partner, Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons
An experienced attorney,Tommy Horan specializes in professional liability defense for clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex – and throughout the state of Texas. Horan also handles construction claims, premises liability claims, personal injury claims, and complex commercial litigation. Comfortable with multimillion dollar claims down to simple two party disputes, Horan approaches every case with the same goal: a quick, efficient and advantageous resolution for his client. Before joining Thompson Coe, Horan served as an Assistant District Attorney in Rockwall County, where he gained extensive trial experience and was Chief of the Misdemeanor Division. Horan graduated from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law with a JD and from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in public policy and management.
Since its inception in 1951, Thompson Coe has dedicated itself to being recognized as a national authority on insurance defense and sophisticated coverage issues. Thompson Coe's experience in this highly regulated, cost-conscious industry has enabled the firm to bring a level of discipline and efficiency to its clients that translates into tangible value. Today, Thompson Coe provides this value to its clients through a spectrum of legal services spanning multiple industries. Clients choose Thompson Coe because the firm provides a total, integrated solution to their legal needs.
36. Paula Pendley
Partner, Lathrop GPM
Paula Pendley began her professional career 15 years ago. Today, she is a Partner at Lathrop GPM, a full-service, Am Law 200 law firm with more than 325 attorneys in 12 offices. The firm’s attorneys provide a full spectrum of corporate legal services: business transactions, litigation, intellectual property and trusts & estates. Lathrop GPM helps businesses, organizations and individuals grow and succeed, anticipate trends, plan for challenges and bring their visions to life.
Pendley got her start in 2008 as an attorney at Acker & Whipple Law Firm. From there, she went on to Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP as a partner. Pendley graduated from Pepperdine Law with a JD and from Pepperdine University with an undergraduate degree in telecommunications and broadcast journalism.
37. Eric Lugger
Vice President of Corporate Strategy and General Counsel, Walker Engineering
Eric Lugger is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and General Counsel at Walker Engineering, a company that has been delivering top notch electrical work at a competitive and fair price for the past 38 years. Walker Engineering’s reputation in the industry has created many long-term relationships with customers – and has enabled the company to assemble a group of more than 2,000 dedicated employees.
Lugger first joined the company in 2016. Previously, he was in private legal practice for almost 9 years before joining M+W Group in-house as their General Counsel for the Americas. Lugger earned a JD from The University of Texas School of Law and an undergraduate degree in history from The University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Lakewood, Dallas, Texas.
38. Laura Kalesnik
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, Verano Holdings
Laura Kalesnik is the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Verano Holdings, a leading, vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator in the nation. With a mission to address vital health and wellness needs, Verano produces a comprehensive suite of high-quality, innovative cannabis products sold under its trusted portfolio of consumer brands. The company’s portfolio encompasses 14 U.S. states, with active operations in 13, including 14 production facilities comprising over 1,000,000 square feet of cultivation capacity.
Kalesnik began her career in 2001. Before joining Verano Holdings, she was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP. Before that, she was a partner of corporate at Norton Rose Fulbright in the United States (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP). Earlier in her career, she worked with Hughes & Luce as a partner. Kalesnik graduated from Southern Methodist University with a JD and from University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business with an undergraduate degree in finance.
39. Debbie Lively
Debbie Lively began her professional career 38 years ago. Today, she is a Partner at FisherBroyles. Founded in 2002, FisherBroyles is the world's first and largest distributed, full-service law firm partnership. Their hundreds of partners in 23 global offices are veterans of the largest and most sophisticated law firms, corporate departments, and government agencies. In her current role, Lively concentrates her practice on intellectual property, including trademark prosecution and counseling, licensing, software agreements, sweepstakes rules, and Internet policies.
A large part of Lively’s practice involves advising clients on trademark clearance, prosecution, enforcement, and TTAB proceedings. Notably, Lively got her start in 1985 as a chemistry teacher at Duncanville High School and Highland Park High School. From there, she went on to Thompson & Knight LLP. Lively graduated from Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University with a JD and from Southern Methodist University with an undergraduate degree in chemistry and biology.
40. Keith Clark
Executive Vice President of Administrative Services & General Counsel, Intrepid USA Healthcare Services
Keith Clark joined Intrepid USA Healthcare Services in September 2014 and currently serves as EVP of Administrative Services and General Counsel. In this role, Clark is responsible for all legal matters for the organization, with an emphasis on creating a seamless service experience while effectively mitigating the company’s risks across a divergent range of issues. Intrepid USA delivers high-quality, convenient care in the home setting, allowing their patients to experience the independence, quality of life, and dignity they deserve. Notably, Clark has over 20 years of senior staff experience in both public and private environments, working in a range of industries.
With more than 25 years of legal experience, Clark has also managed a wide spectrum of non-legal service and operational departments. He began his career at the international law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. Clark also served as Chairman of the Board of the Visiting Nurse Association of Dallas, in addition to six years on the VNA’s Executive Committee of its Board of Directors. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University. He also attended the University of Texas at Austin for both his JD and his MBA.
41. Robert Gilbreath
Partner, Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young
Robert Gilbreath is a Partner at Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, a national defense litigation firm that has represented many of the largest and most well-known companies in high-risk litigation and business disputes. The 250-strong litigation team works with clients to develop winning defense strategies and, if necessary, try cases to verdict in all 50 states. Gilbreath leads the firm's appellate group.
Gilbreath has handled more than 200 appeals in a wide variety of areas. This includes trust and estates, personal injury, breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, insurance coverage, family law, oil and gas, contempt of court, arbitration, government regulation, defamation, RICO, shareholder oppression, and Lanham Act false advertising claims. Before joining Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, Gilbreath was a partner at Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox. Earlier in his career, he worked with the Supreme Court of Texas as a law clerk for Justice Raul Gonzalez. Gilbreath graduated from Baylor University School of Law with a JD and from Baylor University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
42. Adrienne Dominguez
Partner, Holland & Knight
Adrienne Dominguez is a Partner at Holland & Knight, a global law firm with nearly 2.000 lawyers and other professionals in 34 offices throughout the world. Holland & Knight provides representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. In her current role, Dominguez focuses her practice on a variety of intellectual property and commercial litigation matters. She has represented national clients in cases involving patent and copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets claims, with particular experience in patent infringement and trade secrets damages.
Dominguez has also litigated complex commercial matters involving recovery of healthcare benefits, antitrust, class action and breach of contract lawsuits. She graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with a JD and from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in history and literature.
43. Wendy Walton
General Counsel and Vice President, Avantax Wealth Management
Wendy Walton is the General Counsel and Vice President at Avantax Wealth Management, a company that delivers tax-focused financial planning and wealth management solutions for Financial Professionals, tax professionals and CPA firms. The company’s goal is to minimize its clients' tax burdens through comprehensive tax-focused financial planning. There are two distinct, but related, models within its business: the independent Financial Professional model and the employee-based model.
Walton joined the company in 2019. Previously, she was a VP, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary at Blucora. Before that, she served as a VP, managing associate, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary at Cash America International. Earlier in her career, she worked with TD Ameritrade as a stockbroker and supervisor. Walton earned an MBA from Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business.
44. Todd Suddleson
Partner, MG+M The Law Firm
Todd Suddleson is a Partner at MG+M The Law Firm, a national litigation firm with deep expertise in a wide range of practice areas. Suddleson is a skilled litigator who has tried complex lawsuits throughout the country. His primary practice involves mass tort litigation and product liability defense with a principal focus on the defense of asbestos and talc personal injury cases. He has been active in defending asbestos personal injury cases for more than 30 years and has gained extensive knowledge and experience, which allows him to provide the highest level of representation to his clients.
Suddleson has been selected to serve on the national and regional trial teams of many different companies that regularly defend claims for exposure to asbestos or talc. In these roles, he has served as a first chair trial attorney on behalf of his clients in various jurisdictions, including Texas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Delaware, Arizona, South Carolina and Rhode Island. Before joining MG+M The Law Firm, Suddleson was a partner at DeHay & Elliston. Before that, he served as an associate at Church & Houff. Suddleson graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law with a JD and from the University of Maryland with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
45. George McMullin
Partner, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig
George McMullin is a Partner of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, a civil litigation firm that is devoted entirely to defense and insurance litigation. Their clients are corporations, insurance companies, and insured individuals. McMullin has devoted more than 14 years to the representation of insurance carriers in prosecution of subrogation claims against responsible third-parties. This includes various practice areas such as tort liability, products liability, construction defects, subsidence litigation, materials failures, and fire spread litigation. One noteworthy recovery effort by McMullin includes a lawsuit arising from a roof collapse at a mall, resulting in damages exceeding $4.6 million.
Also adept at claim resolution, McMullin resolved a claim involving glass panels during the cleaning of the exterior masonry, resulting in damages over $2.2 million. His experience encompasses a vast array of indemnity claims, disputes regarding hurricane losses, and heavy equipment claims. McMullin got his start in 2004 as a partner at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP. McMullin graduated from Florida State University’s College of Law with a JD and from the University of Miami with an undergraduate degree in political science.
46. Erwin Nepomuceno
Partner, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester
Erwin Nepomuceno has been an attorney for over 28 years. He has been with Manning & Kass for over 23 years and is presently the Managing Partner of the firm’s Dallas, Texas office. Nepomuceno led the Manning & Kass Workers' Compensation Team, and co-led the Military and Veterans Law team and is a first generation Filipino American immigrant. He attended the University of California, Irvine and graduated from Loyola Law School while serving as a non-commissioned officer with an infantry unit in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Nepomuceno was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class during boot camp, a promotion given to the top 10% of recruits in a company. After another meritorious promotion as a non-commissioned officer, he became leader of an infantry squad with a complement of both mortars and machine guns for two years. Nepomuceno was put in charge of all security for a firebase during wargames in Camp Lejeune, and discharged as a Sergeant. Founded in 1994 with just 16 attorneys and two practice areas, Manning Kass is today a top-tier full-service national law firm with more than 160 Attorneys, 7 locations, and 37 practice areas.
47. Robert Jackson
Executive Vice President & General Counsel, CyrusOne
Robert Jackson is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel at CyrusOne, a leading global data center developer and operator specializing in delivering state-of-the-art digital infrastructure solutions. With more than 50 high-performance mission-critical facilities worldwide, the Company ensures the continued operation of digital infrastructure for nearly 1,000 customers, including approximately 200 Fortune 1000 companies.
Jackson has 29 years of experience. Before joining CyrusOne, he was an EVP, chief administrative officer and general counsel at Storage Post. Before that, he served as a SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary at Cousins Properties Incorporated. Earlier in his career, he worked with Johnson Smith Densborn Wright & Heath as an associate. Jackson graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a JD and from Indiana University Bloomington with an undergraduate degree in finance.
48. Clarence Brown
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Kronos Worldwide
Clarence Brown began his professional career 29 years ago. Today, he is the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Kronos Worldwide, a leading global producer and marketer of value-added titanium dioxide pigments, or TiO2, a base industrial product used in a wide range of applications. They take pride in making the world brighter with the most effective whitening agent in the world – titanium dioxide (TiO2).
Brown got his start in 1994 as a corporate and securities attorney at Locke Lord LLP. From there, he went on to Parago, before eventually rising to VP, general counsel and secretary at KRONOS INTERNATIONAL INC., his most recent position prior to joining Kronos Worldwide. Brown graduated from Emory University School of Law with a JD and from Texas McCombs School of Business with an undergraduate degree in marketing.
49. Ron Burnovski
Partner, Clausen Miller PC
Ron Burnovski is a Partner at Clausen Miller PC. Founded over 80 years ago, Clausen Miller represents businesses, insurers and professionals through strategic, cost-effective litigation and counseling across the nation and around the globe. With over 100 attorneys practicing in ten U.S. offices and London, England, Clausen Miller serves as international, national, regional and local counsel to numerous insurance companies, corporations and financial clients. In addition, the Firm partners with Clausen Miller International, a multi-national partnership with English, French, Italian, Belgian and American affiliates.
Burnovski is a trusted advisor to insurance carriers in all stages of claims litigation. With a practice focusing on first-party coverage, he has managed all manner of claims from those involving pandemic-related business interruption to weather to construction defect. Previously, Burnovski was a counsel at Zelle LLP. Before that, he was a partner at JONES TURNER, LLP. Earlier in his career, he worked with Lewis Brisbois as an associate. Burnovski earned a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, and an undergraduate degree from Binghamton University.
50. Seung Chae
Managing Partner, Rausch Sturm
Seung Chae is a Managing Partner at Rausch Sturm. For more than 40 years, Rausch Sturm LLP has combined industry-leading compliance, cutting edge analytics and proprietary software and strategic legal services to deliver superior results and ROI for the nation's largest credit issuers, auto companies, credit unions and banks. They have their own unique, proprietary data scrubbing and compliance software - Surefire Data Solutions - along with industry-leading compliance, legal services and customized collection practices that make them a “one stop shop” for some of the country’s largest credit issuers and lenders.
Chae has 13 years of experience, having started her career in 2010. Before joining Rausch Sturm, she was an EVP and partner at Scott & Associates. Before that, Chae served as a managing attorney at Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornik, LLC. She graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a JD and from Southern Methodist University with an undergraduate degree in finance and marketing.