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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan Announces 2005 New Partners and New Counsel

January 1, 2005

ATLANTA, NEW YORK, and WASHINGTON (January 1, 2005) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that six attorneys have been elected to the firm's partnership and four attorneys have been promoted to counsel effective January 1, 2005.

In the Atlanta office:

Nikola R. Djuric (34), Ann G. Fort (41) and R. Robinson Plowden (33) have been elected partner.  Mr. Djuric concentrates his practice on estate planning, primarily in the areas of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax; wills, trusts and administration of estates; tax controversies; and fiduciary litigation.  He has experience in tax and succession planning for closely held businesses and multigenerational families, and works closely with private family officers and their teams of professional advisors.  Ms. Fort practices in the litigation division of the firm's Intellectual Property Group.  She has substantial experience representing clients in complex civil litigation with a particular emphasis on protecting client's rights in intellectual property matters, including obtaining TROs and preliminary injunctions.  She has tried cases in state and federal courts, and has participated in all aspects of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitrations and mediations.  Mr. Plowden, who works with the commercial real estate group, focuses on retail, office and industrial sales, acquisitions, development and leasing.  He regularly represents a large national retailer and owners and developers of retail, office and industrial properties.

N.E.B. "Jack" Minnear (31) has been promoted to counsel.  Mr. Minnear practices in the firm's Intellectual Property Group and works primarily on patent infringement, trade secret and antitrust litigation matters across a range of technologies.  He has extensive experience in multi-district litigation proceedings.

In the Washington, D.C. office:

Adam B. Cohen (33), Michael B. Koffler (33) and Harry S. Pangas (33) have been elected partner.  Mr. Cohen works in the Employee Benefits Group, focusing on qualified retirement plans and executive compensation.  His practice includes working with companies on retirement plan design, amendment and compliance issues, counseling companies on employee benefits issues arising in mergers and acquisitions, and advising companies and individuals in connection with executive compensation arrangements and employment agreements.  Mr. Koffler focuses his practice on securities issues involved in the distribution of investment products by financial institutions such as wirehouse firms, insurance companies, banks, independent broker/dealers and investment advisers.  He regularly counsels clients on compliance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, NASD and MSRB rules and state blue sky laws and regulations.  Mr. Pangas regularly advises clients with respect to securities law disclosure and regulatory issues and corporate governance matters.  He also represents clients in connection with a variety of corporate transactional matters, including public and private equity and debt offerings, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, and other strategic transactions.  He previously worked in the Division of Corporation Finance at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.

Robert S. Chase II (32) and Ling Ling (35) have been promoted to counsel.  Mr. Chase focuses his tax practice on the taxation of financial products and international tax planning.  He regularly advises clients on tax issues relating to complex financial products and has counseled multinational corporations in the tax aspects of structuring, negotiating, documenting and reporting cross-border acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and restructurings.  Ms. Ling focuses her corporate practice on mergers and acquisitions of private and public companies.  She regularly counsels clients in the financial services industry on reinsurance transactions and represents clients in the purchase and sale of insurance companies.  Her practice also involves representing lenders and borrowers in secured and unsecured lending transactions. 

In the New York office:

Eric C. Freed (41) has been promoted to counsel.  Mr. Freed focuses his practice on federal securities laws, particularly the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  He advises mutual fund and investment adviser clients on a wide range of legal, regulatory and compliance matters.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 400 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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