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Sutherland Names Nine New Partners, Six Counsel

January 17, 2012

ATLANTA, HOUSTON, NEW YORK and WASHINGTON (January 17, 2012) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP today announces the election of nine new partners and six new counsel in 2012. “Each of these lawyers has made significant contributions to the firm and we are looking forward to their continued success," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman.

The following attorneys have been elected:


David A. Baay focuses his practice on commercial litigation representing energy, transportation and healthcare companies. He has extensive trial and arbitration experience representing a broad range of clients in state and federal court in cases involving offshore physical losses, millions of dollars in claimed damages, and shareholder and commercial disputes. Mr. Baay has recently been involved in several trade secret misappropriation cases related to emerging technologies in the oil and gas industry.

Jonathan A. Feldman, a member of Sutherland’s Tax Practice Group assists his clients in all areas of state and local taxation including income, franchise, sales and use, and property taxes. Mr. Feldman has experience in the manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, entertainment and retail industries. 

Daniel Johnson focuses on marine, offshore and energy-related litigation, as well as complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience litigating insurance and indemnity issues arising from oilfield services and energy sector contracts. Mr. Johnson’s practice is national in scope and has involved litigation in a variety of state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. 

Peter Ligh, a member of Sutherland’s Litigation Practice Group and the firm’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group, counsels clients on complex commercial litigation and arbitration of disputes. Mr. Ligh has experience representing clients in a broad range of matters, including securities, internal investigations, and antitrust. His clients have included media companies, pharmaceutical companies, computer technology companies, energy companies, investment and commercial banks, hedge funds and private equity firms, independent audit committees, members of Congress, and the City of New York.

Sheila R. Novak is a member of Sutherland’s Real Estate Practice Group, where she practices in the area of commercial real estate. Her practice focuses on real estate finance, with a special concentration on securitized commercial real estate loans. She regularly represents servicers, lenders, borrowers and institutional investors. Ms. Novak also has experience representing purchasers and sellers of commercial properties as well as landlords and tenants in connection with office and retail leases.

Vanessa A. Scott, a member of the firm’s Tax Practice Group, advises employers on a broad range of issues involving employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. Ms. Scott has advised several of the nation’s leading employers on compliance issues related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and is a sought-after speaker on PPACA issues impacting employers. Ms. Scott also advises companies regarding compensation and benefits issues that arise in domestic and international transactions.

Ram C. Sunkara, a member of Sutherland’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group, focuses his practice on commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, project development, power plant construction, joint ventures, operation and maintenance arrangements, and finance transactions involving a wide range of participants in the energy industry.

Michael J. Voynich is a member of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group and focuses on private equity transactions. Mr. Voynich has extensive experience in private equity fund formations and investments, leveraged buyouts, venture capital investments, and mergers and acquisitions, and he routinely advises clients on private placements of securities.

David L. Wochner is a member of Sutherland’s Energy and Environmental Practice Group and leads the Energy Policy and Government Affairs team. He focuses his practice on regulatory, policy and transactional matters for clients, which include natural gas and LNG marketers, importers and exporters; infrastructure developers; oil and gas drilling companies; financial institutions; and state and provincial government officials.


Lei Fang Ph.D., M.D., a member of Sutherland’s Intellectual Property Practice Group, focuses on patent prosecution and counseling in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Ms. Fang has a J.D. from California Western School of Law and was a qualified medical doctor in China before receiving a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona. She focuses her practice on patent prosecution and counseling in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences, and assisting academic institutions and small and large companies with due diligence, patentability, validity, non-infringement and freedom-to-operate analyses, as well as product clearance opinions. Dr. Fang also manages Section 337 ITC investigations and related appeals involving Chinese manufacturers and U.S. distributors, and assists in patent litigations relating to pharmaceuticals.

Jack Massey focuses his practice on complex litigation and investigations. Mr. Massey represents energy, chemical, banking, brokerage, and real-estate clients in state and federal court.  In addition to his traditional trial practice, Mr. Massey has extensive experience advising clients conducting investigations into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, frauds, and industrial disasters.

Cynthia Reid Beyea is a member of Sutherland’s Financial Services Practice Group and focuses her practice on advising mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, mutual fund boards of directors, investment advisers and business development companies on issues arising under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and other federal securities laws.

Meltem F. Kodaman is a member of Sutherland’s Corporate Practice Group. She practices in the areas of corporate and securities law with a focus on the use of derivatives including interest rate, foreign exchange, equity and commodity products. Her derivatives practice is diverse and includes the representation of a broad range of clients including mutual funds, dealer banks, insurance companies, pension plans, government-sponsored agencies, universities, nonprofit corporations and energy companies.

Lisa A. Morgan, a member of Sutherland’s Corporate Practice Group, focuses her practice in the areas of corporate and securities law, including public offerings and corporate governance matters. She advises clients on compliance with the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Carter L. Williams, a member of Sutherland’s Litigation Practice Group, focuses on complex commercial litigation involving international energy and oilfield services companies. He has represented energy producers, traders, drillers, and insurers in litigation in state and federal courts throughout the nation. Mr. Williams also has extensive experience with e-discovery issues and is a member of the firm’s E-Discovery and Information Management Practice Group.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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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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