Kelley Drye Promotes Twelve to Special Counsel
Firm promotes twelve attorneys to special counsel, elects eight new partners
July 1, 2020
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of twelve attorneys to special counsel and the election of eight new partners.  Deborah L.  Bilotti, Melissa M. Brewer, Wendy A. Clarke, J. Bradford Currier, Levi M. Downing, Catherine E. James, Raxak Mahat, Donnelly L. McDowell, Anne-Marie Mitchell, Jennifer D. Raviele, Lauren S. Schlussel, and Nancy Archer Yanochik will begin their role as special counsel effective July 1, 2020.

In addition to the new special counsel, Kimberly C. Carter, Melissa L. Gelade, Andrew W. Homer, Martin Krolewski, Jennifer L. Norkus, Paul A. Rosenthal, Robert Slack, and Whitney M. Smith were elected as new partners in the firm.

“One of Kelley Drye’s key objectives is to develop and foster an environment in which lawyers have the opportunity for challenging work and professional growth,” said Dana Rosenfeld, firm managing partner. “I am pleased to recognize this strong group of lawyers who are devoted to advancing and protecting the interests of our clients and upholding the core values of Kelley Drye.”

The new special counsel are:

Deborah L. Bilotti (New Jersey – Real Estate):
Debbie focuses on commercial real estate and finance.  She represents investment banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, real estate funds, REITS, and other institutional lenders in a wide variety of real estate finance transactions.  These transactions involve all property classes including office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and resorts, industrial and warehouse properties, and apartment complexes.  Debbie represents lenders in commercial real estate loan transactions across the United States, including mezzanine, construction, and permanent financing and handles complex financing arrangements with multiple layers of debt, negotiating inter-creditor agreements, co-lending arrangements, and participation agreements.  Moreover, she is experienced in resolving workouts of troubled loans, negotiating forbearance agreements, and restructuring documents. Debbie is admitted to practice in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York.

Melissa M. Brewer (Washington, D.C. – International Trade):
Melissa’s practice centers on international trade-related issues, including representing domestic industries in U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings against unfairly priced and subsidized foreign imports.  In this capacity, Melissa practices before the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. International Trade Commission, Office of the United States Trade Representative, and has appeared before the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Melissa also has experience counseling clients on issues pertaining to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the agreements of the World Trade Organization.  She has experience dealing with matters concerning foreign trade zones, the regulatory rulemaking process, and proceedings concerning scope and circumvention of antidumping and countervailing duty orders. Melissa is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and New York.

Wendy A. Clarke (Connecticut – Corporate):
With a focus on corporate, finance, and securities law, Wendy represents global companies, private equity funds, and other entities in connection with mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, syndicated and project financings, and other commercial transactions, as well as general corporate governance matters.  Wendy also counsels broker-dealers in connection with regulatory, securities enforcement, and transactional matters. She draws on her knowledge as a CPA, a former senior government administrator and financial analyst for Fortune 500 companies in negotiating complex corporate transactions.  As a result, Wendy is relied upon to serve as a trusted legal advisor on wide-ranging transactions, ensuring that her clients achieve their objectives while remaining flexible and results-oriented.  Wendy was recognized in the Corporate practice area in Super Lawyers Magazine’s Connecticut Rising Stars edition, 2014-2018.  She is admitted to practice in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and New York.

J. Bradford Currier (Washington, D.C. – Communications):
Brad’s practice centers on communications matters, with an emphasis on investigations, audits, and enforcement actions.  He advocates for both individual service providers and trade associations before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal and state agencies regarding broadband infrastructure deployment issues and government funding opportunities.  Brad also advises established and start-up service providers on federal spectrum policy, including spectrum auctions involving mid and high-frequency bands supporting 5G technologies.  In addition, he regularly represents clients in mediation, litigation, and other disputes with service providers regarding service terms and billing issues.  Brad further assists clients in completing regulatory due diligence for transactions involving mergers, acquisitions, and service agreements.  Brad currently serves as co-chair of the Enforcement Committee of the Federal Communications Bar Association, helping to educate industry stakeholders about the FCC’s investigation and enforcement processes.  Brad is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.

Levi M. Downing (New York – Litigation):
Levi represents clients in commercial and intellectual property disputes, including trademark, trade dress, unfair competition, copyright, and false advertising cases. He has extensive experience practicing in federal and state courts, as well as before arbitration tribunals, and frequently manages complex disputes for retailers, internationally-recognized consumer product brands, technology companies, and media and entertainment companies, among many other firm clients. Levi is also experienced in the nuance of bilateral investment treaty protections and the enforcement of arbitration awards and foreign judgments in the United States. Levi is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York.

Catherine E. James (Chicago – Litigation):
Representing clients in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, medical device, and consumer products, Catie’s practice focuses on a wide range of litigation and regulatory matters. She handles disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breaches of non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements. Catie has experience litigating claims under the Uniform Commercial Code, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and federal and state anti-trust laws. She represents clients in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitration and mediation.  In addition, Catie advises clients in a broad variety of intellectual property disputes, including patent, trademark, and trade secret litigations. Catie is admitted to practice in Illinois.

Raxak Mahat (New York – Corporate):
Rocky advises financial institutions, public and private entities in syndicated and private financings, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate matters.  His practice comprises corporate and finance matters, and in particular, he represents borrowers and lenders in a variety of domestic and cross-border financings including secured and unsecured debt facilities, asset based loans, and acquisition finance.  In addition, Rocky represents financial institutions acting as indenture trustees, administrative agents, collateral agents and escrow agents in various capital markets transactions, including issuances of new debt, securitizations, restructurings, defaults, and bankruptcies. He has served on client teams representing investors in the structuring, negotiation, and development of private investment in public equity, and alcoholic beverage companies in compliance and advertising matters. Rocky is admitted to practice in New York.

Donnelly L. McDowell (Washington, D.C. – Advertising):
Donnelly’s practice focuses on all aspects of advertising and consumer protection law with concentrations in consumer finance, food and drug law, and direct sales and network marketing compliance.  Donnelly has unique experience in a number of niche subject matter areas, including consumer financial privacy, e-commerce transactions, rewards and loyalty programs, and gift cards.  Donnelly regularly represents clients in contested matters such as regulatory inquiries and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Food & Drug Administration, as well as state attorneys general and district attorneys.  Donnelly also represents challengers and advertisers before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Advertising Review Board.  In addition to contested work, Donnelly provides regulatory advice and helps clients develop strategies to balance regulatory and litigation risk.  He was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Washington, D.C. “Rising Star,” 2018-2020.

Anne-Marie Mitchell (New York – Litigation):
Annie represents corporate clients in all aspects of business litigation, including breach of contract, financial services, false advertising, environmental and mass torts, copyright and trademark infringement, and products liability lawsuits.  She has frequently guided and advised clients through internal and government investigations relating to potential violations of federal criminal laws and the False Claims Act.  Annie has experience in efficiently managing all phases of litigation and investigations, including conducting discovery, interviews, depositions, appearing in court and arguing motions, preparing for trial, and navigating appeals. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana and New York.

Jennifer D. Raviele (Chicago – Bankruptcy):
Jennifer’s practice focuses on bankruptcy – specifically on representing creditors in Chapter 11 and 15 bankruptcy proceedings, and out-of-court restructurings.  Jennifer has been involved in countless retail and restaurant bankruptcy cases in which she represented the owners and managers of shopping centers and addressed the full spectrum of related issues.  Her experience includes handling contested assumptions, assignments, and rejections of leases, litigating claims against a debtor’s estate, arguing the contours of stub rent and related disputes over DIP financing, and issues related to a debtor’s plan of liquidation or reorganization.  Jennifer also serves as co-chair of the Chicago chapter of “Women at KDW,” the firm’s affinity group for female attorneys.  She was selected to Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” 2015-2019.  Jennifer is admitted to practice in Illinois and New York.

Lauren S. Schlussel (New York – Bankruptcy):
Lauren represents unsecured creditors’ committees in all facets of corporate restructurings, asset sales, and liquidations.  Her practice predominately covers the retail and restaurant industries, but also spans countless others, including financial services, technology, real estate, energy, and steel.  Lauren also has significant experience representing liquidating trustees and plan administrators during the post-confirmation phase of a bankruptcy proceeding.  She was selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” 2015-2019.  Lauren is admitted to practice in New York.

Nancy Archer Yanochik (Houston – Environmental Litigation):
Nancy has over twenty years of experience in environmental, tort and commercial matters, with an emphasis on environmental litigation. She has represented a broad range of clients including large petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and transportation companies, as well as automobile manufacturers, governmental entities, and healthcare organizations.  She represents state and public entities in actions to abate and recover costs responding to contaminated groundwater, surface water, and sediments.  She also represents clients in real estate and energy matters, including property and mineral transfer issues and water rights.  Nancy is admitted to practice in Texas.

About Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Founded in 1836, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is home to skilled practitioners in the areas of litigation, trade, regulatory, government relations, real estate, corporate, and more.  A powerhouse firm with the heart of a boutique, the firm’s attorneys provide legal counsel carefully connected to their client’s business strategies.  Among the firm’s recent awards:  Named to the BTI “Client Service A-Team”; recognized by CLOC for “Legal Innovation and Design Excellence in Legal Operations”; Chambers USA identified seven practice areas as “Leaders in Their Field”; Law360 named the Consumer Protection Practice Group as Group of the Year; and Kelley Drye was named one of “America’s Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms, with a “Tier 1” national ranking in Communications, Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, Information Technology, Trusts & Estates, and Real Estate.