Firm elects nine new partners, promotes seven to special counsel

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is pleased to announce the election of nine new partners. Jennifer Barks, Maria Biaggi, Courtney Kleshinski, Jennifer McCadney, Joshua Morey, Lana Rowenko, Valerie Sheaffer, Genna Steinberg, and Patricia Werner begin their tenure as partners effective July 1, 2023. In addition, the firm has promoted Matthew Chakmakian, Phillip Crain, Vincent Ferraro, Elizabeth Krasnow, Kelli Ortega, Lauren Shah, and Robert Ward to special counsel.

These attorneys have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their work on behalf of our clients, and display the values unique to Kelley Drye” said Dana Rosenfeld, firm managing partner. For several years the firm has pursued a strategy of organic growth, supporting and retaining high-performing attorneys, to ensure that the firm and our clients have the benefit of their talents for years to come. This partnership class, the largest in the firm’s history, demonstrates Kelley Drye’s commitment to elevating talent from within our ranks and showcases the diversity of lawyers across the firm. Personally, it is immensely gratifying to see the number of women who have earned a place in the partnership, as we continue to increase representation of women at the highest levels of the profession.”

The newly elected partners and special counsel span Kelley Drye offices and key practice areas including Corporate, Environmental, Government Relations and Public Policy, International Trade, Labor and Employment, and Litigation.

Kelley Drye’s newest partners are:

Jennifer Barks (Environmental): Jennifer focuses her practice on environmental, energy, and commercial litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. She represents states, sovereigns, and private companies in complex environmental and civil litigation, pursuing contamination-related and natural resource damage claims under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), products liability, and other tort theories. Jennifer is a member of the California and Texas Bars.

Maria Biaggi (Labor and Employment): Maria’s practice covers all aspects of labor and employment law, including workplace litigation, dispute resolution, and counseling. Her broad scope of experience makes her an ideal strategist and business partner for companies of all sizes. Maria also works with HR professionals, in-house counsel, and senior executives to provide strategic and practical advice on HR law, discrimination law, restrictive covenants, and reductions-in-force. Maria is a member of the New York Bar.

Courtney Kleshinski (Corporate): Courtney’s practice includes structuring and negotiating strategic investments, joint ventures, co-investment vehicles, and advising investment managers. She works with publicly traded, privately-held, and family-owned businesses across a range of industries. Courtney is a member of the Illinois Bar.

Jennifer McCadney (Government Relations and Public Policy): Jennifer utilizes a mix of law and policy to help clients identify, advance, and defend their interests in the legal, political, and regulatory arenas. As both a lawyer and government relations and policy strategist, Jennifer’s approach to problem-solving emphasizes strategic advice and a keen understanding of legislative and regulatory processes. She has worked with companies in a variety of industries including food, agricultural commodities, footwear, apparel, metals, and manufacturing. Jennifer is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. Bars.

Joshua Morey (International Trade): Joshua specializes in representing domestic industries and trade associations in antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings. He also has significant experience counseling clients on evolving trade and supply chain policy and customs compliance matters. Joshua regularly draws on his experience as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Claire R. Kelly at the U.S. Court of International Trade. He applies the acquired knowledge and skills on his clients’ behalf on a daily basis. Joshua is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. Bars.

Lana Rowenko (Environmental): Lana focuses on environmental litigation, as well as commercial litigation. Lana’s environmental practice includes representing states and sovereigns in complex environmental litigation arising from contamination of natural resources. Her work includes representing multiple states and sovereign territories in litigation arising from contamination from industrial and other uses of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as well as litigation arising from PFAS contamination related to use of aqueous film-forming foam. Lana is a member of the New York and Texas Bars.

Valerie Sheaffer (Environmental/Real Estate): Valerie Sheaffer advises clients on environmental, employee safety and health liabilities and risks in complex commercial transactions, including securitized and non-securitized financings, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and bankruptcies. Valerie’s experience includes conducting all aspects of due diligence, negotiating and drafting contract provisions, advising on regulatory compliance and permitting requirements, managing outside engineering firms on the assessment of liabilities and risks, and working with insurance brokers to obtain specialty environmental insurance coverage. Valerie also advises on environmental claims under specialty pollution insurance products. Valerie is a member of the Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York Bars.

Genna Steinberg (Litigation): Genna’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including trademark, trade secret, employment, advertising, real estate, and breach of contract disputes. Genna has extensive experience practicing in federal and state courts, as well before arbitration tribunals. She frequently represents clients in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, real estate, and retail industries. Genna has managed all stages of complex civil litigation matters, including pre-suit investigation, dispositive motion practice, discovery, trials, appeals, and settlement negotiations. Genna is a member of the New York and Washington, D.C. Bars.

Patricia Werner (Intellectual Property): Patricia’s practice focuses on intellectual property protection, and enforcement for numerous global brands in industries spanning software and computer-related technologies, financial services, retail, consumer brands, entertainment and fashion. Clients turn to Patricia to prepare and negotiate license agreements, coexistence agreements and related intellectual property agreements. She has been recognized for her work by US Legal 500 and World Trademark Review. Patricia is a member of the New York Bar.

The new special counsel and their areas of practice are:

Matthew Chakmakian (Litigation): Matthew focuses his practice on commercial litigation and consumer class action defense, assisting clients with all stages of litigation and arbitration. Matthew also has significant appellate experience. Matthew began his career as a law clerk for Associate Justice Jaynee LaVecchia of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He is a member of the New Jersey Bar.

Phillip Crain (Real Estate): Phillip’s real estate practice includes property acquisitions, dispositions, financings, developments, joint ventures, construction, and leasing. He represents institutional investors, developers, REITs, insurance companies, and lenders involved in sophisticated commercial real estate transactions as well as sale-leasebacks and fund partnership interest dispositions. Phillip has handled transactions for various property types, including office, multifamily, mixed-used, warehouse, industrial, government, hotel, shopping malls, and an automotive dealership. He is a member of the New York Bar.

Vincent Ferraro (Intellectual Property): Vincent’s practice focuses on a wide array of patent matters including patent litigation, patent licensing, patent prosecution, due diligence, patent clearance and design-around strategies, and opinions on various patent issues, including freedom-to-operate, validity, and patentability. Vincent handles patent disputes involving a wide range of technologies and regularly counsels clients on their IP portfolio management strategies and product design strategies. He is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bars.

Elizabeth Krasnow (Litigation): Elizabeth focuses her practice on litigation for a range of clients from domestic companies to multiple states and territory Attorneys General. Elizabeth devotes a significant portion of her practice to prosecuting fraudulent transfer claims arising from corporate restructurings. She represents corporate clients in breach of contract, restrictive covenant and trade secret misappropriation, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and regulatory enforcement actions, among others. Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Elizabeth served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for seven years and as Assistant Corporation Counsel at the New York City Law Department for four years. She is a member of the Connecticut and New York Bars.

Kelli Ortega (Intellectual Property): Kelli advises clients on their branding strategy. She focuses her practice on all aspects of intellectual property law, including trademark prosecution and enforcement, copyright, and trade dress. Kelli provides intellectual property counselling and manages worldwide intellectual property portfolios and related prosecution and enforcement matters for various brands in industries including entertainment, media, fashion and retail, and consumer products. Kelli is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bars.

Lauren Shah (Environmental): Lauren focuses her practice on environmental, energy, and commercial law for a wide variety of clients, and regularly handles issues of regulatory compliance, permitting, and real estate transactions, as well as all aspects of litigation arising from such issues. Lauren is currently serving as counsel for states, territories, and private-sector clients in litigation related to contamination and natural resource damages from PFAS. Lauren is a member of the Texas Bar.

Robert Ward (Litigation): Bob’s practice centers on commercial litigation and consumer-oriented class action defense and investigation including investigations by the Federal Trade Commission under various laws regulating deceptive trade practices. Bob’s work has spanned a broad range of industries, including retailers, e-commerce platforms, manufacturers and distributors of FDA-regulated products and other consumer goods, and direct sellers, among others. Previously, Bob served as law clerk to Judge Douglas M. Fasciale, of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey); judicial extern to District Judge William J. Martini, of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; and judicial intern to Chief Justice Stuart J. Rabner, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Bob is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bars.