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Attorneys from business, government intellectual property, and litigation practices elevated to partner


WASHINGTON, DC (January 6, 2015) – Venable LLP is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been elected to the firm’s partnership: Keir X. Bancroft, Tamany Vinson Bentz, Joseph W. Creech, David (DS) Gray, Todd Gustin, Lisa M. Hix, Michaela F. RobertsMichael A. Signorelli and Brian J. Turoff. The nine new partners from Venable’s Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Los Angeles, CA; and New York, NY offices represent a broad cross section of the firm’s practice groups including Corporate, Government Contracts, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, Nonprofits, Real Estate, and Regulatory.

“These nine outstanding lawyers have distinguished themselves by their talent, creativity, work ethic, business acumen and commitment to the values that make Venable what it is. They are team players and leaders, and have already made meaningful contributions to our clients, our practices, our communities and our firm writ large,” Venable Vice Chairman Brian L. Schwalb said in an email to the firm. “Few things speak more concretely about who we are and where we are going as a law firm than the decision of whom we select to be our partners. Keir, Tamany, Joe, DS, Todd, Lisa, Michaela, Mike and Brian are obviously an important part of our present – of who we are at the moment -- but more critically, an integral part of the future that we continue to build together. We are expecting continued great things from them in the future and are confident they will make all of us and our Firm better by being one of its partners.”

Below is background on Venable’s new partners:

Keir Bancroft of the Washington, DC office works with small, mid-sized and large government contractors. As a litigator, Mr. Bancroft represents clients in protests and disputes before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. As a transactional lawyer, Mr. Bancroft regularly drafts and negotiates subcontracts and teaming agreements, NDAs, mentor-protégé agreements, and joint ventures. Mr. Bancroft also provides government contractors compliance counseling in the areas of cybersecurity, information security and privacy. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bancroft was an attorney in the United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable George W. Miller, United States Court of Federal Claims.

Tamany Vinson Bentz in Los Angeles focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation, including patent, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyright litigation. Ms. Vinson Bentz has represented clients in a variety of industries including trademark and design patent disputes for direct response marketing companies, patent and trade secret disputes for nutraceutical companies, copyright matters for graphics companies and art publishers, international patent issues for a biopharmaceutical company, multi-district breach of contract claims for a national hotel chain, and copyright, trademark and unfair competition claims for entertainment companies.

Joe Creech is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group in Washington, DC. Mr. Creech specializes in commercial real estate law with a focus on the acquisition, development, financing, leasing and disposition of real property. He has experience with a broad range of corporate real estate matters, including sales and work-outs of distressed assets, joint venture financing, office and retail leasing, the acquisition and development of mixed-use projects and commercial shopping centers, and other sales and dispositions involving real property. Mr. Creech has represented institutional lenders, commercial developers, real estate advisers, investors and real property owners in connection with commercial real estate transactions in major markets across the country.

DS Gray of the Product Liability and Mass Torts Group in Baltimore represents manufacturers of a variety of products, including vaccines, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and construction materials, in personal injury litigation. Mr. Gray meticulously evaluates all available legal, procedural, factual and scientific avenues to empower clients to achieve their litigation objectives. He likewise works with Venable clients to assess, limit and account for their potential litigation exposure. That work includes counseling clients about insurance coverage matters and insurance-related options.

Todd Gustin is a member of the Corporate Group and maintains offices in the firm’s Washington, DC and Baltimore offices. Mr. Gustin represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings, including venture capital and private equity investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances, technology and commercial transactions, including licensing arrangements and general corporate planning. His clients include private and public companies and their investors in the healthcare, life sciences, technology, financial services, professional services and education industries. Mr. Gustin serves as the co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Practice Group. Prior to and during law school, he served as Aide to Chambers to Associate Justices Harry A. Blackmun and David H. Souter at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Lisa Hix in the Washington, DC office concentrates her practice on counseling charities, trade and professional associations, and other nonprofits on a wide range of legal topics, including tax exemption, intellectual property, corporate governance and antitrust, among others. Ms. Hix has broad experience in the nonprofit sector, having served in various capacities at nonprofit organizations. This experience has included representation before Members of Congress and federal agencies. She also worked in the nonprofit practice of a large national law firm for four years before joining Venable.

Michaela Roberts in the Baltimore office is a member of the Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice Group. Her practice primarily consists of representing both branded and generic pharmaceutical manufacturer clients. She also has represented clients in commercial litigation, investigations and arbitration. For over 10 years, Ms. Roberts has been involved in multiple nationwide litigations involving numerous vaccines and drug products. Additionally, Ms. Roberts has extensive experience advising clients on matters related to electronically stored information (ESI).

Mike Signorelli is a member of the firm’s Government and Regulatory Affairs practice group in Washington, DC where he advises and represents clients on privacy and Internet-related issues. Mr. Signorelli counsels clients on advertising, marketing, and data security-related matters and represents clients in federal marketing-related legislation and rulemaking proceedings and other matters. Mr. Signorelli represents a wide variety of clients, including marketers, advertisers, trade associations, e-commerce firms, retailers and nonprofits in privacy and consumer protection-related matters before federal and state regulators and federal policy makers.

Brian Turoff in New York is a member of Venable’s nationwide Labor and Employment Group. Mr. Turoff advises and litigates on behalf of companies of all sizes regarding the full range of labor and employment matters, including wage and hour matters, employment discrimination, lawful hiring, disciplinary and termination practices, sexual harassment prevention and defense, trade secret protection, compensation and payroll practices, employment-related agreements, and the enforcement of restrictive covenants, such as non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. Mr. Turoff is also active in the traditional labor sector, representing clients in connection with collective bargaining, union/management relations, grievance arbitrations, the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, and union organizing and elections.

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Note: An American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Delaware, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, and complex litigation. For more, visit www.venable.com.