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Attorneys from Business, Government and Litigation practices named Counsel


Washington, DC (January 22, 2014) – Venable LLP is pleased to announce that twelve of the firm's attorneys have been elevated to Counsel: Keir X. Bancroft, Laura Skowronski Bouyea, Meredith L. Boylan, David N. Cinotti, Joseph W. Creech, Todd Gustin, Sarah H. B. Kahl, Christopher D. Mudd, Michael C. Phillipou, Julia Kernochan Tama, Moxila A. Upadhyaya, and Yosef Ziffer. The twelve new Counsel attorneys from Venable’s Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; New York, NY; Towson, MD; and Tysons Corner, VA offices represent a broad cross section of the firm’s practice groups including Corporate, Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights, Commercial Litigation, Government Contracts, Real Estate, Regulatory, and State and Local Government, and Tax and Wealth Planning.

“The promotion of each of these lawyers reflects the high quality of their work and their sustained commitment to the firm, our clients and our communities,” Venable Vice Chair Brian L. Schwalb said in a firm-wide email. “We look forward to their continued success.”

Below is background on Venable’s new Counsel.

Keir X. 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 offers clients compliance counseling in the areas of cybersecurity, information security and privacy. Mr. Bancroft started his career as a judicial law clerk in the Chambers of the Honorable George W. Miller, United States Court of Federal Claims.

Laura Skowronski Bouyea, in Venable’s Baltimore office, focuses on bankruptcy and creditors' rights and commercial litigation. Ms. Bouyea represents debtors, secured creditors, creditors' committees, other commercial creditors, bankruptcy trustees and liquidating agents in all aspects of bankruptcy. She also represents special servicers of commercial mortgage-backed securities in a wide range of matters, including foreclosure sales, receivership actions, guaranty claims, loan modifications and lender liability actions. She is currently the statewide attorney chairperson for the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger benefitting the Maryland and Capital Area Food Banks and Vice-Chairperson of the Greater Maryland Chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. Ms. Bouyea began her legal career as law clerk for the Honorable James F. Schneider of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Bouyea obtained her Certified Public Accountant license.

Meredith L. Boylan in Washington, DC represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of civil disputes in state and federal litigation, as well as in arbitration. Prior to joining Venable, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. As a member of the Appeals Bureau, she wrote numerous appellate briefs involving a wide range of factual and legal issues. Over the course of her legal career, she has presented oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; the New York Court of Appeals (New York State's highest court); the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; and the Appellate Division, First Department (New York State's intermediate appellate court for Manhattan and the Bronx). 

David N. Cinotti of the New York office has handled a wide variety of matters at the trial and appellate levels. He has substantial experience in complex federal litigation and international dispute resolution, including international commercial and investor-State arbitration and cross-border litigation in U.S. courts. Prior to joining Venable, Mr. Cinotti clerked for the Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Richard Conway Casey, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Joseph W. 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 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.

Todd Gustin is a member of the Corporate Transactions Group at Venable LLP and co-chairs the firm’s Life Sciences Practice Group. He maintains offices in the firm’s Washington and Baltimore offices. Mr. Gustin represents clients in the health care, life sciences and technology industries in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures, commercial loan transactions, technology transfers, licensing and general corporate planning. His practice also includes representation of lenders engaging in subordinated loan transactions and related equity investments. During law school, Mr. Gustin served as Aide to Chambers to Associate Justices Harry A. Blackmun and David H. Souter at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sarah H. B. Kahl of the Baltimore office is a member of the Tax and Wealth Planning Group. As a former certified public accountant, she focuses her practice on tax planning for individuals, trusts, estates, family businesses and private foundations. Ms. Kahl develops wealth transfer strategies and estate planning documents to minimize federal and state income and estate taxes and to meet other client goals. Her practice also includes advising beneficiaries and fiduciaries on Maryland trust and estate law.

Christopher D. Mudd of the Towson office is a member of Venable's State and Local Government Group. Mr. Mudd represents local, regional and national clients in all stages of the land development process from beginning to end. He has experience with negotiating purchase contracts and lease agreements, analyzing title issues, assessing zoning and land use issues, navigating state and local administrative approval processes, and assisting clients with development project close-outs. Mr. Mudd also works on administrative appeals of land use decisions, from the local appeals board through the Maryland Court of Appeals, and lends support on other real estate related litigation. Before joining Venable, Mr. Mudd clerked for the Honorable J. Norris Byrnes of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.

Michael C. Phillipou is a member of the firm’s New York Real Estate Practice Group. He has experience representing sophisticated clients in a wide variety of real estate transactions including the acquisition, sale, design, construction, financing, management, leasing and zoning/land use planning of real property. In addition to representing owners, operators and developers of real property, Mr. Phillipou has represented lending institutions in the structuring and negotiation of lending transactions.

Julia Kernochan Tama of the Washington, DC office is a member of the Regulatory Affairs Group focusing on privacy and data security matters including financial and health privacy, marketing and advertising, and emerging issues related to the Internet and new media. Ms. Tama advises on compliance with existing laws and regulations, represents clients facing government inquiries or enforcement actions by agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, and advocates on behalf of clients concerned about the impact of proposed legislation or agency regulation. Ms. Tama also counsels companies responding to potential data security breaches. Prior to joining Venable, Ms. Tama served as Judiciary Committee Counsel to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

Moxila A. Upadhyaya in Washington, DC is a trial attorney in Venable’s Commercial Litigation Group. She is experienced in complex civil litigation and has represented businesses and individuals in bench and jury trials and numerous depositions. Ms. Upadhyaya is uniquely familiar with practice in the DC federal and state courts. From 2011-2012, she left Venable to serve as an inaugural law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, then a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining Venable, Ms. Upadhyaya served a two-year term as law clerk to Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Yosef Ziffer of the Tax and Wealth Planning Group in Baltimore focuses his practice on the full array of tax, corporate and strategic needs of tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, private foundations, hospitals, private schools and trade associations. Additionally, Mr. Ziffer works with individuals and business entities on various tax planning matters, including transfers of business interests, estate planning and tax audits.


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Note: Venable is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm serving clients globally.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs around the globe.