Venable Names Nine Maryland Attorneys to Counsel

5 min

Baltimore and Towson based attorneys represent the firm's Bankruptcy, Commercial Litigation, Corporate, Products Liability, and Tax & Wealth Planning practices  

Baltimore, MD – February 4, 2015 – Today, Venable LLP announced that nine of its Maryland based attorneys have been elevated to Counsel. Baltimore attorneys Catherine Guastello Allen, William F. Herrfeldt, Jeffrey M. Keehn, Jason Sayers, Ashley C. Short and Gregory T. Wasylak, were joined by Matthew R. Alsip, Heather L. Mitchell and Scott M. Richmond of Venable's Towson office in their promotion to Counsel.

"These senior associates have done consistently outstanding legal work, have received superior evaluations and have demonstrated the required productivity, character and commitment to the Firm and their clients to warrant this elevation in status," Venable Vice-Chairman Brian L. Schwalb said in a firmwide email. "We will continue to expect great success from each."

Below is background on Venable's new Counsel: 

Catherine Guastello Allen is a member of the firm's Business Division and focuses on bankruptcy and creditors' rights and commercial litigation. Ms. Guastello Allen has represented servicers, commercial creditors, lending institutions, individuals and commercial landlords in a wide range of bankruptcy and enforcement matters, including stay relief actions, preference actions, fraudulent conveyance actions, claims litigation, lease enforcement, foreclosures and contract disputes. 

Matthew R. Alsip is a member of the firm's Litigation Division. His commercial litigation practice includes the defense of clients in contract disputes, shareholder derivative and class action litigation involving federal securities law and consumer claims, lender liability actions, land use litigation, trust and estate litigation, and other commercial litigation matters. He practices and appears regularly in the state and federal courts of Maryland, and has also appeared on behalf of clients in jurisdictions such as New York, Florida, Delaware and Mississippi. Mr. Alsip has also successfully represented clients in arbitration and mediation proceedings. 

William F. Herrfeldt is a member of Venable's Corporate Practice Group and represents start-up, established companies and private equity funds in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnering and joint ventures, commercial loan transactions, private equity and venture capital investment transactions, technology transfers, licensing and general corporate planning. A substantial portion of Mr. Herrfeldt's practice also involves the representation of investors and developers in real estate joint ventures. 

Jeffrey M. Keehn is a member of Venable's Corporate group. His practice focuses on a wide range of corporate law matters, including corporate governance, securities transactions, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions, with a particular focus on Maryland corporation law as it relates to real estate investment trusts (REITs) and registered investment companies. 

Heather L. Mitchell is a seasoned litigator with extensive experience representing businesses in complex commercial litigation. She regularly handles contract disputes, matters relating to land use, trust and estate litigation and matters arising out of the federal securities laws. Ms. Mitchell is a life-long Marylander with extensive ties throughout Maryland's state and local governments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Curriculum Project, a nonprofit that runs four charter schools in Baltimore City, and on the Board of Directors of CASA of Baltimore County, an organization that provides court appointed volunteers who advocate for the wellbeing of children in the foster care system. 

Scott M. Richmond focuses his practice on products liability litigation with an emphasis on the defense of companies that manufacture, supply or install asbestos products. His experience also extends into a wide variety of litigation matters including personal injury, construction and commercial law cases. Mr. Richmond has tried numerous cases covering a variety of subject matters in Maryland courts. 

Jason Sayers has experience in handling products liability and insurance coverage litigation and has worked on matters at all stages of litigation in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Mr. Sayers focuses his practice on complex commercial and pharmaceutical drug and device litigation. He has also been part of a team of Venable attorneys serving as national or regional counsel on behalf of several international pharmaceutical companies. 

Ashley C. Short of the firm's Tax and Wealth Planning Group focuses her practice on estate planning for high net worth individuals to help them meet their personal goals, whether that involves preserving assets for future generations, leaving a charitable legacy, providing for pets, or some combination thereof. She assists clients with basic estate planning, such as wills, trusts, advance directives, and durable powers of attorney, and complex gifting techniques, such as GRATs and family LLCs. Prior to joining Venable, Ms. Short served as law clerk to the Honorable Benson Everett Legg, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Maryland. 

Gregory T. Wasylak is a trial attorney and litigator with experience representing a wide array of clients in both the federal and state courts. Mr. Wasylak's practice focuses on products liability matters, complex contract disputes and business-tort matters and insurance-related issues. He has successfully represented clients in both jury and bench trials in Maryland and the District of Columbia and assisted in numerous capacities in connection with the successful defense of multi-state, mass tort litigation throughout the United States.

These nine attorneys were among 31 across Venable's California, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Washington, DC offices promoted to Counsel. The new Counsel represent a broad cross-section of the firm with individuals from the firm's Business, Government, Intellectual Property and Litigation practices.


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