Washington, DC (April 1, 2021) – Venable LLP announced today that it has promoted 24 attorneys to counsel effective April 1, 2021. The new counsels, from Venable's Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Towson, and Washington, DC offices, represent a broad cross section from the firm's four divisions—Business, Government, Intellectual Property, and Litigation.

Stu Ingis, chairman of Venable, said, "These attorneys continue to progress and advance in their careers by delivering excellent legal work and client service, developing professionally, and upholding the firm's values."

The following attorneys were promoted to counsel.

Baltimore Office

Gueter Aurelien focuses her practice on a broad range of corporate law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, commercial financing, equity investments, securities offerings, commercial contracts, public finance, and general business transactions. She advises start-up, emerging growth, and later-stage companies in a variety of industries, financial institutions, specialty lenders, banks, investors, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations and serves as bond counsel or borrower's counsel to municipalities and conduit issuers and borrowers.

JaMar S. Mancano represents clients in complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts nationwide, with a focus on defending pharmaceutical and medical device companies in product liability cases. He has been a member of several trial teams in national products liability litigation and has experience coordinating overall case strategy and the day-to-day handling of individual cases.

Daniel R.H. Mendelsohn concentrates his practice 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 and registered investment companies.

Elizabeth Fialkowski Stieff is a member of Venable's tax practice. She advises clients on a variety of transactional tax issues, including corporate advisory matters, such as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, as well as tax controversies.

Los Angeles Office

Theresa R. Clardy focuses on domestic and international income tax planning and tax controversy for talent, entertainment executives, high-net-worth individuals, and entrepreneurs, including for their businesses. She has substantial experience with fiduciary income tax matters for domestic and foreign trusts, and provides advice regarding choice of entity, business formation, and character of income for clients living within and outside of the U.S.

Amir Kaltgrad represents businesses and individuals in shareholder and partnership disputes, professional malpractice, complex business torts, and contract disputes. He has experience representing clients from pre-filing of litigation all the way through trial and appeal in both state and federal courts.

New York Office

Michael M. Agosta is a litigation attorney with a broad-based practice focused on complex commercial disputes. His work includes mortgage-backed securities matters, corporate governance disputes, indemnification claims, and contract actions in state and federal courts.

Daniel A. Apgar practices intellectual property law, specializing in complex patent litigation. He has broad experience representing electronics and software companies in all aspects of litigation.

Gianna E. Cricco-Lizza focuses on patent and trademark litigation in the federal courts and monitors intellectual property enforcement efforts for clients in the telecommunications, luxury goods, and consumer products industries.

Zachary L. Garrett practices intellectual property law, with an emphasis on complex patent litigation. He has experience in all stages of litigation, including pre-lawsuit investigation, pleadings, claim construction, discovery, motion practice, and trial.

Sean C. McDonagh focuses on biopharmaceutical IP diligence and counseling. He is proud to support clients in their mission-critical deals.

Prajakta A. Sonalker, Ph.D., focuses her practice on complex intellectual property litigation, including patent and trade secret disputes, with an emphasis on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. She has experience in all stages of litigation, from pre-suit investigations through trial and appeals, and proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

George Soumalevris focuses on high-stakes bankruptcy and complex structured finance litigation, representing clients in the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and collateralized debt obligation (CDO) industries.

John C. Vazquez focuses his practice on a broad spectrum of complex commercial and class action litigation, including civil antitrust actions, securities and financial products litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and intellectual property disputes.

San Francisco Office

Emily Foehr advises high-net-worth individuals and families on all aspects of wealth planning and assists with wealth preservation through strategies that mitigate income, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, limiting risk to family assets.

Towson Office

Christine C. Carey represents businesses and individuals in civil litigation and arbitration proceedings involving mortgage-backed securities and other complex financial instruments, conflicts over trust management, corporate governance disputes, shareholder and member litigation, securities fraud, labor and employment disputes, and claims arising from breach of contract and other business torts.

Washington, DC Office

Jean Yin Crews focuses her practice on commercial real estate finance, acquisition, disposition, development, and leasing. She regularly represents commercial developers, institutional lenders, individuals, landlords, tenants, and owners and operators of real property in a variety of transactions spanning office, retail, multi-family, industrial, and mixed-use properties.

Mary M. Gardner represents clients in government investigations and enforcement actions, insurance litigation, and complex consumer class actions. She also regularly advises corporate clients and their directors and officers regarding complex insurance coverage issues and advertising- and marketing-related issues, including telemarketing compliance and claim substantiation.

Joseph R. Hicks focuses on energy and administrative law, with an emphasis on crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas, and electric utility matters. His practice involves providing advice on developments in energy regulation, corporate compliance, energy infrastructure development, and administrative rulemakings, as well as representing clients in litigation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state public utilities commissions, and federal courts.

Benjamin E. Horowitz is a litigator who represents clients in a wide array of civil matters, including partnership disputes, government investigations and enforcement actions, construction defect cases, and various other breach of contract and business tort cases.

Leslie A. Lee is a registered patent attorney with experience litigating intellectual property matters and prosecuting patents involving various technological fields, including mechanical devices, medical devices, semiconductor manufacture and design, computer software, telecommunications, and automotive technologies. She has represented clients in numerous district courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, obtaining victories on summary judgment, at trial, and on appeal.

Meredith K. McCoy provides experienced guidance to businesses, tax-exempt organizations, individuals, and political groups in their efforts to impact public policy and the political process. She helps clients comply with a range of laws that may impact political activities, including tax, campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, gift and ethics, and pay-to-play laws.

Shahin O. Rothermel counsels clients on issues involving advertising, marketing, e-commerce, privacy, social media, promotions, sweepstakes, and subscription programs. She regularly defends clients in investigations and litigation involving the Federal Trade Commission and other state and federal regulatory agencies in addition to handling consumer class actions, competitor disputes, and matters before the National Advertising Division.

William W. Weaver advises on a range of commercial real estate matters, with a focus on the acquisition, disposition, development, and leasing of retail, office, residential, and industrial property.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, high-net-worth entrepreneurs, and other individuals. With more than 850 professionals across the country, including in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' objectives in the U.S. and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines. For more information, please visit Venable.com.