The Legal 500

Venable LLP


United States: Dispute resolution

Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 2

Venable LLP

One of the most respected product liability practices in the United States’, Venable LLP’s ‘excellent trial lawyers’ are ‘masters at scientific issues and working with experts’. The group served as national coordinating counsel for AbbVie in litigation concerning its hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medication. Bruce Parker and Jason Rose are currently representing Boehringer Ingelheim (BIPI) as national counsel in litigation concerning the client’s Parkinson disease treatment Mirapex. The client base also includes Merck & Co. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA. The primarily Baltimore-based practice is headed by Sally Bryan and Paul Strain, who divides his time between Baltimore and Washington DC. Stephen Marshall and Christina Gaarder are also recommended.

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United States: Finance

Financial services: regulatory
Financial services: regulatory - ranked: tier 6

Venable LLP

Venable LLP has ‘considerable strength in depth’ and houses a number of former regulators in its Washington DC headquarters, who have excellent insight into the regulatory framework impacting banks, thrifts and insurance companies. Counsel Ralph Sharpe has vast experience gleaned from private practice and also from his long tenure at the OCC, and as a result, is well attuned to the regulatory compliance issues affecting a broad spectrum of financial services clients. ‘Very well-respected’ chair of the financial services group Ronald Glancz has ‘excellent knowledge’ of the regulatory landscape from a compliance, enforcement/litigation and transactional viewpoint. Andrew Olmem is noted for his ‘wealth of Dodd-Frank knowledge’, much of which was gleaned through his previous role at the Senate Banking Committee, where he was involved in the deliberations over the formulation of Dodd-Frank.

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Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations)
Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) - ranked: tier 1

Venable LLP

Venable LLP has ‘deep knowledge and the practice is generous enough to give lots of free training to the nonprofit sector’. Its clients range from some of the nation’s largest philanthropic charities to leading trade and professional associations. In Washington DC, nonprofit organizations practice head Jeffrey Tenenbaum regularly represents clients before Congress and state and federal regulatory agencies, and advises on enforcement actions, governmental investigations, litigation and media relations; he has also served as an expert witness in several court cases on nonprofit legal issues. George Constantine, Lisa Hix, Brock Landry and Lawrence Norton are also recommended. Robert Waldman and Thora Johnson are key Baltimore practitioners; and Matthew Journy in Washington DC is a highly rated counsel.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Tenenbaum - Venable LLP

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 4

Venable LLP

Venable LLP acts for a range of government contractors on intellectual property, suspension and debarment, and mergers and acquisitions matters, and frequently handles litigation in the area. It is particularly recognized for its cybersecurity experience, and highly rated for bid protests. Recent work includes achieving a corrective action through filing a bid protest and successfully defending the client against a motion to dismiss the protest, and, in a separate matter, investigating a subcontractor’s performance. Co-practice heads of the 22-partner team are Washington DC-based Paul Debolt and the ‘business-oriented’, Tysons Corner-based, Scott Hommer. Robert Burton comes recommended and James Boland was promoted to partnership in January 2016.

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United States: Labor and employment

Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 5

Venable LLP

Venable LLPprovides a very high level of service: the large and diverse team adds value’. Thora Johnson’s expertise includes HIPAA compliance and PPACA matters; Kenneth Hoffman advises on multi-employer plans and executive compensation; the ‘bright, rigorous and lucidHarry Atlas is ‘completely clear in his thinking’ and has expertise in retirement plans, executive compensation and transaction-related matters. In addition to acting for a strong roster of private-sector clients, this is a ‘go-to team for non-profits for help with the entire array of benefits issues’. Johnson and Atlas are based in Baltimore, Hoffman in Washington DC.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) - ranked: tier 1

Venable LLP

Venable LLP’s ‘corporate group is second-to-none’ and is ‘highly responsive, efficient and able to crunch an enormous amount of work quickly and intelligently’. Private equity-related matters included advising Perdue Farms on its acquisition of Niman Ranch from LNK Partners, which owns Niman Ranch’s parent. It also acted as Maryland counsel to OmniAmerican Bancorp in its $310m merger with and into Southside Bancshares. Acting in the upper middle-market, the team co-advised PlentyOfFish Media on its $575m sale to the Match Group. Charles Morton Jr ‘always looks out for clients’ best interests’ and splits his time between Washington DC and Baltimore. Washington DC-based Robert Bolger Jr (‘thoughtful and creative’) has an emphasis on representing clients in the advertising, entertainment services and hospitality industries.

Leading lawyers

Charles Morton Jr - Venable LLP

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing
Advertising and marketing - ranked: tier 1

Venable LLP

As ‘one of the industry leaders’, Venable LLPis one of the best advertising firms in the country and is in a league of its own for regulatory work’, utilizing its ‘best-in-class expertise, bench strength and responsiveness’ to provide ‘practical and creative advice’. The firm also has ‘one of the strongest legislative and policy practices’. Recent highlights include representing Allstar Marketing Group in an FTC investigation into the client’s ordering practices, and acting as policy counsel to the Digital Advertising Alliance, which aims to provide internet users with the choice in how they receive online advertising. Other clients include Amazon.com, Chick-fil-A and Dick’s Sporting Goods. ‘Strong up-and-coming practitionerAmy Ralph Mudge is a key name in the regulatory practice, and regularly represents clients before the FTC and the NAD. The ‘practice’s primary rainmakerJeffrey Knowles and the ‘solution-orientedRoger Colaizzi co-head the practice from Washington DC; Colaizzi is representing SharkNinja as plaintiff in a Lanham Act case. The team’s expansion seen in recent years was continued with the hires of former US senator Mark Pryor, Erik Jones from the Illinois attorney general’s office, and Daniel Blynn from Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. All lawyers mentioned are Washington DC based.

Leading lawyers

Jeffrey Knowles - Venable LLP

Roger Colaizzi - Venable LLP

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 3

Venable LLP

Stuart Ingis and Emilio Cividanes lead Venable LLP’s Washington DC-based practice, and recent work highlights include developing and advising on the implementation of self-regulatory principles for the collection of data on mobile websites for the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA). Other areas recently advised upon include data security and breach notification, cybersecurity information sharing, the Internet of Things, and geolocation matters. Former senator Mark Pryor joined in early 2015, bringing expertise in cybersecurity and internet privacy; and Ari Schwartz joined as managing director of cybersecurity services, after serving as a member of the White House National Security Council. Cybersecurity expert Erik Jones also joined after holding a position as deputy general counsel and chief investigative counsel to the US Senate Committee on Commerce.

Leading lawyers

Stuart Ingis - Venable LLP

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Technology: outsourcing
Technology: outsourcing - ranked: tier 3

Venable LLP

Venable LLP’s ‘thoroughness and depth of knowledge is a huge asset’, according to a source. The firm continues to represent longstanding client Wyndham Hotels with restructuring its entire contract structure with Oracle, and, for an American clothing company, it advised on drafting and negotiating a master subscription and services agreement with a software company for the implementation of a cloud-based e-commerce platform to host and manage the client’s e-commerce websites worldwide. Nora Garrote, James Nelson, A J Zottola and William Russell co-head the team, which recently welcomed of counsel Gregory Perleberg into the Los Angeles office; Brett Garner left the same office for an in-house position at YogaGlo.

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Technology: transactions
Technology: transactions - ranked: tier 1

Venable LLP

Venable LLP’s technology transactions and outsourcing team is based in Washington DC, and focuses on joint ventures and technology licensing and procurement. Nora Garrote, William Russell and A J Zottola are key partners in the practice, as is San Francisco-based James Nelson. The team expanded its client roster to include GE Oil & Gas, a subsidiary of long-term client General Electric, advising on a master service agreement for the development of cloud-based technology. Russell also advised General Electric on a technology collaboration, and assisted Q30 Sports in its agreement with Performance Sports Group concerning the worldwide licensing of the client’s patent and technology assets. Nelson advised Video Equipment Rentals on the improvement of its contracting practices for new technology, and the firm is outside IP counsel for all of the client’s commercial contracts. The firm also assists recovery audit contractor Cotivity with technology agreements providing in-bound technology solutions. Brett Garner left the firm for an in-house counsel position.

Leading lawyers

William Russell - Venable LLP

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United States: Real estate and construction

Land use/zoning
Land use/zoning - ranked: tier 3

Venable LLP

Venable LLP advises investors, developers, landowners and public agencies on a range of zoning and land use matters from its offices in Washington DC, Maryland, New York, Northern Virginia and California. Key individuals include Susan Golden and Gordon Davis in New York. Robert Hoffman and David Karceski, who split their time between Towson and Baltimore, are also recommended.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4

Venable LLP

Venable LLP’s practice was busy on behalf of its strong REIT client base, with Baltimore-based Christopher Pate representing Chambers Street Properties in its $5.8bn merger with Gramercy Properties Trust, and advising Inland Real Estate Corporation on its $2.3bn acquisition by DRA Advisors. Washington DC-based Lawrence Gesner continued to act for key client Fannie Mae on debt finance mandates and has a particular focus on multifamily projects. In Los Angeles, office managing partner Mitchell Evall and Andrew Schmerzler assist a range of major motion picture studios, theatre chains, investment banks, real property developers and retailers with acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and financing matters. Thomas Millspaugh heads the practice and divides his time between Baltimore and Washington DC. The team was weakened in New York by the loss of Michael Peskowitz and two counsels to Thompson & Knight LLP.

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Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) - ranked: tier 2

Venable LLP

Venable LLP is ‘the best Maryland REIT firm in the market’, say clients. The ‘absolutely first-class’ practice is best known for assisting publicly traded an non-traded REITs on matters of Maryland corporate law relating to IPOs, follow-on equity offerings, debt offerings, M&A and other transactions. In a recent matter, the firm acted as Maryland counsel to Macerich in connection with the unsolicited hostile takeover attempt by Simon Property Group, and to InvenTrust Properties in its spin-off of much of its hotel portfolio into Xenia Hotels and Resorts. James Hanks is ‘the dean of the Maryland REIT’, and Sharon Kroupa is ‘knowledgeable and user friendly’. Carmen Fonda and Christopher Pate are also recommended.

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