Firm Profile > Seyfarth Shaw LLP > New York , United States
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Offices
620 8TH AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10018-1405
Seyfarth Shaw LLP > The Legal 500 Rankings
Immigration Tier 1
The ‘responsive’ and ‘creative’ team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP has an excellent reputation in the business immigration space. The group is dedicated to devising corporate immigration policies and programs. In a representative example, Angelo Paparelli and Washington DC-based Leon Rodriguez led a five-part webinar series and a compliance-focused client event to brief clients on best practices in relation to pre-, post- and re-hire issues, termination and M&A situations as well as I-9 forms and E-Verify matters. Los Angeles-based Paparelli also represents developers and fundraisers relating to EB-5 immigrant investor programs, and defends employers in worksite enforcements and government audits. In light of the Trump administration’s continued clampdown on immigration, Rodridguez advised the Montgomery County Government on sanctuary cities, the travel ban, temporary protected status and funding for deportation defense. The team is also well versed in handling the immigration aspects of substantial M&A transactions. Boston-based Russell Swapp and Atlanta-based James King, who is noted for his clever use of technology to help clients in an efficient and time-saving manner, jointly lead the practice. Also based in Atlanta, Gabriel Mozes focuses on temporary non-immigrant and permanent visa solutions, including family-based immigrant visa green card applications and citizenship matters. Atlanta-based senior counsel Sharon Cook Poorak is handling the immigration portfolio of more than 5,000 foreign nationals for a global consulting services provider. Senior counsel Dawn Lurie in Washington DC and Dyann DelVecchio Hilbern in Boston are also names to note.
Labor-management relations Tier 1
Seyfarth Shaw LLP's team is praised for providing 'sound advice and excellent representation'. It assists clients from a variety of sectors, such as healthcare, sports, hospitality and transportation, among others, in traditional labor matters. Bradford Livingston, who is based in Chicago, is the head of the practice group and has noteworthy expertise in collective bargaining negotiations. Further key contacts in this office are Kenneth Dolin and Brian Stolzenbach, while Arthur Telegen is the name to note in Boston. Atlanta's Stuart Newman is a diversified labor lawyer with experience in disputes, collective bargaining and strike situations. Joe Damato in Washington DC 'resolves issue efficiently and effectively'. The New York office fields experts such as counsel Marshall Babson and Glenn Smith. Kyllan Kershaw in Atlanta and Howard Wexler in New York made partner in January 2018. Karla Sanchez is an associate to watch in Chicago.
The 'client-focused' and 'pragmatic' Seyfarth Shaw LLP is well known for its work in trade secret disputes. Los Angeles-based Robert Milligan jointly leads the team and is highly skilled in handling trade secret misappropriation disputes. He represented US Foods in obtaining permanent injunctions against two former employees who breached restrictive covenants and misappropriated trade secrets. Also leading the team is Chicago-based Michael Wexler, who has extensive experience in trade secret and restrictive covenant law. He acted for Stryker Corporation in a lawsuit against a former employee who had misappropriated trade secrets. Other key figures include Atlanta-based Daniel Hart, Chicago-based Scott Humphrey and Erik Weibust, who works in the Boston office.
Clients appreciate Seyfarth Shaw LLP for being ‘smart, creative, practical and for genuinely caring about getting the best quality’. The team has experience in advising on organizational change and developing innovative technology tools as well as in workplace discrimination and harassment counseling. Chicago-based David Baffa chairs the workplace compliance solutions practice group and is an expert on a variety of employment-related matters, such as workforce reductions and restructurings, pay equity and training. Senior counsel Lawrence Lorber in Washington DC is regularly engaged by the US Chamber of Commerce in connection with employment issues, including regulatory representation on pending rule making. Ellen McLaughlin, who is based in Chicago, assisted an automotive manufacturer in increasing productivity while staying compliant with federal and state laws. The firm also has a dedicated group advising on pay equity, which is led by Christine Hendrickson (recently promoted to partner) and Annette Tyman in Chicago. Lisa Damon in Boston has ‘detailed knowledge of the law and is pragmatic and unfailingly responsive’. Further notable practitioners are the ‘fantastic’ Daniel Waldman in New York, the ‘excellent strategist’ Jon Meer in Los Angeles and Frederick Smith in Atlanta, who has a ‘great amount of experience to lean on’. In New York, William Perkins is well versed in the different forms of discrimination and harassment claims, while associate Joshua Seidman specializes in paid sick leave matters. Chelsea Mesa in Los Angeles has a ‘meticulous no-nonsense approach’. Scott Nelson was a new arrival in May 2018 in the Houston office, joining from Baker McKenzie LLP.
Bennett Greenberg and Sara Farabow, who are based in the firm's Washington DC office, co-chair the 'nationwide' construction practice at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, which is praised for providing a service that has 'the feel of a local, personal nature' and 'never gives the impression that we are just one of a long list of clients'. The New York office is headed by Alison Ashford, whose primary focus is the structuring of projects and negotiating project agreements, including public-private partnerships at the government level; she also has an impressive track record in energy, mining and natural resources projects. In recent work, Greenberg is representing the Municipality of Anchorage in major litigation against participants in the Port of Anchorage Intermodal Expansion Project, totaling more than $340m. Additionally, the team, including Washington DC partners Jason Smith and David Blake, are preparing design-build and construction management contracts for aspects of the project that total $250m. Greenberg and Blake were also the key names on the $500m redevelopment of Reagan National Airport for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. In addition, Greenberg is advising the Transbay Joint Powers Authority on all construction-related matters pertaining to the $4.5bn development of the new transit center in San Francisco. Alongside Michael McKeeman and counsel Patty Lee, who are based in San Francisco, Greenberg acted for the same client in successfully resolving $35m worth of claims through an alternative dispute resolution process. McKeeman has been retained by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to draft and negotiate the $40m purchase order for the exterior skin of the new museum in Los Angeles. He was supported by San Francisco associate Katherine Polychronopoulos, who was also active in the representation of Vance Brown as general contractor in a $15m dispute with a developer relating to the construction of a large campus complex in the Silicon Valley. This matter was led by San Francisco partner Gregg Dulik, who is recommended by one client for his in-depth knowledge of 'our business and our industry'.
ERISA litigation Tier 2
The ERISA litigation team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP experienced considerable growth in 2018 with the addition of San Francisco’s Bradley Perkins, who was formerly a senior counsel at Pacific Maritime Association, and Houston’s Scott Nelson, who joined from Baker McKenzie LLP. In addition to acting on 401(k) fiduciary breach, prohibited transaction and executive top-hat plan cases, the team also works laterally with the firm’s employee benefits lawyers to deploy unique litigation-avoidance strategies. Chicago-based practice co-head Ian Morrison defended a publicly listed paper manufacturer against a claim for breach of collective bargaining agreements. Practice co-leader Amanda Sonneborn in noted for her experience of complex DOL audits, ERISA Section 510 employment discrimination and cash balance plan claims. Also recommended are San Francisco-based Ward Kallstrom and Chicago-based Mark Casciari. University of Chicago, Burroughs and Kaiser Permanente are also among the team's clients.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP fields a team of 'good experts, comprising seasoned lawyers supervising stellar long-term associates'. Noted for its expertise in wage-and-hour class actions and workplace litigation alleging discrimination, the nationwide group is praised for being 'hands on, extremely thorough, and extraordinarily knowledgeable'. Work highlights included Noah Finkel and Andrew Scroggins acting for Epic Systems as co-counsel (alongside Hogan Lovells US LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP) in a landmark case decided by the Supreme Court in May 2018, relating to the enforceability of the agreement into which the plaintiff entered requiring the parties to resolve wage-hour disputes through individual arbitration and waive class and collective proceedings. The 'one-of-a-kind' Gerald Maatman continues to lead a team acting for Sterling Jewelers (together with co-counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP) in an employment discrimination class action. Brian Ashe successfully acted for Digital Realty Trust before the Supreme Court in a case relating to the definition and statutory application of the term 'whistleblower'. Camille Olson is a 'world class lawyer' and Washington DC-based Raymond Baldwin is a ' zealous advocate for his clients with a practical approach'. In Los Angeles, Andrew Paley is an 'extremely well-versed adviser', and Jon Meer is praised for his 'immense knowledge and trial practice'. Atlanta's Robert Stevens is described as an 'expert in restrictive covenant work'; clients also appreciate Kerry Friedrichs in San Francisco and Pamela Devata for 'being leaders in their field and being able to answer questions on the spot'. Further recommended individuals are practice head Laura Maechtlen and Christian Rowley in San Francisco, Boston's Richard Alfred and the 'greatly experienced and knowledgeable' Lisa Damon, Lorie Almon and Gina Merrill in New York, as well as Richard Lapp. In Houston, the team was strengthen by the arrival of Scott Nelson from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2018, while John Yslas joined the Los Angeles office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in July 2018. Named attorneys are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP's 'M&A team is efficient, timely and provides excellent business advice'. It acts for private and public companies in all aspects of M&A transactions, including joint ventures, divestitures and investments, and frequently advises on cross-border work. The firm's highly rated labor and employment practice regularly supports the M&A team on deals and the practice stands out for healthcare and franchise M&A. Corporate office chair for the Washington DC team Andrew Sherman led advice to a construction and insurance technology solutions company on the sale of construction bidding software; Atlanta-based Andrew Hough acted for IG Design Group Americas, an international stationery business, in a purchase of all of Impact Innovations' shares; Houston's Paul Pryzant assisted Nasdaq-listed TapImmune, which develops immunotherapeutics, with its merger of equals with immunotherapy innovator Marker Therapeutics; and Theodore Cornell III in Chicago advised a private equity firm on the acquisition of a flooring company. Also in Chicago, M&A chair Suzanne Saxman is 'terrific; she delegates when appropriate but participates on every important call, and is a good source of market intelligence that is helpful for benchmarking anticipated negotiation points'. Saxman advised a human resources services and technology company on the acquisition of a corporation that provides employee engagement and wellbeing solutions, and its subsidiaries. Elsewhere, vice-national M&A chair Andrew Lucano 'may just be the best M&A attorney in New York City - his expertise and attentiveness to detail, along with his business savvy, are critical'; also in New York, Stanley Bloch is 'the most practical and learned M&A attorney' some clients have worked with and 'brings to the table a perspective that few else have'. Washington DC's Robert Bodansky and Douglas Mancino in Los Angeles are other notable advisers; counsel Leslie Kersey was hired in New York from Paul Hastings LLP and Chicago-based Whitney Schmidt is an experienced associate.
Along with compliance work, breach management and litigation, the ‘incredibly client-focused’ Seyfarth Shaw LLP specializes in automotive telematics, blockchain, IoT, big data and usage-based insurance. The practice is jointly headed by Houston’s ‘true expert’ John Tomaszewski and security expert Scott Carlson from the Chicago office. Tomaszewski and San Francisco’s Richard Lutkus, who is well versed in data security and encryption, assisted human resources services and technology company Morneau Shepell with due diligence for its acquisition of LifeWorks. Chicago-based Bart Lazar has been advising a leading strategic communication firm and a well-known apparel manufacturer on GDPR compliance.
E-discovery Tier 3
Seyfarth Shaw LLP's team of 'focused practitioners' comprises lawyers and technologists dedicated to e-discovery and information governance. It is led jointly from Chicago by Jay Carle and Scott Carlson, who 'combines legal experience, computer science knowledge, exceptional business judgment and standout integrity'. Recommended lawyers in San Francisco include Richard Lutkus and senior counsel Kathleen McConnell.
According to one client, the ‘down-to-earth’ team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP has ‘a level of knowledge and professionalism that far exceeds all expectations’. A standout mandate for the practice included Richard Schwartz advising David Yurman Enterprises on certain 401(k) and executive compensation agreements; senior counsel Richard Loebl and associate Chelsea McCue in New York were also involved in this matter. Chicago-based Jonathan Karelitz and Jennifer Neilsson act as outside counsel in relation to RR Donnelley’s employee benefit plans, while New York-based Randell Montellaro provides ongoing advice to Northwell Health on a range of issues including 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans and required submissions to the IRS and DOL. Schwartz and Howard Pianko (also based in New York) provide ongoing qualified and non-qualified retirement and executive compensation plan advice, as well as benefit plan consolidation advice to multi-hospital system the University Hospitals Health System. Chair Robert Flanagan and Diane Dygert (chair-elect as of 2019) jointly head the practice from the Chicago office.
Government contracts Tier 3
Operating from offices in San Francisco, Washington DC and Atlanta, the ‘extremely skilled’ government contracts team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP has ‘superior knowledge of the government contracting space’, particularly in litigation. In an example from 2017, the team assisted Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which is responsible for the development of a $4.5bn transit center in the middle of San Francisco, in the settlement of claims arising from it. The team is also defending Environmental Chemical Corporation against claims pertaining to the construction of the Military’s first thermal rocket motor treatment facility, which will be used to demilitarize or destroy rocket engines. Other areas of activity including prevailing wage disputes and non-contentious matters such as counseling and transactions. ‘Efficient’ practice head Joseph Dyer provides ‘high-quality support’. San Francisco-based Donald Featherstun acts for a subcontractor in the aerospace sector, which is involved in a multimillion-dollar dispute concerning a unique thruster system used on satellites. Associate Edward Arnold is ‘beyond responsive’, ‘knowledgeable’ and communicates ‘in a way that everyone can understand’. Anita Ponder joined Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA in May 2018.
Real estate Tier 3
Seyfarth Shaw LLP is ‘excellent at solving deal issues from start to finish’ and provides ‘diligent efforts with common sense solutions’, advising on a range of matters including M&A, construction, finance, environmental issues, joint ventures, fund formation, development, leasing, land use and zoning and real estate litigation. The firm acts for commercial and investment banks, public and private pension funds, life insurance companies, developers, big-box retailers and institutional landlords. Los Angeles-based Richard Mendelson advised John Hancock Life Insurance Company on various matters including a $500m loan and acquisition of four properties, while New York-based John Napoli advised Workspace Property Trust on a $1.28bn loan from JP Morgan Chase. Peter Korda co-chairs the firm’s national structured and real estate finance practice group and the New York real estate department. Boston-based Andrew Shure and Eric Greenberg are also recommended, alongside Washington DC-based Thomas Galli and Cynthia Mitchell in New York. Robin Freeman and Mitchell co-lead the firm’s healthcare real estate and finance practice, Freeman is also chair of the San Francisco real estate department. In March 2018 Michael Rechtin joined the Chicago office from Baker McKenzie LLP and now chairs the firm's data center services practice group.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP defends clients in both securities litigation and SEC investigations, and climbs the ranking this year. Among those clients are investment banks and both large and mid-sized corporates in sectors such as technology, biotech, hospitality and financial services. Its deep bench of securities litigators works from Boston, New York, Washington DC and California. The firm recently hired Steven Paradise from Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP to work alongside key partner Gregory Markel in New York. Markel and up-and-coming partner Giovanna Ferrari in San Francisco are representing individual officers of a bank in 10b5 class actions alleging that they made material misrepresentations and omissions concerning the prospects for a bankrupt e-commerce and t-commerce company. Also recommended are Boston-based partners William Prickett and Christopher Robertson.
The team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP 'consistently demonstrates its expertise and value for money' when handling a wide variety of white-collar matters. Based in Chicago, 'efficient' practice co-head Andrew Boutros serves as lead national counsel to an international telecoms company in offensive trade secrets litigation, suing a former employee and his company for matters including stealing trade secrets, conspiracy and violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO). In another matter, the team led an internal investigation for a publicly traded company into an embezzlement scheme, worth approximately $17m, perpetrated by a senior executive. Karen Bitar in New York and San Francisco's Donald Featherstun lead the team alongside Boutros.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP's client roster includes hospitals, health systems, academic and research institutions, as well as physician groups, emergency centers and behavioral and home health providers. The firm advises on contract negotiations, professional liability claims, transactions, anti-kickback and False Claims Act disputes, data privacy issues and other types of regulatory advice and defense. Houston-based partner Jesse Coleman represented Memorial Hermann Health System as defendant against defamation, fraud and tortious interference claims made by a member of the medical staff, while another highlight was Century City-based Douglas Mancino's work for Intermountain Healthcare on the establishment of generic drug company Civica Rx. Real estate lawyer Cynthia Mitchell in New York and employment partner Kristin McGurn in Boston also specialize in healthcare-related matters.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s 'dedicated' team has significant strength in investor-side mandates, which are the exclusive focus of the practice. Clients include prominent state retirement schemes from a range of industries. Washington DC-based Robert Bodansky ('extremely proactive and commercial') and Jennifer Neilsson in Chicago and Steven Richman in Atlanta are also recommended.
US taxes: non-contentious Tier 6
Seyfarth Shaw LLP is best known for its real estate sector expertise, where it advises developers and investors on the tax aspects of joint ventures, REIT transactions, M&A and tax planning. Of late, John Napoli and counsel Michael Rosenthal advised The Uhlmann Offices on its acquisition by Retail Opportunities Investments; Napoli also acted for key client Workspace Property Trust in relation to a $1.3bn securitizable loan from JPMorgan Chase. Chicago-based Steven Meier co-heads the practice with Napoli, and is recommended for his ‘practical approach to solving problems’. University of California at Davis Regents and Livingston Street Capital are also active clients.
Seyfarth Shaw LLP > Firm Profile
Seyfarth Shaw LLP is a full-service international law firm, serving Fortune 1000, Global 500 and other companies worldwide through more than 850 attorneys and dedicated professional staff (including certified project managers, legal technologists, practice managers and other paraprofessionals). Seyfarth has been widely recognized for its leadership in designing innovative, client-focused solutions for the delivery of high-quality legal services. Recent highlights include:
Earned 12 Tier 1 national rankings in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2019 edition of ‘Best Law Firms’ in the areas of appellate practice, commercial litigation, construction law, employee benefits (ERISA) law, employment law – management, health care law, immigration law, labor law – management, litigation – construction, litigation – ERISA, litigation – labor and employment, and real estate law; recognized by The Financial Times among the most innovative law firms in its 2018 US ‘Innovative Lawyers Report’ for the eighth consecutive year; ranked as one of the top best-branded law firm by corporate counsel in 2019 BTI Consulting Group’s annual study, ‘Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms’; BTI Consulting named Seyfarth ‘Most Recommended Law Firms’ in 2017; Seyfarth Shaw was named one of 35 law firms recommended by top legal decision makers for six years in a row. These recommendations directly reflect personal standards of quality, client service and value. Seyfarth earned a perfect score of 100 in the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s ‘Corporate Equality Index’ and was named a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality’ for the 10th consecutive year; ranked among the top ten ‘Best Law Firms for Women’ by Working Mother & Flex Time Lawyers annual report for the eighth consecutive year; largest US Labor and Employment practice in a full-service firm, with over 400 attorneys; recognized by Law360 in 2018 as ‘Practice of the Year’ in employment for the eighth consecutive year; the world’s largest dedicated team specializing in international employment law, completing more than 70 multi-jurisdictional strategic and compliance projects covering 120+ countries in the last year; one of the five largest real estate practices in the United States with over 120 attorneys; one of the nation’s largest employee benefits and executive compensation practices; earned ‘Honor Roll’ honors in BTI Litigation Outlook 2018; handled more than 200 corporate M&A transactions across a diverse range of industries over the past two years.
Main areas of practice: ADA Title III; Bankruptcy, Workouts & Business Reorganization; Blockchain Technologies; Capital Markets; Commercial Class Action Defense; Commercial Finance; Commercial Litigation; Construction; Consumer Financial Services Litigation; Corporate; eDiscovery & Information Governance; Employee Benefits; Environmental Compliance, Enforcement & Permitting; Equity & Executive Compensation; ERISA & Employee Benefits Litigation; Franchise & Distribution Counseling & Litigation; Global Privacy & Security (GPS); Government Contracts; Government Relations and Policy; Health Law; Immigration; Immigration Compliance and Enforcement; Infrastructure and Project Finance; Institutional Investor; Intellectual Property; International Corporate & Commercial; International Employment Law; Labor & Employment Litigation; Labor Management Relations; Mergers & Acquisitions; OFCCP & Affirmative Action Compliance; Opportunity Zone Funds; Organizational Strategy & Analytics; Pay Equity; Pro Bono; Product Liability; Real Estate; Securities Financial and Directors & Officers Litigation; Structured & Real Estate Finance; Tax; Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Compete; Trusts & Estates; Whistleblower; White Collar, Internal Investigations & False Claims; Workplace Counseling & Solutions; Workplace Safety and Health
International experience: Seyfarth Shaw’s international service model is custom-built to deliver an integrated, cross-border legal and commercial solution. Seyfarth’s model relies exclusively upon cohesive partner-led teams of highly experienced international attorneys who focus solely on helping multinational clients deal with their international business issues, regardless of location. Central to the firm’s international department is Seyfarth’s award-winning, specialist international employment practice, which is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading practices in the area.
|Construction||Bennett D Greenberg|
|Construction||Sara Beiro Farabow|
|Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation||Diane Dygert|
|Global Privacy & Security||Scott Carlson|
|Global Privacy & Security||John Tomaszewski|
|Immigration||James W King|
|Immigration||Russell B Swapp|
|Institutional Investor||Robert Bodansky|
|Intellectual Property||Brian Michaelis|
|Intellectual Property||Edward Maluf|
|International||Darren G Gardner|
|Labor and Employment||Laura J Maechtlen|
|Mergers and Acquisitions||Suzanne L Saxman|
|Mergers and Acquisitions||Andrew Lucano|
|Real Estate||Paul P Mattingly|
|Tax||Steven R Meier|
|Tax||John P Napoli|
|Workplace and Employment Counseling||David Baffa|
|Ms Lorie Almon||View Profile|
|Ms Alison Ashford||View Profile|
|Mr Marshall Babson||View Profile|
|Linda Bielik||View Profile|
|Mr Stanley Bloch||View Profile|
|Mr Nicholas De Baun||View Profile|
|Mr Stephen Epstein||View Profile|
|Mr Cliff Fonstein||View Profile|
|Mr Marc Gurell||View Profile|
|Mitchel Hill||View Profile|
|Mr Blake Hornick||View Profile|
|Mr Howard Jiang||View Profile|
|Mr Peter Korda||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Lucano||View Profile|
|Mr Edward Maluf||View Profile|
|Mr Gregory Markel||View Profile|
|Gina Merrill||View Profile|
|Ms Cynthia Mitchell||View Profile|
|Mr Randell Montellaro||View Profile|
|Mr John Napoli||View Profile|
|Mr Robert Nobile||View Profile|
|Mr William P. Perkins||View Profile|
|Mr Howard Pianko||View Profile|
|Mr Richard Schwartz||View Profile|
|Joshua Seidman||View Profile|
|Mr Eric Sidman||View Profile|
|Glenn Smith||View Profile|
|Howard Wexler||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 413 Number of Other Fee-Earners : 513 Total Staff : 1,925
OtherChairman : Peter C Miller Other Offices : Atlanta Other Offices : Boston Other Offices : Houston Other Offices : Los Angeles Other Offices : New York Other Offices : Sacramento Other Offices : San Francisco Other Offices : Washington, DC International Offices : Hong Kong International Offices : London International Offices : Melbourne International Offices : Shanghai International Offices : Sydney
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Labor-management relations
- Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters)
- Workplace and employment counseling
- Construction (including construction litigation)
- ERISA litigation
- Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense
- M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m)
- Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection)
- Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design
- Government contracts
- Real estate
- Securities litigation - defense
- Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
- Healthcare: service providers
- Private equity funds (including venture capital)
- US taxes: non-contentious