Firm Profile > McGuireWoods LLP > Pittsburgh, United States

McGuireWoods LLP
SUITE 1800
PITTSBURGH, PA 15222-3142
United States

Energy litigation: conventional power Tier 1

Ryan Purpura in Pittsburgh and Todd Mullins and Noel Symons in Washington DC jointly head the energy industry team at McGuireWoods LLP. The firm's clients in the conventional energy space include both traditional electric utilities such as Cleco Power and major names in clean energy such as NextEra Energy. Todd Mullins (DC) and others assisted Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) with a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) enforcement matter concerning the client's electricity offers into the Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland (PJM) market; the matter was successfully resolved, saving the client approximately  $135m in disgorgement. Elsewhere, a group led by Noel Symons (DC) represented Duke American Transmission Company in a rate case to recover the costs of its share of a transmission upgrade initially funded through a public-private partnership. The firm is able to litigate contested rate cases at both state and federal level. Senior counsel John Perkins joined the Washington DC office from FERC in March 2018.

Energy regulation: conventional power Tier 1

At McGuireWoods LLP, the energy industry team is led by Pittsburgh-based Ryan Purpura and Washington DC pair Todd Mullins and Noel Symons. Mullins regularly leads on enforcement-related matters; Symons specializes in work related to regional transmission organization (RTO) markets and cost allocation. A group led by Symons represented Cleco Power in a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filing updating its rate for the provision of reactive power, permitting the client to recover its cost of service. Elsewhere, Richmond-based partners Joe Reed and Elaine Ryan, assisted by counsel Stephen Watts, provided regulatory advice to Dominion Energy on its merger with SCANA Corporation. The transaction created a company capable of supplying 6.5 million electricity and natural gas customers and was valued at $14.6bn. Senior counsel John Perkins, who joined the DC office from FERC in March 2018, is another name to note.

Transport: rail and road - litigation Tier 1

McGuireWoods LLP’s transport disputes practice has a strong track-record across the road and rail sectors, acting for railroads, auto-manufacturers and trucking companies. In the trucking sector, Brian Jackson in Charlottesville represents a number of diverse clients including several for-hire motor carriers. Matthew Monsour in Pittsburgh and associate Ashley Winsky in Richmond are also contacts in the trucking practice. The rail sector team, which is headed by Jacksonville-based Eric Bilik, acts for a Class I railroad client as national counsel in relation to all punitive damages cases and pre-emption cases, and also acts as the client's bankruptcy counsel. Christopher Thanner in Jacksonville stands out for his rail sector expertise and is active in disputes with state agencies and local governments; he also handles real estate litigation involving rail facilities and railroad right-of-way. Also recommended in Jacksonville is counsel Patrick Dover. Product liability claims in the automotive sector are another key area of expertise. In Richmond, Perry Miles and Tracy Walker advise Ford Motor Company on high-exposure product liability cases across the US, and also represent the client in consumer fraud class actions. Richmond-based Terry Bagley is also noted. Bryan Brantley in Pittsburgh co-heads the transportation industry sector team. Mitchell Morris joined Butler Snow LLP in 2018.

Transport: shipping - regulation Tier 1

McGuireWoods LLP advises its shipping and maritime clients on a range of regulatory issues and is particularly active in Jones Act compliance mandates and international trade issues. Key work included advising Colonna’s Shipyard on regulatory issues relating to the construction and transportation of a dry dock from a Turkish shipyard. APM Terminals and CSX Transportation are also clients. Norfolk-based department head John Padgett has been called ‘a class act’, ‘a great negotiator’ and ‘an overall expert in ocean and maritime law’.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: automotive/transport - defense Tier 2

Perry Miles leads the Richmond-based automotive product liability practice at McGuireWoods LLP, while Diane Flannery heads the wider product liability environmental and mass tort litigation group. The team regularly handles sector-related product liability claims and class actions. Together with Tracy Walker and Samuel Tarry, Miles is acting as national class action and product liability counsel for Ford; in this capacity, the team was recently involved in a class action concerning allegations of defective door latches in Ford F-150s manufactured between 2015 and 2017. In December 2018, Courtney Shytle joined the office in Columbia from Bowman and Brooke LLP.

Commercial lending Tier 3

McGuireWoods LLP has an extremely active national practice, which specializes in advising lenders on mid-market financing transactions. In 2018 the firm advised on 191 deals with an aggregate value of $159.9bn, putting it among the ten most active practice groups in the country. Led out of Charlotte by Raj Natarajan, the practice group has strong teams throughout the country, including offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. The team is especially noted for its strong healthcare-focused finance team and also benefits from relationships with major financial institutions such as Bank of America. Moreover, the team was recently strengthened by the recruitment of Chris Molen in Atlanta from King & Spalding LLP.

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 3

Clients praise the 'experienced' team at McGuireWoods LLP for its 'trustworthiness' and the 'exceptional' quality of its leadership, service and advice. In a significant individual representation, Washington DC's George Terwilliger and Benjamin Hatch represented former US Representative Aaron Schock following a 24-count DOJ indictment on fraud and false statement charges arising from his official expense reimbursements and subsequent reports to the Federal Election Committee; following motions to dismiss, two counts were removed from the indictment, while the team continues to represent the client in a preliminary criminal investigation launched by the DOJ. In Richmond, Richard Cullen and Patrick Rowan are also handling a number of representations on behalf of public figures in high-stakes investigations. The group also represents several multinationals, including corporations and financial institutions, in state, federal and cross-border investigations. Charlotte's Kenneth Bell, Richmond's John Adams and practice chair Todd Steggerda in Washington DC are also names to note. In a major hire, Emily Gordy joined the Washington DC office from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where she managed enforcement operations.

Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 3

The McGuireWoods LLP team has ‘critical legal and technical expertise’. Tysons-based practice head Andrew Konia ‘provides excellent customer service and attention to detail’, advising clients on information governance, data protection programs and data breach response, as well as on privacy and security issues in vendor contracts and M&A and private equity transactions. Senior counsel Nathan Kottkamp, who is based in Richmond, has been assisting KPMG with its HIPAA work. Other key clients come from the telecoms, healthcare and transportation sectors. Charlottesville-based associate Ashley Matthews  is ‘a terrific lawyer’. In October 2018, Michael Adams left the practice and joined Palantir Technologies as senior executive in a non-legal position.

Energy: renewable/alternative power Tier 3

The team at McGuireWoods LLP advises energy companies and investors on a range of corporate, finance and project development mandates. Richmond-based Michael Woodard advises Coronal Energy on comprehensive development and transactional matters across its solar project portfolio, and Becky Diffen, who heads the practice from the Austin office, acted for Hill Country Wind Power in the development and sale of a 400MW wind farm in Texas. Also recommended is Chicago-based Timothy Callahan, who regularly acts for project sponsors and lenders in the financing and development of wind farms, solar plants and other renewables projects. Other key clients include Dominion Energy, Apex Clean Energy and Macquarie Capital.

Fintech Tier 3

With 'a depth of industry experience', McGuireWoods LLP's fintech practice group focuses primarily on advising consumer facing companies and offers 'a practical approach to solving problems' and the 'ability to weave a concept into a highly regulated environment'. Its interdepartmental team boasts capabilities in transactional, contentious and regulatory matters and advised AvidXchange on a range of matters, including several financing rounds and its acquisition of Ariett, a leading provider of cloud-based payment software. San Franscisco-based David Reidy, who attracts praise for 'understanding both the client's goal and the constraints to achieve the goal, and still finding a method to a successful outcome', successfully represented Lending Club Corporation in a 'true lender' investigation brought by the West Virginia Attorney General. The group has experience advising on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and defended Credibly in a class action complaint alleging violation of the act. In other work highlights, it assisted Falfurrias Capital Partners III on investments into financial technologies companies Tax Guard and E-Technologies Group. Other key names to note include Susan Rodriguez in the Charlotte office and Chicago-based Sarah Zielinski for regulatory and commercial litigation respectively. Rodriguez, Zielinski and Reidy jointly lead the practice alongside corporate and securities specialist Richard Viola in Charlotte.

Healthcare: service providers Tier 3

McGuireWoods LLP is renowned for its private equity and litigation expertise in the healthcare sector. The team also advises on dental management structures, regulatory compliance and M&A transactions. Chicago-based practice lead Amber McGraw Walsh advised Silver Oak Services Partners on its buyout of Integrated Oncology Network, while Thomas Zahn in Pittsburgh acted for Revelstoke Capital Partners in its acquisition of a majority stake in Cincinnati Eye Institute. In another major highlight, Bart Walker assisted local client Charlotte Radiology with its recapitalization and partnership with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 3

McGuireWoods LLP fields attorneys in the healthcare, solar energy, life sciences and technology sectors as well as in niche areas such as furniture, student housing, and food and beverage. Notable clients are SPX, a North Carolina-based supplier of highly engineered products and technologies, and Compass Group, a foodservice and support services company. Highlights included acting for Compass Group in several transactions, including the acquisitions of France-based Elior Group, a global contracted food and support services business; assisting Scotland-based Clyde Blowers Capital with its $245m sale of industrial gearing manufacturer Cone Drive to The Timken Company; advising SPX on the acquisition of Schonstedt Instrument Company, a manufacturer of magnetic locator products; and assisting private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners on several deals, including its investments in E-Technologies Group and Best Impressions Caterers. In large deals, the practice advised Dominion Energy, one of the US' largest energy producers, on its proposed stock-for-stock merger with SCANA Corporation. Michael Woodard in Richmond is the chair of the firm’s M&A department and Chicago-based Geoffrey Cockrell chairs the private equity group. Also highly regarded are Charlotte’s Chris Scheurer, Thomas Zahn in Pittsburgh and Richmond's Joanne Katsantonis.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense Tier 3

Headed by Diane Flannery, McGuireWoods LLP’s practice is particularly active in wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury and consumer fraud litigation, where it regularly represents clients from the equipment, automotive and tobacco industries. Key highlights include defending Lumber Liquidators in two MDLs concerning the presence of carcinogen chemicals in laminate flooring sold by the client, and acting for Universal Corp and Universal Leaf Tobacco Company in several lawsuits relating to children born with birth defects as a result of exposure to hazardous herbicides and pesticides used in the cultivation of tobacco in Argentina. Terrence Bagley, Perry Miles, and Samuel Tarry are other names to note. In summer 2018, Angela Spivey departed to Alston & Bird LLP, but Courtney Shytle, formerly at Bowman and Brooke LLP, joined the Columbia office in December 2018. All partners are based in Richmond unless otherwise indicated.

Product liability, mass tort and class actions: toxic tort - defense Tier 3

With particular strength in the consumer goods sector, the Richmond-based team at McGuireWoods LLP handles product liability litigation and class actions arising from chemical exposure, catastrophes and environmental contamination. Stephen Busch acted for Universal Corporation and Universal Leaf Tobacco as lead trial counsel and coordinating counsel in several lawsuits alleging that exposure to herbicides and pesticides used in the cultivation of tobacco in Argentina caused birth defects in children. In other work, practice head Diane Flannery is representing Lumber Liquidator as lead counsel in 140 class actions relating to the sale of Chinese laminate flooring containing high levels of a carcinogenic chemical.

Technology transactions Tier 3

Headed by Michael B. Woodard in Richmond, the team at McGuireWoods LLP has particular expertise in fintech and advanced software-related projects, where it advises across the gamut of IP and licensing arrangements. Other contacts in the department include Rakesh Gopalan in Charlotte, and Chicago-based Steve Gold, who has been advising energy service provider Direct Energy on a pilot project to utilize blockchain technology in an electricity procurement application. The practice group saw several personnel changes in 2018: Dallas-based Stuart M. Rasley joined the team from Squire Patton BoggsRebecca A. Brophy  joined the Raleigh office from Smith Anderson, and Chicago-based Gregory P. Hawver joined from Winston & Strawn LLP; in San Francisco, however, Lior O. Nuchi left for Norton Rose Fulbright, while Elliot Katz left to found an automotive company.

Civil litigation/class actions: defense Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP 'is a powerhouse firm in antitrust defenseits best assets are its people who are incredibly strategic', according to one client. The antitrust litigation team is led by Chicago-based Amy Manning, who is 'one of the toughest defense lawyers out there and a brilliant antitrust mind'. Other key names include Angelo RussoSarah Zielinski and Howard Feller.

Energy litigation: oil and gas Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP's energy department has 'exceptional trial lawyers', with Ryan Frei and counsel Megan Haines (both based in Richmond) acting as the heads of team. Frei is known for representing oil and gas clients in complex commercial litigation cases, most of which involve contractual disputes or allegations of fraud. Haines' contentious work in this sector is supplemented by her strong knowledge of environmental regulation and municipal zoning issues. Jonathan Blank (Charlottesville) focuses specifically on natural gas litigation, working on disputes related to mineral rights, royalties and antitrust allegations; Thomas Farrell (Houston) has over 30 years of experience in handling complex commercial litigation and class action cases. Houston-based Yasser Madriz, who handles high-stakes litigation across multiple industries, joined the firm from Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. in August 2018.

Energy: transactions: conventional power Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP's energy industry group advises energy companies and private investors in project finance and development and energy-sector M&A. Ryan Purpura chairs the energy practice in the Pittsburgh office and the co-chair of the power sector in Baltimore is Brian Kelly. Active clients are Exelon, Dominion Energy and Direct Energy. Richmond-based Joanne Katsantonis advised Dominion Energy on a $14.6bn stock-for-stock merger with SCANA Corporation to create a combined company serving 6.5 million electric and natural gas distribution customers and operating in 18 states.

Energy: transactions: oil and gas Tier 4

The energy group at McGuireWoods LLP has experience of capital markets transactions and securities law, corporate governance, tax and accounting, and regulatory compliance matters. Ryan Purpura leads the energy industry group from the Pittsburgh office, and focuses on energy-sector M&A and joint ventures. Of particular note, Purpura recently acted for a major oil and gas operator in four high-value transactions, including the acquisition of upstream and midstream oil and gas assets from Royal Dutch Shell; the sale of midstream assets to UGI Energy Services; a term bridge loan provided by White Oak Global Advisors; and an equity commitment agreement with Tsunami Partners. Another contact in the Pittsburgh office is Anthony Carna, who chairs the oil and gas practice and has particular experience of project development and mineral conveyancing.

Environment: litigation Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP has experience in four broad areas, namely air, brownfields, waste and water. The team is made up of senior counsel John Lain, who handles environmental matters related to infrastructure development, such as brownfields redevelopment and hazardous and solid waste liability; Scott Oostdyk, who represents businesses in land use issues and a variety of pollution problems, including water and hazardous substance cases; and Eugene Mathews III, who handles nuisance litigation. Vishwa Link chairs the regulatory and compliance department, and Diane Flannery chairs the product, environmental and toxic tort litigation department. The firm is primary outside litigation counsel on environmental issues for copper mining giant ASARCO, having recently successfully represented the client in a case before a federal court in Montana ordering Atlantic Richfield to pay Asarco $28m towards the cleanup of a Montana Superfund site. David Franchina joined the Charlotte office from K&L Gates in September 2018. Lawyers are based in Richmond unless otherwise stated.

Outsourcing Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP handles the negotiation of outsourcing agreements, assists with data privacy aspects of outsourcing transactions and advises on information technology and business process outsourcing. Charlotte-based Rakesh Gopalan advised Top RX, a distributor of generic pharmaceuticals, on its engagements with cloud platform Evolve IP, which aims to revamp and outsource elements of the client’s technology assets to external data centers and eliminate technological redundancies. Contacts in the Chicago office include Derek A. Roach and Steve Gold, who acts as chair of the technology and outsourcing practice group.

Sport Tier 4

The sports management team at McGuireWoods LLP frequently advises financial institutions in stadium, team, owner and league wide credit financing transactions. Los Angeles-based Richard Grant also has experience acting for Kia Motors in a range of sports sponsorship deals. Kevin McGinnis, who is based in the firm's Charlotte office, is a key name to note.

Transport: aviation and air travel - finance Tier 4

McGuireWoods LLP is ‘responsive and knowledgeable with respect to FAA registry and International Registry requirements and current market practices’. The team handles the financing, leasing, purchase and sale of corporate aircraft and is also instructed on the acquisition, disposal and management of commercial aircraft portfolios. Practice head Patricia Hosmer and counsel Preston Hurrell have been singled out by clients, while other recommended names include David Whelpley and Peter Szurley, who is based in San Francisco. Named individuals are based in Charlotte unless indicated otherwise.

General commercial disputes Tier 5

McGuireWoods LLP is noted for its 'efficient and effective use of resources’ and 'very good firm culture’. It maintains a nationwide commercial litigation practice that is especially strong in the financial services sector. For example, it successfully represented a mortgage lender in a case brought by borrowers challenging the framework of the mortgage securitization industry; the team – led by Ava Lias-Booker in Baltimore – secured a victory in the Maryland Court of Appeals. Atlanta-based Cheryl Haas is a leading figure in the firm for financial services-sector litigation; ACTL fellow Jonathan Blank is based in Charlottesville and is 'responsive, practical and strategic’; and Robert Muckenfuss chairs the commercial litigation department from Charlotte.

Private equity buyouts Tier 5

McGuireWoods LLP operates in the middle market, most notably in the healthcare, food and beverage, and energy sectors. While having a rich portfolio of classic private equity firm clients, it has a fast-growing practice driven by independent sponsors. It 'has the breadth of resources to serve all needs of a private equity firm'. Chicago, Charlotte and Dallas house the core of the US private equity practice, along with Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles. Anchor clients include Sheridan Capital Partners, Revelstoke Capital Partners and Source Capital. It also advised Charlotte-based Falfurrias Capital Partners on a series of recent transactions, including investments in Best Impressions Caterers, E-Technologies Group, Tax Guard, Plasma Solutions, SixAxis and its divestment from Advanced Control Solutions. Chicago-based Geoffrey Cockrell heads the private equity team alongside David McLean in Dallas. Charlotte partner Christopher Nesbit and Pittsburgh's Thomas Zahn are also key partners. Dallas-based Jon Finger 'is not only a great lawyer, but a superb business person'.

Securities litigation - defense Tier 5

McGuireWoods LLP has built up its securities litigation and enforcement capabilities in recent years and joins the table on the strength of its work for large financial institutions. Its most recent hire is Emily Gordy in Washington DC from broker-dealer LPL Financial, whose previous experience includes managing enforcement operations at FINRA. In New York, Ghillaine Reid is a former SEC enforcement attorney and now serves as co-chair of the firm’s broker-dealer practice, and Noreen Kelly leads the firm’s financial institutions industry practice. Kelly recently acted for a leading bank in matters arising from the issuance of RMBS securities during the financial crisis.

Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 6

The 'pragmatic and experienced' team at McGuireWoods LLP reports an uptick in fund formation mandates, with a particular focus on rural development work; Mark Kromkowski is noted for his experience advising rural business investment companies (RBICs) and SBICs. Bryan Bylica and Kevin Boardman in Dallas are also key contacts. Other clients include Innova, Webster Bank and Merion Investment Partners.

Project finance

The ‘very collaborative’ team at McGuireWoods LLP ‘interfaces well with clients and their respective counsels’ and is instructed by lenders and sponsors in energy projects. Renewables projects are a particular area of focus; here, Becky Diffen in Austin advised Macquarie Capital on the development, tax equity financing and construction financing of a 200MW wind farm in Oldham and Deaf Smith counties, Texas; and Timothy Callahan in Chicago advised KeyBank National Association on several financings including a $80m back-leveraged financing for a portfolio of over 80 solar projects California and a $30m refinancing for a 25MW wind farm in Idaho. Charlotte-based Adam Greene and Marvin Rogers, the latter of whom jointly heads the team with Matthew Kapinos in Houston, and Brian Kelly in Baltimore, are also recommended. Richmond-based Joanne Katsantonis is also a key figure. Senior counsel Kate Watlington in Charlotte joined in 2018 from Latham & Watkins LLP.

McGuireWoods, one of the world’s leading law firms, has earned the loyalty of its many longstanding clients with deep and broad legal experience; a passion for understanding their businesses and markets; innovative delivery of practical, business-minded solutions; and unmatched service. McGuireWoods’ continuing success comes down to one simple fact: The firm listens to its clients.

Clients consistently place McGuireWoods among a small group of elite firms in surveys such as BTI Consulting’s “Client Service A-Team,” an annual ranking derived from unprompted feedback by general counsel and top decision-makers at Fortune 1,000 companies. 2018 marked the 13th time the firm has been singled out for excellence on BTI’s “Client Service 30” list. McGuireWoods is one of only 10 firms to make the coveted list 13 times or more.

In addition, BTI named McGuireWoods to its “Most Recommended Law Firms” list — a rare and prestigious distinction based on feedback from corporate counsel willing to bet their reputations when recommending specific firms to their peers. McGuireWoods is one of only nine law firms to appear on the list for 17 consecutive years.

One aspect of McGuireWoods’ value proposition is its ability to address client issues from multiple angles by partnering with affiliate McGuireWoods Consulting, which The National Law Journal ranked in the top 20 Washington, D.C., government relations firms. By working closely with its consultants, McGuireWoods can augment its legal work with powerful expertise and connections in strategic communications and government relations.

Also setting the firm apart is its longstanding commitment to innovation in the delivery of legal services. McGuireWoods was named the most innovative firm in the business of law, ranked third overall and earned seven more honors in Financial Times’ prestigious North America Innovative Lawyers report.

The firm invests in technology and staff to enhance its productivity and efficiency, including building an outstanding in-house e-discovery infrastructure. McGuireWoods was quick to embrace legal project management and has developed proprietary tools for budgeting and matter management, even helping clients establish their own in-house systems. And the firm is a pioneer in the creative use of alternatives to the billable hour to help clients control legal costs without sacrificing quality. BTI has recognized McGuireWoods as one of only a handful of firms that legal decision-makers at top companies rank as the absolute best at developing and implementing AFAs for their corporate clients.

The firm partners with clients to give back to communities and advance their mutual desire to increase diversity in the profession. Working Mother has honored McGuireWoods eight times as a “Best Law Firm for Women,” and the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts have been recognized by Law360, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, among others. As part of the firm’s commitment to community service, its lawyers provide thousands of hours of pro bono work each year, helping children, battered spouses, the elderly, veterans and nonprofit groups.

Department Name Email Telephone
Antitrust and trade regulation Amy B. Manning
Complex commercial litigation Robert A. Muckenfuss
Data privacy and security C. Andrew Konia and Emily P. Gordy
Debt finance Raj Natarajan
Energy Ryan T. Purpura
Financial services litigation Cheryl L. Haas
Government investigations and white-collar litigation Todd R. Steggerda
Healthcare Amber McGraw Walsh
M&A and corporate transactions Michael B. Woodard
Private equity Geoffrey C. Cockrell
Securities & capital markets Greg R. Kilpatrick
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Ryan Purpura  photo Mr Ryan Purpura
Mr Scott Westwood  photo Mr Scott Westwood
Mr Thomas Zahn  photo Mr Thomas Zahn
Mr K. Issac deVyver  photo Mr K. Issac deVyver
Chairman : Jonathan P. Harmon
Managing Partner : J. Tracy Walker IV
Offices : Atlanta
Offices : Austin
Offices : Baltimore
Offices : Brussels
Offices : Charlottesville
Offices : Houston
Offices : Jacksonville
Offices : London
Offices : Los Angeles – Century City
Offices : Los Angeles – Downtown
Offices : New York
Offices : Norfolk
Offices : Pittsburgh
Offices : Raleigh
Offices : Richmond
Offices : San Francisco
Offices : Shanghai
Offices : Tysons
Offices : Wilmington
Number of Attorneys Firmwide : 1,100