Firm Profile > Venable LLP > Baltimore, United States

Venable LLP
United States

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 1

Venable LLP is recognized for its broad corporate expertise, covering public and private company transactions and financing deals, company formation, joint ventures, tender offers and control deals, reorganizations and liquidations. The firm also has complementary strengths in restructuring, strategic governance and securities compliance, and tax structuring. Included in its varied client roster are Fortune 100 companies, emerging growth companies, international and regional entrepreneurs, REITS, venture capitalists, financing institutions and private investors. Washington DC-based practice co-head Robert Bolger Jr is adept at business planning and corporate entity formations, advising on issues including taxation, initial capitalization and other financing deals. with a particular focus on the hospitality, marketing, technology and entertainment sectors. Charles Morton Jr, who also co-heads the team, splits his time between the Washington DC and Baltimore office, and is a key advisor for private equity groups, banks, and entrepreneurs. Ronn Davids in Los Angeles is also recommended.

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‘All members of the team work seamlessly together and always perform at a high level’. 

‘They are extremely responsive and if one of them is unavailable for an urgent matter, someone else on the team will be able to fill in’. 

‘They have high morale and are supportive of one another’. 

‘As a group, they are more responsive and cost-effective than the teams I have worked with at other firms’.    

‘All of the individuals in the group are extremely responsive’.

‘All of the Venable individuals I have worked with in or through the corporate group stand out from the attorneys at competitive firms because they are more responsive, cost-effective, and practical’.

Key clients

Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, Inc.

PapGene, Inc. (“PapGene”)

GenRock Investment

ClassPass Inc.

Bento Box Entertainment, LLC

Tax > Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) Tier 1

Venable LLP's 'knowledgeable and responsive' nonprofit organizations team has the breadth of experience to assist its not-for-profit clients with a full range of matters. The 'fantasticCynthia Lewin leads the Washington DC-based team, which also includes George Constantine; both lawyers have broad practices, assisting clients with a range of compliance, tax exemption, governance and transactional matters. Other names to note include Eric Berman, who specialises in marketing issues for nonprofit clients; Ronald Jacobs, a name to note for investigations and enforcement actions; lobbying and political activities compliance expert Janice Ryan; and Baltimore-based tax and wealth planning partners Robert Waldman and Yosef Ziffer. Counsel Anne Gerson is also recommended.

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Knowledgeable and responsive team. It’s great to work with a team that understands what you’re going through and which forces you’re dealing with.

Cynthia Lewin is fantastic. I appreciate that she has sat in my seat as a general counsel of a non-profit and understands the internal and external pressures, as well as having a firm grasp on the issues that arise. She has always been patient and kind no matter how large/small the issue.

Counsel Judith Kim is a bright and hard-working attorney who provides solid work on a timely basis. I’m not sure what we would do without Judith and her work is certainly a major reason we stick with Venable.

Key clients

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

American Bar Association

American Medical Association

Carnegie Hall

Entertainment Industry Foundation


Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

NACE International

Project Management Institute

The Common Application


Volunteers of America

Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices Tier 2

Venable LLP particularly well known for defending pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device manufacturers. In addition to handling MDLs and mass torts, the practice group advises on a variety of medical, scientific and regulatory issues that arise from life sciences product liability litigation. The team is jointly led by Baltimore-based duo Kathleen Hardway and Jason Rose. Hardway represents pharmaceutical, vaccine and medical device manufacturers in state and federal courts, and Rose is an experienced litigator with core strengths in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, as well as in business torts and commercial contract disputes. Paul Strain and David Heubeck retired from the firm in 2019.

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‘A lot of firms in this space have several high-end partners they can bring to deal with large and complex litigation. Venable brings a dozen or more, operating out of offices all over the country’

‘They work well together, with others, and with their clients’

‘Steve Marshall understands the science as well as anyone’

‘Celeste Brecht is a brilliant young strategist and developing trial attorney’

‘Michael Hecht, Chris Conoscenti and Kathleen Hardway, along with others, drive large, complex litigation effectively across the finish line’

Key clients

Merck & Co.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A.

Daiichi Sankyo

Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp)

Media, technology and telecoms > Advertising and marketing: litigation Tier 2

Venable LLP is particularly prominent in the field of consumer class actions, with high-profile recent instructions in the consumer products, food and beverage, and dietary supplement sectors. The firm has a strong track record in claims concerning the labelling of products as natural, both in the food and general consumer products space, as well as claims alleging false or misleadingly advertised health benefits in the supplements and pharmaceuticals market. Roger Colaizzi leads the team from its New York office, with a wide range of experience including Lanham act litigation and regulatory enforcement. The firm's San Fransisco office houses Angel Garganta, who focuses on class action defense, both national and state level, in the food and beverage sectors,  and is particularly active in issues which overlap with FDA regulation.

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Angel Garganta and Michael Hecht really take the time to know a case and partner with the companies they represent.

Key clients

Premier Nutrition Corporation

Advocare International, L.P.

Vitamin Shoppe

Industries, Inc.

Henkel Corporation

Topco Associates


Media, technology and telecoms > Cyber law (including data privacy and data protection) Tier 2

Based in Washington DC, the team at Venable LLP handles matters ranging from advocating for and advising clients on regulatory matters to assisting with congressional response and governmental investigations. The group boasts particular expertise in acting for clients in the media, entertainment, advertising and e-commerce sectors, which are areas of focus for Stuart Ingis and Michael Signorelli. Inglis heads the team alongside Emilio Cividanes, who assists a range of clients on regulatory matters, government relations, and litigation strategies. Counsel Ariel Wolf, who recently rejoined the practice from the US Department of Transportation, is a name to note for mobility and transportation technology sector advice. Also recommended is Ari Schwartz, who leads the firm's cybersecurity risk management practice. David Strickland left the team for the Senate Commerce Committee.

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Key clients

Association of National Advertisers (ANA)

Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law

Charles Schwab Corporation

Daimler Trucks North America

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)


National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy



Privacy for America

Media, technology and telecoms > Technology transactions Tier 2

Venable LLP is highly regarded for its expertise in advising clients from media, hospitality, healthcare, software and financial services sectors on development and licensing agreements. Practice co-head William Russell, who splits his time between Washington DC and New York, is assisting Baker Hughes Company with the development of new contracts to include cloud-based software products. Practice co-heads Armand Zottola and Nora Garrote are based in Washington DC, and San Francisco-based practice co-head James Nelson is very experienced in outsourcing agreements.

Key clients

General Electric

Baker Hughes Company

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham Destinations



Syneos Health

Real estate > Real estate investment trusts (REITs) Tier 2

Clients note Venable LLP as ‘standing at the forefront of REITs'. Its team advises publicly traded Maryland REITs in relation to public offerings, stock and debt offerings, M&A, spin-offs and a wealth of other transactions. Jim Hanks in particular is noted for having ‘helped to shape Maryland REIT and corporate law’, while Sharon Kroupa was recognized by clients as ‘smart, practical and commercial’; the pair jointly head the department from the Baltimore office. The team also advises publicly traded REITs on areas such as corporate governance, board member issues and the implementation of takeover defense.

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‘The lawyers at Venable literally wrote the law on REITs. They are highly expert and are a pleasure to work with.  Head and shoulders above their peers.’

‘Sharon Kroupa – highly expert in Maryland corporate and REIT law; she is extremely responsive, offers practical guidance and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Chris Pate – also highly expert in Maryland corporate and REIT law, and also extremely responsive.  Chris has a keen attention to detail and never gets rattled.’

‘When it comes to REITs, Venable stands at the forefront. Venable is the top firm for REITs in Maryland, where the majority of REITs are incorporated.’

‘Jim Hanks has helped shape Maryland REIT and corporate law – he is the go-to person for all REIT matters.’

‘Technical expertise, practical advice, responsive.  I find them head and shoulders above other MD practices.’

‘Sharon Kroupa is smart, practical and commercial.  Chris Pate is also great to work with.’

Key clients

Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Hudson Pacific Properties

Digital Realty Trust

Kimco Realty Corporation

Vornado Realty Trust

Host Hotels & Resorts

Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation

Realty Income Corporation

The Macerich Company

Various REITs sponsored by Hines, Steadfast, Griffin Capital, Moody, AR Global and SmartStop, among many others.

Intellectual property > Patents: litigation (full coverage) Tier 3

Venable LLP offers longstanding experience in life sciences patent litigation. After the merger with former New York firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto in 2018, the group has remained a key name for Hatch-Waxman litigation and disputes arising from medical device patent infringement allegations. The practice regularly acts in competitor litigation and combines district court, PTAB, Federal Circuit and ITC strength. Additionally, clients find a solid licensing and transactional practice at the firm. The main practitioners include the Washington DC-based Justin Pierce and the New York-based Dominick Conde as the heads of the IP division, the heads of litigation Scott Reed , Michael Sandonato, Frank Gasparo, Megan Woodworth and Frank Cimino, all based in New York except the Washington DC-based Woodworth and Cimino. Recent departures between late 2018 and late 2019 include Simon Roberts and Jason Leonard joining Hogan Lovells US LLP, Michael Furrow's departure to DLA Piper LLP (US), Todd Nosher's departure to Calhoun Bhella & Sechrest LLP, Michael Sartori's departure to Baker Botts L.L.P. and Damon Wright's departure to Gordon & Rees.

Key clients



Arthrex, Inc.



Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, LLC (FCA)



Mentor Graphics







Verizon Wireless

Media, technology and telecoms > Advertising and marketing: transactional and regulatory Tier 3

Venable LLP is highly active in matters which sit at the intersection of the advertising market and state and federal regulation, with a strong contingent of advertising specialists in its Washington D.C. office, advising on industry-specific issues such as FDA regulations in addition to more general advertising law. The firm also has significant experience in privacy and data-related work, brand integration in the wake of M&A transactions, social media and influencer marketing campaigns, and transactional work. In addition to the strong DC presence, the New York office is another key hub for the advertising team, housing co-chair Leonard Gordon, while Jeffrey Knowles operates from DC, with both specialising in regulatory work. At a more niche level, DC-based Melissa Steinman has particularly strong expertise in the fields of online gaming and promotions, while Ellen Berge focuses on direct-to-consumer marketing. Following the departure of Po Yi to Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP at the beginning of 2019, Alexandra Megaris was promoted to the partnership in April.

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Jeff Knowles, Roger Colaizzi, and the entire Venable team are the most creative, practical, and entrepreneurial lawyers we have ever worked with. Their common-sense approach and their enormous network of relationships help prevent issues before they come up and help resolve issues before they get bigger.

Key clients

Response Marketing Group

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

iStream Financial Services

Allied Wallet

Digital Advertising Alliance

Coalition for Better Ads

Data & Marketing Association (f.k.a. Direct Marketing Association)




Media, technology and telecoms > Outsourcing Tier 3

Venable LLP has considerable experience of technology-centric joint venture and strategic alliance transactions. Its client-roster includes the automotive, petrochemical, pharmaceuticals, retail and payment processing sectors, with experience representing clients on both the customer- and vendor-side of outsourcing deals. The inter-departmental team includes practitioners from the firm’s IP and corporate practice areas. Washington DC-based Nora Garrote and William Russell, who divides his time between New York and Washington DC, jointly manage the technology transactions and outsourcing group. Washington DC-based Armand Zottola and San Francisco-based Jim Nelson are other names to note.

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Government > Government contracts Tier 4

Venable LLP's government contracts team is jointly led by Scott Hommer and Paul Debolt and has a track record in the areas of aerospace and defense, technology and cybersecurity. Meredith Boylan is a name to note for contract litigation; both she and Rebecca Pearson have experience representing government contractors in complex litigation and arbitration. Other contacts include Dismas Locaria and Virginia-based James Boland.

Industry focus > Energy regulation: oil and gas Tier 4

Venable LLP regularly represents shippers and pipeline companies in regulatory matters. Steven Adducci is an experienced regulatory attorney, who is notably active in acting for shippers in rate and tariff cases. Gregory Wagner is also a key contact for oil and gas shippers, LNG project developers and gas marketers, representing them before FERC, state regulatory authorities and the courts of appeal.

Intellectual property > Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings) Tier 4

Venable LLP combines a dedicated PTAB practice with in-depth knowledge of the life sciences sector and a track record of advising clients from a variety of other sectors, including the electronics and technology sectors. The key office is in Washington DC. Michael Sartori left for Baker Botts L.L.P. in January 2019.

Labor and employment > Employee benefits, executive compensation and retirement plans: design Tier 4

At Venable LLP's employee benefits and executive compensations practice, Baltimore-based Harry Atlas and Washington DC-based Kenneth Hoffman provide ongoing assistance to long-standing clients in the not-for-profit and staffing sectors, with executive compensation planning and tax-advantaged (403(b) and 457) plan advice, as well as 401(k) plan governance. Clients in the retail and wholesale sectors take advantage of the team’s multiemployer plan expertise. Thora Johnson leads the practice out of Baltimore with a focus on health and welfare plan administration including compliance with the Affordable Care Act, HIPPA and ERISA. Also noteworthy is Johnson’s experience in setting up onsite wellness programs and medical centers.

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Finance > Financial services regulation Tier 7

Fielding a team that includes former members of the CFPB's Office of Enforcement and Office of Regulations, Venable LLP is well equipped to advise clients on regulatory matters across the consumer finance industry, including consumer protection, advertising and marketing, and privacy and data security issues. Leveraging his experience as senior counsel in the CFPB's Office of Regulations, Andrew Arculin provides comprehensive support on compliance and enforcement matters, focusing primarily on consumer lending, fintech and mortgage banking. Civil litigator Allyson Baker represents consumer finance companies and individuals in private investigations brought by the CFPB, state attorneys general and the DOJ, and Jonathan Pompan advises investors and lenders in relation to regulatory compliance, product development and many other matters before the CFPB and the FTC.

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Key clients

Clarion Capital Partners

Transworld Systems

DR Bank (formerly Laurel Road Bank)


JP Morgan Chase

Altisource Solutions

Citadel Servicing Corporation

GreenDot Bank and Unirush d/b/a RushCard

Republic Bank and Trust Co.

ClearPath Lending

Continental Finance Company

Midland Credit Management/Encore Capital Group

Cavalry Portfolio Services

Warburg Pincus


HIG Capital


Lend Street

Fairway Independent Mortgage Lending USA

Leap Theory


DBA Carta


Founded more than a century ago, 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 individuals. With more than 850 professionals across the country, including California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients’ business objectives in the US 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. The firm has built its practice around leading attorneys who have served in senior corporate, regulatory, prosecutorial, legislative, and executive branch positions.

Main areas of practice
Business: Venable represents and advises individual and corporate clients on banking and financial services matters, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, banking regulations, corporate finance and securities, employee benefits and executive compensation, franchise and distribution, mergers and acquisitions, mezzanine finance, real estate and land use, strategic alliances and joint ventures, taxation, technology transactions and outsourcing, and trusts and estates. Venable represents and advises state and local governments and nonprofit organizations on municipal and tax-exempt finance and tax compliance. Clients include Fortune 100 corporations, entrepreneurs, family businesses, venture capitalists, underwriters, investors of all descriptions, state and local governments, and nonprofit corporations and associations, including healthcare and educational institutions.

Government: Venable advises clients on a wide array of issues related to pending legislation, government contracts, regulatory matters, and cybersecurity and risk management before state and federal authorities. The Venable team has extensive experience working with officials in numerous executive branch agencies, including the departments of agriculture, energy, defense, health and human services, homeland security, justice, treasury, and transportation. Venable attorneys and legislative advisors also work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Postal Regulatory Commission, US Postal Service, Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, OSHA, US Patent and Trademark Office, Federal Reserve Board, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other financial services regulatory agencies. Venable provides its clients with a full complement of government affairs and legislative support, including political analysis, issue management and direct advocacy, and preparation of draft legislation, congressional testimony, and committee report language.

Litigation: Venable’s litigation practice is broad enough to handle virtually all areas of civil and criminal law, and deep enough to handle bet-the-company litigation. General counsel at Fortune 500 companies look to the firm’s trial lawyers on matters ranging from defense against class actions to internal investigations. Venable handles all major areas of litigation, including appellate, products liability and mass torts, commercial disputes, labor and employment, antitrust, intellectual property, class action, and SEC and white-collar defense. Venable’s many former federal prosecutors have considerable experience conducting internal investigations and representing clients in administrative and grand jury investigations.

Intellectual property: Venable’s IP attorneys practice in every aspect of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution and litigation, trademark, copyright, brand protection, trade secrets, antitrust, and unfair competition. With technical backgrounds and experience extending across a host of industries and technologies, the firm’s attorneys advise clients on all issues pertaining to domestic and foreign patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Venable also negotiates and drafts domestic and international licenses, joint venture and technology transfer agreements, and research contracts. Venable’s IP litigators represent clients before the International Trade Commission and aggressively enforce and defend intellectual property claims in venues across the country.

Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Harry Atlas  photo Mr Harry Atlas
Ms Sally Bryan  photo Ms Sally Bryan
Ms Carmen Fonda  photo Ms Carmen Fonda
Mr James Hanks  photo Mr James Hanks
Ms Kathleen Hardway  photo Ms Kathleen Hardway
Ms Thora Johnson  photo Ms Thora Johnson
Ms Sharon Kroupa  photo Ms Sharon Kroupa
Mr Stephen Marshall  photo Mr Stephen Marshall
Ms Patricia McGowan  photo Ms Patricia McGowan
Mr Charles Morton Jr  photo Mr Charles Morton Jr
Mr Bruce Parker  photo Mr Bruce Parker
Mr Bryan Rakes  photo Mr Bryan Rakes
Mr Jason Rose  photo Mr Jason Rose
Mr Anthony Rosso  photo Mr Anthony Rosso
Mr Michael Schiffer  photo Mr Michael Schiffer
Mr Craig Thompson  photo Mr Craig Thompson
Mr Robert L Waldman  photo Mr Robert L Waldman
Mr Yosef Ziffer  photo Mr Yosef Ziffer
Number of Partners : 334
Number of Lawyers : 807
Chairman : Stuart P Ingis
Managing Partners : Lawrence H Gesner
Managing Partners : Daniel P Moylan