New York — Sidley Austin LLP announced today that eight lawyers will be joining the firm as partners in the Dallas office later this month. Six will be joining the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, and two will become members of Sidley’s Private Equity practice. The practices of the lawyers in this group are national in scope and focus on providing sophisticated services for leading corporations and private equity sponsors. The group is moving to Sidley from Weil, Gotshal & Manges and includes Yvette Ostolaza and Angela Fontana, both of whom co-chaired national practice groups at their prior firm. The additional new partners are Penny Reid, Vance Beagles, Angela Zambrano, Kelly Dybala, Yolanda Cornejo Garcia and Michelle Hartmann.
Ms. Ostolaza served as co-head of Weil’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice and was a member of the firm’s Management Committee. In her 21 years of practice, she has been the lead litigation partner on numerous cases in both federal and state courts throughout the country, has led significant investigations and has represented both national and Texas-based clients in domestic and international arbitrations. She has been selected as one of Diversity & The Bar’s 2013 “Rainmakers,” and is recognized in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the field of Commercial Litigation in Texas. She also has been recognized as one of the “20 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” by the Texas Diversity Counsel. Ms. Ostolaza will serve as a global coordinator of Sidley’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice and also will assume the role of Dallas Office Managing Partner effective January 2014. She will succeed Sidley partner James Bradley, who is transitioning to Senior Counsel in January 2014.
Ms. Fontana served as co-head of Weil’s U.S. Banking and Finance practice. Her practice consists primarily of financing transactions and debt restructurings. She regularly represents private equity sponsors, borrowers and financial institutions, and her experience includes investment grade lending, commercial paper facilities, letter of credit facilities, cash flow-based lending, asset-based lending, mezzanine financing and workouts and restructurings. She is recognized in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the field of Banking and Finance, and was selected as a finalist for Chambers USA “Women in Law” Awards for 2013 and 2012. She also was named a Texas Super Lawyer in 2003 – 2012 and a “Best Lawyer” in Dallas for bank lending by D Magazine. Additionally, she has been recognized as one of the “20 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” by the Texas Diversity Counsel. Ms. Fontana will serve as a global coordinator of Sidley’s Private Equity practice and become a member of the firm’s Global Finance practice.
“This highly talented group provides an exciting opportunity to expand our litigation, finance and private equity capabilities nationally,” said Larry Barden, vice-chair of Sidley’s Management Committee. “This group has a long track record of achieving outstanding results on behalf of their clients and we look forward to having them as part of the Sidley team. Given that Yvette held a senior leadership role at her prior firm, she is a natural fit to succeed Jim in leading the Dallas office and to assume a leadership role in our national complex commercial litigation practice. We thank Jim for his service and welcome this top-notch group of lawyers to Sidley.”
In addition to Ms. Ostolaza and Ms. Fontana, the following lawyers will join Sidley as partners:
Penny P. Reid – Complex Commercial Litigation. Ms. Reid has more than 20 years of experience trying cases and coordinating complex civil litigation in federal and state courts throughout the country, including securities class actions, multi-jurisdictional disputes and bankruptcy litigation. She has an accounting background and has handled numerous accounting malpractice actions, internal investigations for boards of directors and purchase-price arbitrations. Ms. Reid has been involved in many high profile cases, including serving as trial counsel in a large securities class action trial and related individual securities actions. She has been recognized annually by Texas Super Lawyers since 1996 and by New York Super Lawyers since 2004 as a leading lawyer in business litigation. Recently, Ms. Reid was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the top trial lawyers.
Vance L. Beagles – Complex Commercial Litigation. Mr. Beagles litigates matters for a wide range of public and private clients, with a focus on class actions, business torts, energy litigation, landlord/tenant disputes, post-closing private equity purchase price adjustments, state and federal securities litigation, and bankruptcy litigation. He has been involved in litigating commercial disputes on behalf of many Dallas-based clients, and has litigated in state and federal courts in California, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. In 2012, the Dallas Business Journal and the Association of Corporate Counsel named him one of the “Defenders – the top 15 business defense lawyers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.” Additionally, he has been recognized in the Benchmark Litigation Guide as a “Texas Local Star” for the last four consecutive years. Mr. Beagles is recognized as a Texas “Super Lawyer” in business litigation by Texas Super Lawyers.
Angela C. Zambrano – Complex Commercial Litigation. She has more than 15 years of experience representing companies and boards of directors in a variety of business litigation and internal investigations, including class actions and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Ms. Zambrano regularly litigates cases involving allegations of fraud and tortious conduct for companies in a wide variety of industries. She has earned a reputation for providing litigation advice that clients can use to make critical business decisions. In 2006, she was named among D Magazine’s “Top Lawyers under 40” and has been recognized annually by Texas Super Lawyers as a leading lawyer in the area of business litigation.
Kelly M. Dybala – Private Equity, Global Finance. Ms. Dybala regularly represents borrowers and financial institutions, concentrating her practice on acquisition financing, asset-based lending, mezzanine financing and subordinated debt financing. She also has experience in workouts and debtor-in-possession financing on behalf of both borrowers and financial institutions. Ms. Dybala was selected as one of M&A Advisor’s “40 under 40” and one of the 45 best women lawyers under the age of 45 by The American Lawyer. She also was named a leading lawyer in Banking and Finance in Chambers USA 2012-2013. In addition, she was named a “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers consecutively since 2008, a “Best Lawyer” in Dallas by D Magazine and named a “Recommended” lawyer for Private Equity Buyouts by The Legal 500 USA.
Yolanda Cornejo Garcia – Complex Commercial Litigation. Her practice includes representing companies, boards of directors and special committees in business litigation, including class actions, multi-jurisdictional disputes and internal investigations. She also has experience in securities litigation, including shareholder derivative actions, and frequently advises clients on matters under the Texas Derivative Statute, including cash-out mergers. She has litigated cases in state and federal courts across the country, including in Texas, Delaware, California, Oklahoma, Nevada, Minnesota and New York. Ms. Garcia has represented clients in cases involving state and federal antitrust law, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract; she frequently represents Latin-American clients. She was previously named one of the “40 under 40” by the Dallas Business Journal and has been featured in articles by the Texas Lawyer and numerous other publications. Since 2005, Ms. Garcia has been recognized by Super Lawyers Rising Star edition as a “Texas Rising Star.” She also has been recognized by Texas Super Lawyers as a leading lawyer in the area of business litigation and featured in articles by the Texas Lawyer and Texas Super Lawyers.
Michelle Hartmann – Complex Commercial Litigation. Ms. Hartmann’s practice covers all aspects of complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country, with a particular emphasis on class actions and multi-district litigation, restrictive covenant and trade secrets litigation and conducting internal investigations. She was named one of the “40 under 40” by the Dallas Business Journal, and selected by her peers for membership in both of Dallas’ American Inns of Court. She currently serves as the president of the oldest women’s bar association in the State of Texas. Ms. Hartmann has been named a “Texas Rising Star” for Litigation/Regulatory by Texas Super Lawyers since 2008. Additionally, she is recognized as a “Leading” Lawyer for Litigation: Trade Secrets in the U.S. in The Legal 500.
“Lawyers in this group have built highly ranked practices in complex litigation, arbitrations, internal investigations and private equity finance, and will add considerable strength to our litigation experience and expertise and to our existing ability to advise clients on acquisition-related financings and debt restructurings,” said Carter Phillips, chair of Sidley’s Executive Committee. “This expansion is a continuation of our growth strategy and follows our recent acquisition of an SEC enforcement and regulatory group, a team of international arbitration lawyers, and the addition of several other high-profile partners across our global platform, particularly in Europe and Asia. We are delighted to add these accomplished lawyers to Sidley and look forward to their many contributions.”
Sidley’s Dallas office opened in 1996 with a focus on intellectual property litigation and is now home to more than 30 lawyers. In 2012, Sidley opened an office in Houston to focus on energy-related transactions and complex commercial litigation. The Houston office today has grown to 32 lawyers.
With approximately 1,700 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide, Sidley has built a reputation as a premier legal adviser for global businesses and financial institutions. For the third consecutive year, Sidley received the most first-tier national rankings of any U.S. law firm in the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey, including for both International Arbitration – Commercial and International Arbitration – Governmental. On Law360’s list of Global 20 Firms, Sidley was ranked among the top law firms with the greatest global reach and expertise. To stay up-to-date with the latest Sidley news, please follow us on Twitter at @SidleyNewsroom.
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