Type: News
Date: 02/12/2018

Taft Names 2018 Executive Committee

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has named its 2018 executive committee. The committee has 12 members, three of whom are new additions as follows: Chicago Partner Stephen R. Auten, Cleveland Partner Julie A. Crocker and Indianapolis Partner Todd C. Lady.

Below is the full executive committee, followed by a short biography for each member.

  • Stephen R. Auten
  • David J. Butler
  • Julie A. Crocker
  • Barbara A. Duncombe
  • Cezar “Cid” M. Froelich
  • Jennifer Hann Harrison
  • Robert J. Hicks (Chair)
  • Todd C. Lady
  • Margaret A. Lawson
  • Anthony R. Licata (Ex-Officio)
  • Tracey A. Puthoff
  • Adrian D. Thompson
  • James M. Zimmerman

Chicago Partner Stephen R. Auten leads the firm’s Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences Litigation practice. He is a widely recognized attorney in Hatch-Waxman and biosimilar matters, including related patent litigation, and is followed by key industry leaders (brand and generic alike), law firms, analysts, educators and others on his LinkedIn blog “Hatch Waxman ANDA Litigation Forum” or HALF, which has over 8,000 members worldwide. He currently represents clients primarily in the areas of Paragraph IV design strategies, Hatch-Waxman litigation and biosimilar market opportunities. Auten co-chairs the firm’s marketing and business development committee.

Columbus Partner David J. Butler is a business trial lawyer with extensive experience in complex civil litigation, mass tort class actions and multi-district litigations. He concentrates his practice in federal court, representing companies in a wide range of nuanced, commercial and mass tort legal matters. He also routinely serves as local counsel in federal court. Butler’s experience includes leading the firm’s special counsel team for a large Ohio agency, handling high-stakes business, healthcare fraud and abuse and construction litigation and headline-making mass tort environmental and pharmaceutical cases. Butler serves as the partner-in-charge of Taft Columbus.

Cleveland Partner Julie A. Crocker focuses her practice on commercial transactions and business litigation matters, including shareholder disputes, litigation related to and resulting from mergers and acquisitions, post-closing adjustments and earn-outs, and cases involving contract disputes and real property disputes. Her practice also includes representing clients in cases involving negotiable instruments, banking and secured transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, Crocker has significant jury trial experience and has represented clients in all areas of litigation, from pretrial to appellate proceedings.

Dayton Partner Barbara A. Duncombe practices in the area of government contracts law, representing clients regionally and nationally. For over 25 years, she has worked with clients to address questions or problems with public contract formation, performance, administration, payment and dispute resolution. She represents prime contractors, subcontractors, grantees, subrecipients and public buyers. Her experience also includes representing contractors in False Claim Act investigations and litigation and conducting internal compliance investigations. Duncombe chairs the firm’s Government Contracts practice.

Chicago Partner Cezar “Cid” M. Froelich concentrates his practice in corporate finance/securities, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He advises a broad range of clients, including investment banking and brokerage firms; publicly-held entities, including boards of directors; audit and compensation committees; governmental entities and privately held entities in the gaming industry. Froelich serves as chairman of Taft Chicago.

Dayton Partner Jennifer Hann Harrison represents employers in a broad range of employment and workers’ compensation matters, and she leads the Workers’ Compensation practice in Dayton. In addition, she serves as outside general counsel to closely held corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. Harrison regularly appears before administrative agencies, the Courts of Common Pleas, Ohio Appellate Courts and the Ohio Supreme Court. She served on a Senate task force that was convened in 2009 to study privatization of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation System.

Firm-wide Chairman and Managing Partner Robert J. Hicks focuses his practice on complex business and commercial transactions, private equity and venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, structured financings, business advisory services and structural tax matters. He serves as outside counsel for the largest private equity fund in Indiana, along with several other substantial and successful businesses. Hicks took a hiatus from the private practice of law from 1996 through 2001. During that period, he served as executive vice president of strategic development for the CIT Group, as general manager of the largest U.S. financing division of Newcourt Credit Group, CIT’s predecessor, and as chairman and CEO of RealMed Corporation, CIT’s largest portfolio company.

Indianapolis Partner Todd C. Lady focuses his practice on general corporate taxation and international tax matters. He represents clients with respect to domestic and cross-border M&A, inbound investment by non-U.S. persons, taxation of financial instruments and foreign currency denominated investments, choice of legal entity and the application of the United States tax-treaty network. A significant component of Lady’s practice includes advising U.S. clients with respect to the U.S. reporting of foreign activities, representing clients in seeking administrative relief through the private ruling process and representing clients under examination by the IRS.

Cincinnati Partner Margaret A. Lawson focuses her practice on trademark, trade secret, copyright and right of publicity. She has developed a proficiency in negotiating licenses and technology transfer agreements in high-stakes industries that include biomedical technology, software, e-commerce, data storage and security, publishing and franchising. Lawson also oversees the registration and maintenance of IP portfolios in the United States and foreign countries and assists clients with cross-border transactions. In the past, she worked on a variety of business and transactional matters at Taft, including mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Lawson chairs the firm’s communications committee.

Chicago Partner Anthony R. Licata focuses his practice on commercial real estate, family office and private equity venture capital matters. He also works closely with the construction, restaurant and hospitality, and technology industries. Licata serves as chair of the firm-wide administration committee.

Cincinnati Partner Tracey A. Puthoff has extensive M&A and finance experience, involving both publicly-traded corporations and privately-held companies in diverse industries. She attended law school and became a transactional attorney after a career in engineering at GE Aviation and McDonnell Aircraft Company (now Boeing). Due to her background in engineering and involvement on community boards, Puthoff understands all aspects of an M&A or finance deal — from financing to intellectual property to addressing the interests of every stakeholder. Puthoff chairs the firm’s Technology industry team.

Cleveland Partner Adrian D. Thompson provides counsel for private sector clients on issues including equal employment opportunity litigation, wage-hour problems, employment of the disabled, federal housing and other labor matters. He also represents school districts in contract negotiations, grievance arbitration, litigation, education of the disabled and employment discrimination matters. In addition, Thompson serves as Taft’s chief diversity officer and helps to drive the firm’s commitment and strategy regarding diversity and inclusion across the firm’s offices and in the communities that Taft serves. He also serves as the co-partner-in-charge of Taft Cleveland.

Cincinnati Partner James M. Zimmerman represents businesses, investors and entrepreneurs on a range of matters, including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, securities offerings and strategic partnering transactions. He also serves as outside counsel for numerous growth companies and represents private equity and venture capital firms in fund formation and portfolio company investments. Zimmerman serves as the partner-in-charge of Taft Cincinnati.

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