Barbara Grayson and Debra Levin Spearhead Jenner & Block’s Newly Formed Private Wealth Practice

by | Aug 8, 2016

In a push to expand their offerings to high-net worth individuals and families, Jenner & Block recently brought on board wealth management attorneys Barbara Grayson and Debra Levin to launch and co-chair the firm’s private wealth practice, joined by Anne Brynn, who now serves as department counsel.

Levin, most recently a partner at Seyfarth Shaw, has over four decades of experience advising families and individuals across multiple generations on estate planning and post-death issues. Grayson, a WILEF board member who most recently was a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, has more than a decade and a half of experience representing individuals, families, family offices, family owned businesses and charitable organizations. Brynn also joins the firm with extensive experience with trust and estate matters, most recently serving as senior counsel in the Wealth Management Group at BMO Harris Bank.

Stepping into position of co-chairs for a newly-formed practice group provides Grayson and Levin with an opportunity to chart a new path for the firm and for their clients. In this role, the women can create for their clients a “unique, tailored approach to managing their most significant assets and concerns,” Grayson said in a statement. Levin added that serving as a member of the private wealth team will allow her to continually take a “comprehensive approach to estate planning and be there for my clients at critical times in their lives.”


Lisa Shub, a litigation partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, was awarded the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2016 Outstanding Lawyers Award as well as its 2016 Women’s Leadership Award, standing as the only person to be honored on both lists.

Susan Feeney, a partner in the tax and employee benefits practice group at McCarter & English, will receive the Saint Thomas More medal from Seton Hall University Law School at the 32nd Annual Red Mass in September. Feeney was also recently elected First Vice President of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, as well as to a second term serving the Essex County Bar Association as its representative to the ABA House of Delegates.

Shira Nadich Levin, co-chair of the real estate leasing group and chair of the Women’s Initiative at Cooley, was selected to New Jersey Real Estate Journal’s 2016 Women in Real Estate list.

Sidley Austin was honored with the Most Pioneering Law Firm for Female Lawyers award at the Chambers Diversity Awards USA 2016 dinner, which recognizes a firm’s commitment to increasing the opportunities for–and representation of–women lawyers.

Laurin Blumenthal Kleiman, global co-leader of Sidley’s investment funds, advisers and derivatives practice team and firmwide co-chair of the Committee on Retention and Promotion of Women, was also honored at the awards with the Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year award.

Sidley Austin partners Aimee Contreras-Camua and Debra E. Pole were recognized by the Southern California Diversity and Leadership Conference. Contreras-Camua received the Multicultural Leadership award and Pole received the Most Powerful & Influential Women award.

Kristina Lawson, a partner in the land use practice at Manatt, was named to Bisnow’s Bay Area Power Women list.

Anita Sabine, a partner in the real estate practice at Manatt, was featured in Real Estate Forum’s “Dealmakers: Deals of the Year 2015” for their representation of Macerich’s $2.3 billion sale of JV interests in mall properties.


Hinshaw & Culbertson announced the election of five female attorneys, Avanti Bakan, Danielle Costello, Anne Couyoumjian, Ibi Davis-Ossuetta and Gretchen Harris Sperry, to partnership.

Davis Polk & Wardwell announced the election of two female attorneys, Veronica Wissel and Yan Zhang, to partnership.


Renée Becker, a partner in the corporate and finance practice at Manatt, was part of the team that represented Preferred Bank in the completion of a private placement for $62.5 million.

Prana Topper, a litigation partner at Manatt, was part of the team that secured the dismissal of an alleged breach of contract case against client Seaport Global Securities that was brought by Luxor Capital, which disputed a potential trade that was discussed via instant message.

Timi Hallem, a partner in the real estate practice at Manatt, negotiated the contribution of a portion of land on behalf of Bohannon Development Company for the Menlo Gateway project in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Sherilyn Pastor, leader of McCarter & English’s insurance coverage group, will be presenting in a plenary session (“Are Both Sides’ Coverage Privileges Disappearing?”) at the Women in Insurance (WIN) Conference.