Women in Big Law Making an Impact

by | Jun 23, 2016

You Go, Girl

Loeb & Loeb Team Scores Win for Sumner Redstone

While the fate of Sumner Redstone’s media empire is still up in the air, his personal life is a bit more settled thanks in part to his legal team at Loeb & Loeb.

After just one day of trial in May, a high-profile lawsuit filed by Redstone’s former companion challenging his mental capacity was dismissed. Manuela Herzer alleged Redstone was not mentally competent when he ended his relationship with her last fall and removed her as his designated agent on his advance health care directive.

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan dismissed the suit after seeing video testimony from Redstone, finding that it clearly showed his desire to end his relationship with Herzer.

Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, was represented by Loeb & Loeb partner Gabrielle A. Vidal, co-chair of the firm’s trust and estate practice, and partner Amy Koch, in coordination with trial co-counsel from Hueston Hennigan.

“Mr. Redstone is grateful that the court dismissed this case and honored his stated wish to keep Manuela Herzer out of his life and healthcare decisions,” said Vidal in a statement. “Mr. Redstone looks forward to spending time with his loved ones in peace.”

The Loeb & Loeb team that worked on the case also included attorneys Laura A. Wytsma and Alexandra A. Letzel with support from Virginia Briseno. 

Cooley’s Barbara Borden Leads Jazz Pharmaceuticals in $1.5 Billion Deal for Celator

Cooley’s Barbara Borden is leading a team representing Jazz Pharmaceuticals in its $1.5 billion acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, the maker of a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.

For Borden, the transaction is just her latest billion-dollar deal in the pharmaceutical industry. Last year, for example, she represented Auspex Pharmaceuticals in its $3.5 billion sale to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Horizon Pharma in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Hyperion Therapeutics.

Borden, head of the M&A practice at Cooley since 2009, is based in San Diego, which she says has been an advantage.

“San Diego is home to incredibly successful companies operating in the life sciences, medical device, specialty pharma, technology and defense industries—all of which are core to Cooley’s practice,” Borden wrote in an email. “Being based here has given me the opportunity to work closely with clients in these industries, making me highly effective in representing the companies in those spaces.”

It’s been an eventful year for Borden. In April, she was recognized at The Recorder’s 2016 Corporate Departments of the Year & GC Impact Awards as a life sciences Trusted Advisor. The Legal 500 United States 2016 also recognized her in June as a leading lawyer in the category for M&A in the middle market.


Madeline McDonough has been elected as chair of Shook, Hardy and Bacon. She will begin her five-year term on January 1, 2017.

Gail Golman Holtzman, a principal in the Tampa, Florida office of Jackson Lewis, will take over as Section Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association in August.

Ashley Oliker, managing litigation associate at Frost Brown Todd, was elected and sworn in as the  75th President of the Women Lawyers of Franklin County at its annual meeting in May.

Katharine Mayer, a partner with McCarter & English, was nominated by Delaware Governor Jack Markell to serve an initial four-year term as a Commissioner for the Delaware Superior Court in New Castle County.

Kimberly Frank, a partner at McCarter & English, was elected to the Energy Bar Associations board of directors.


Collin Udell, of counsel in the Hartford office of Jackson Lewis, received an Amicus Service Award in April for the brief she submitted to the Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson. She also recently participated in an evaluation of the qualifications of Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Meghan B. Burke, head for the public finance section of Mintz Levin and chair of the firm’s education practice, was one of two women named as a 2015 recipient of the Freda Johnson Award presented by The Bond Buyer and Northeast Women in Public Finance.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton partners Tina McKeon and Lisa Pearson and Cooley partner Heidi Keefe were named to Managing Intellectual Property’s list of “Top 250 Women in IP.”

Sascha Grimm, an associate in the commercial litigation department at Cooley, was named to City AM’s Power 100 Women list.

Shannon Eagan, a partner in the securities litigation, white collar and regulatory defense and commercial litigation practice groups at Cooley, was honored at the 2016 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women awards.

Brooke Nussbaum, an associate in the business department at Cooley, was selected to Bisnow’s list of the 40 Lawyers Under 40.

Hillary Libka, an associate in the litigation department and a member of the patent counseling and prosecution practice group at Cooley, was awarded the Massachusetts Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Award for Pro Bono Excellence.

Kathryne “Kate” M. Morris, an associate at Strasburger & Price, has earned the ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) credential through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).


Amber Wessels-Yen, recently appointed co-chair of Alston & Bird’s international litigation practice group, presented oral argument before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case against the National Bank of Egypt and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Torrey McClary, a partner at Hogan Lovells, led a team advising Vanderbilt University on the legal and financial separation of its medical center. Lorig Kalaydjian, a senior associate at Hogan Lovells, assisted in managing the corporate and regulatory aspects of the transaction.

Nicola Maguire, a partner in the life sciences practice group at Cooley, lead a team that advised biotech companies DalCor and FLX Bio on their recent Series B financings.

Laura Medina, a partner in the business department at Cooley, led a team that advised nut butter company Justin’s on its sale to Hormel for $286 million.


Janet Cullum, a partner in the intellectual property litigation group at Cooley, recently spoke on a panel about pharmaceutical branding at the 2016 BIO International Convention. She also serves as the co-chair of the BIO International Convention’s IP track.

Shira Nadich Levin, co-chair of the Women’s Initiative at Cooley, recently spoke on a panel about the firm’s progress in advancing and retaining women in the legal profession at a Legal Market Association session in NYC.

Sherilyn Pastor, leader of McCarter & English’s insurance coverage group, recently spoke on a Stafford CLE webinar entitled “Insurance Estoppel and Waiver Amid Conflicting Case Law: Safeguarding Coverage, Navigating Insurer and Insured’s Duties.”

Susan Feeney, a partner in the tax and employee benefits practice group at McCarter & English, was to present on June 23 at a NJICLE seminar entitled “Hot Topics in Non Profit and Charitable Organization Law,” co-sponsored by the NJSBA Business Law Section Board in New Brunswick, NJ.

Sarah Biser, leader of McCarter & English’s construction, project development and infrastructure practice group and co-managing partner of the New York office, will be a visiting professor at Cornell Law School, where she will teach a course for the inaugural “Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship” LLM program.