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Newsmakers: Week of April 8, 2019

Partner Promotions

Abigail M. Lyle

Hunton Andrews Kurth is beginning its new fiscal year with the promotion of the following three Texas lawyers to partner.

Conor M. Shary in Houston is a partner in the capital finance and real estate departments. He represents buyers, sellers and developers of commercial real estate, landlords and tenants in office and retail leasing transactions, lenders and borrowers in secured lending transactions, and financial institutions in project financings and commercial loans. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Beth A. Whitaker in Dallas is a partner in the firm’s corporate department. She focuses on corporate transactions and securities and regulatory representation of commercial banks, holding companies, thrifts and other financial institutions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt and equity offerings, and corporate finance transactions. Whitaker received her undergraduate degree from Elon University and her law degree from Charleston School of Law.

And also in Dallas, Abigail M. Lyle is a partner in the firm’s litigation department. She focuses her practice on regulatory compliance and defending financial institutions in enforcement actions and litigation related to consumer protection laws. Lyle received her undergraduate degree from Furman University and her law degree from the  University of Miami School of Law.

DLA Piper has promoted four attorneys in Texas to partner.

Joseph Fore, in Austin, is part of the corporate practice group. He provides ongoing representation to private equity and venture capital firms, public issuers and private companies. His transaction experience includes representing both strategic and financial buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, equity syndication, corporate governance, SEC disclosure, and more.

Jibin Luke, in Houston, is also a member of the corporate practice group. Luke’s work has encompassed mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, tax issues, and oil and gas matters. His experience extends to the buying and selling of businesses and assets, corporate governance issues, private debt and equity financing, venture capital financing, and general business matters.

Adam Pierson, in Dallas, is part of the firm’s litigation practice. Pierson covers a wide range of issues, with a particular emphasis on representing health care companies in antitrust, class actions and matters arising under the False Claims Act and state consumer fraud laws. His appellate practice is nationwide and involves successful outcomes in state and federal appellate courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Crystal Woods, also in Dallas, is part of the firm’s employment practice. She works with complex commercial litigation, labor and employment matters and securities claims, with a primary focus on issues implicating trade secrets and restrictive covenants. Woods represents a variety of publicly traded and privately held corporations, investor funds and individuals in connection with matters before state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the American Arbitration Association.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is beginning its new fiscal year with the promotion of the following three Texas lawyers to partner.

Senior Associate



Munck Wilson Mandala brought on litigation attorney Alison L. Battiste as a senior associate. As a trial lawyer and legal adviser, Battiste represents both plaintiffs and defendants, applying her financial industry and corporate and securities industry knowledge to assist clients with matters related to federal and state banking laws, as well as securities-related investigations and contractual disputes. She received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Battiste also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Law School in Dallas, where she taught a course on legal research and writing. Before her legal career, Battiste earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While pursuing her graduate degree, Battiste studied international business at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. After law school, she worked at Merrill Lynch International in London, England.

New Associates



Daniela C. Gutierrez has joined the Dallas office of international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges as an associate in the firm’s banking and finance practice. Before joining Weil, Gutierrez was an associate at another global law firm, where she advised clients in various commercial lending transactions, including syndicated credit facilities, asset-based and reserve-based financings, senior and subordinated lending transactions, merger and acquisition financings, restructurings and reorganizations of debt, and project financings. Gutierrez earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and previously completed her B.B.A. and B.A., cum laude, at Southern Methodist University.

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr announced that Matthew Talley has joined the firm’s Austin office as an associate. Talley, who had recently been promoted to a director of Coats Rose's construction/surety section, bolsters Munsch Hardt’s construction practice from both a controversy and transactional perspective. Talley’s practice centers on drafting and negotiating complex construction and design contracts for large projects, with a particular emphasis on developing insurance requirements and evaluating insurance coverage issues for his clients. Talley earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law and his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.