Jackson Walker LLP announces the election of nine attorneys to the firm’s partnership. The new partners in each city are:
- Austin – Cale McDowell, Sara Stinnett
- Dallas – Matt Acosta, Sara Borrelli
- Houston – Matt Cavenaugh, Richard Howell, Amanda Zimmerman
- San Antonio – Jesse Lotay, Matthew Swantner
Matt Acosta, Dallas, Litigation–Matt Acosta’s practice focuses primarily on intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. He is dedicated to providing dynamic, zealous, and efficient representation for his clients by developing practical strategies through every stage of litigation. Mr. Acosta has litigated a wide variety of patent, trademark, copyright, and theft of trade secrets cases. He has served as counsel in over six dozen patent litigation matters involving the internet, telecommunications, consumer electronics, biomedical, and software technology fields. Mr. Acosta has particular insight into the practices and procedures of the Eastern District of Texas, where he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Leonard Davis. In addition to Texas courts, Mr. Acosta has litigated cases throughout the United States including the Northern District of Illinois, Southern District of Florida, District of Utah, and District of Delaware. Mr. Acosta has also served as trial counsel in an array of contract, breach of warranty, banking, insurance, and other complex commercial matters.
Sara Borrelli, Dallas, Intellectual Property–Sara Borrelli focuses primarily on trademark and patent law. She has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting domestic trademark applications and managing international trademark portfolios. She is also a registered patent attorney concentrating on patent preparation, with an emphasis on biotechnology. Ms. Borrelli has prepared and prosecuted numerous patent applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the fields of gene delivery technology, organic and inorganic chemistry, pharmaceuticals, in vitro diagnostics, and veterinary and medical sciences. She also has substantial experience in intellectual property litigation matters, including patent and trademark infringement disputes, as well as transactional matters, including negotiating and drafting intellectual property license agreements across a wide range of industries.
Matt Cavenaugh, Houston, Bankruptcy—Matthew D. Cavenaugh is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex business bankruptcy litigation. A seasoned actor, Mr. Cavenaugh understands the importance of communicating complex arguments with clarity and conviction — both in and out of court. From the moment a client steps in the door until closing argument, Mr. Cavenaugh uses his distinctive talents for storytelling, humor, and creativity to persuasively and fiercely advocate for his clients. He is at home in bankruptcy court, where he regularly represents secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 trustees, third-party purchasers and other interest holders in a wide variety of insolvency and restructuring matters. Mr. Cavenaugh has extensive experience representing third-party purchasers of assets through Chapter 11 reorganizations, including oil & gas (upstream, mid-stream and downstream) and intellectual property assets. In addition to bankruptcy litigation, Mr. Cavenaugh has extensive experience pursuing and litigating corporate fraud claims.
Richard Howell, Houston, Litigation—Richard A. Howell is a commercial trial lawyer. Mr. Howell represents plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of industries in complex disputes that require a skilled and creative presence in the courtroom. In the past four years, Mr. Howell has served as the lead trial attorney for multiple banks, a national health system, and oil & gas industry clients in seven trials, as well as many other contested hearings. In that time, he has obtained judgments and awards in excess of $1.25 million and $3.5 million when representing plaintiffs, and he has obtained dismissals of lawsuits and total defense jury verdicts and judgments for defendants. Mr. Howell has also represented clients (including two major pipeline operators, a national bank, and a chemical plant) in “emergency” actions to enjoin or avoid injunctions of business activities. Additionally, during the past four years, Mr. Howell has assisted colleagues in five jury trials and a bench trial.
Jesse S. Lotay, San Antonio, Energy—Jesse Lotay is a skilled transactional lawyer with focused experience in energy transactions and energy financing. Mr. Lotay takes a problem-solving approach to his practice, providing energy clients with innovative solutions in both financial and physical energy markets to mitigate exposure to volatile energy prices, improve energy marketing decisions, optimize assets, and maximize financial results. Mr. Lotay advises clients in the area of energy transactions, with broad experience in the midstream and downstream sectors, including the acquisition, sale, and financing of crude oil and natural gas storage, pipeline, refinery, terminal, transportation, and other energy-infrastructure assets, and engineering, procurement, and construction contracts related to the development, financing, construction, and operation of power generation facilities and other energy-related projects.
Cale McDowell, Austin, Corporate and Securities—Cale McDowell represents public and private companies, executives, investors, and investment fund sponsors in a broad array of engagements, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, the structuring and formation of private equity funds and other entities, offerings of debt and equity securities, and general corporate governance, securities and transactional matters. Mr. McDowell’s clients include private real estate investment funds, public and private real estate investment trusts, private equity funds, hedge funds and family offices, as well as large publicly traded operating companies, privately held companies and startup ventures in the technology, health care, energy, real estate, consumer products, security, media, and financial services industries, among others. Mr. McDowell routinely serves clients of the firm in an outside general counsel capacity, advising on general legal matters, coordinating the work of other professionals, and counseling senior management on business strategy.
Sara Stinnett, Austin, Corporate and Securities—Sara Stinnett is a member of the investment funds practice group. Her practice focuses on representation of institutional investors in connection with their investments in private equity funds and other alternative investments, including review and negotiation of investment documentation and side letters, secondary transactions, direct and structured co-investments and funds-of-one. Her clients include university endowments, sovereign wealth funds, state pension plans, fund of funds and family offices. Ms. Stinnett frequently negotiates and advises with respect to large-scale secondary portfolio transactions and assists clients in all stages of the secondary transaction process. Ms. Stinnett also has significant experience with portfolio company formation, fund formation, public and private mergers and acquisitions, offerings of debt and equity securities and state and federal securities law compliance.
Matthew Swantner, San Antonio, Litigation—Matthew J. Swantner focuses his practice on commercial litigation, including contract disputes, business torts, oil and gas matters, creditor’s rights, mineral and construction liens, and bankruptcy matters throughout Texas and New Mexico. Working with clients in diverse industry sectors, Mr. Swantner demonstrates a keen ability to apprehend both the legal issues and the underlying business principles in a given case, which enables him to effectively represent his clients’ interests. As one client, John Patton, General Counsel of Pronto Insurance, expressed: “Matthew Swantner, a Jackson Walker rising star among stars, consistently demonstrates expertise and quick recognition of even the most subtle nuances far beyond his actual years as a practicing business litigator.” Mr. Patton added, “For over three years now, Matt has been a mainstay of my ‘go-to’ attorneys, the select few I look to when it matters most. Matt’s value lies not only in his litigation prowess, but also extends to his ability to recognize and assess the business side of matters in providing wise counsel to the decision-making process.”
Amanda Zimmerman, Houston, Labor and Employment—Amanda Zimmerman is a labor and employment attorney who defends employers in a broad range of issues in state and federal courts. Ms. Zimmerman assists clients in a variety of industries — from Fortune 500 companies to local Texas employers — with claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, trade secret and non-compete disputes, and claims for defamation and business disparagement. Ms. Zimmerman works closely with clients on every aspect of a labor and employment dispute, including conducting initial investigations, responding to EEOC charges, engaging in discovery, taking depositions, drafting and successfully arguing dispositive motions, mediating cases, negotiating settlement agreements, and trying cases. Additionally, Ms. Zimmerman provides advice and counsel to clients regarding legal compliance with human resource issues and preparation and review of employee handbooks, employment contracts, and other workplace policies. Ms. Zimmerman also has experience representing media and entertainment clients and has successfully obtained multiple dismissals under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, the Texas anti-SLAPP statute.