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Duane Morris Practices Ranked in The Legal 500 2023 Guide

June 2023

Duane Morris Practices Ranked in The Legal 500 2023 Guide

June 2023

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Duane Morris practices and industry teams have been ranked in the following areas in The Legal 500 US 2023 guide. 

Duane Morris LLP is able to handle a breadth of issues pertaining to the cannabis industry, including intellectual property, regulatory, litigation and corporate matters. The team also assists a diversity of clients including distributors and dispensaries, as well as private equity and venture capital funds. Seth Goldberg in Philadelphia advises cannabis processors, growers and raw materials companies on a spectrum of regulatory mandates, while Tracy Gallegos in Las Vegas is often engaged on M&A, corporate rollups and entity formation. Paul Josephson is located in Cherry Hill and is a constitutional and regulatory litigator, while Los Angeles-based Justin Santarosa is primarily engaged in corporate law, in particular M&A and security law. Michael Schwamm works from New York and advises public companies, startups and venture-backed companies on the full array of corporate mandates.

Seth Goldberg and Michael Schwamm are both named as a “Leading Lawyer” in this area.

Practice heads: Tracy Gallegos, Seth Goldberg and Paul Josephson

Other key lawyers: Justin Santarosa and Nanette Heide


  • “What makes Duane Morris unique among peer firms is the entrepreneurial spirit of the cannabis practice backed up by extensive institutional knowledge and experience of business.”
  • “Duane Morris’ practice group consists of individuals that have shaped cannabis and hemp law and produced big wins for clients.”
  • “Duane Morris has a pulse on state and national cannabis issues. Their work with individual clients and with cannabis associations ensures they know all the ins and outs.”

Duane Morris LLP‘s education team is predominantly based out of San Diego, representing colleges and universities, proprietary colleges and vocational schools, alongside pre-K-12 institutions and edtech companies. The group provides advice concerning compliance with federal, state and accrediting body regulations and standards applicable to postsecondary institutions and is headed by a core team of four comprised of Anthony Guida, who focuses on pre-K-12, postsecondary, edtech and corporate training education; Katherine Brodie, who is based in Washington, D.C., and provides litigation and counseling services in Title IV, Title IX and other regulatory work; alongside Edward Cramp, who represents universities in litigation and transactional matters; and Chicago-based Lisa Scruggs, who is a key contact in the K-12 space, working with school districts and education non-profits on policy and reform. Kristina Gill was promoted to partner in 2023, and focuses on issues related to federal and state higher education law from both a policy and regulatory compliance perspective. Jennifer DeMay joined as special counsel from Unitek Learning in June 2022.

Practice heads: Anthony Guida, Katherine Brodie, Edward Cramp and Lisa Scruggs

Other key lawyers: Kristina Gill and Jessica High


  • “Duane Morris has provided exceptional service in all legal matters faced by our charter school. They have the depth and breadth of expertise we need for the myriad of complex issues we face on a daily basis. They are responsive and solutions oriented and can get the transaction closed.”
  • “Lisa Scruggs is the most knowledgeable education attorney in the State of Illinois. She worked previously with the Illinois State Board of Education and the Chicago Board of Education. She is always accessible and she knows when to compromise and when to be combative. Her greatest attribute is that she listens and understands what you are trying to accomplish and crafts a legal solution to meet your needs.”

Duane Morris LLP provides a full-service immigration and naturalization offering, catering to a diverse group of clients including multinational and Fortune 500 corporations, medium-sized companies and smaller sized startups as well as nonprofit entities. Lisa Spiegel leads the team out of the San Francisco office and is the key contact for issues pertaining to employment of foreign nationals. Based in Washington, D.C., Denyse Sabagh handles immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for large corporate including EB-1, EB-5 investor and PERMs, and represents clients in I-9 audits, consular processing and handles immigration matters in relation to criminal charges. In New York, Pierre Bonnefil―who is the current immigration counsel for the French Consulate General in New York―represents private and public organizations before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services among others.

Denyse Sabagh is ranked in the "Hall of Fame" category.

Practice head: Lisa Spiegel

Other key lawyers [and staff]: Denyse Sabagh, Pierre Bonnefil, Laura Shinn and Renate Elster


  • “Lisa Spiegel and her team deliver excellent client service. They are prompt, accurate and thoughtful in how they respond to our requests and tend to our employee immigration matters. Lisa exudes care and attention to every employee and their immigration matters.”
  • “I work most closely with Lisa Spiegel, Laura Shinn and Renate Elster. Each have a wonderful working style―while at times fast-paced and urgent, we work in a collaborative and enjoyable way.”

Drawing on the experience of the firm’s international presence, the Duane Morris LLP insurance team represents commercial liability insurers, advising them on coverage disputes in areas including bankruptcy, health hazard, construction, professional liability and reinsurance, among many others. The San Francisco team is led by Max Stern, who is known for his work litigating coverage and bad faith cases, and Brian Kelly, an experienced toxic tort and environmental claim litigator. The Philadelphia practice is headed by Richard L. Cohen and Wendy M. Simkulak, whose practice focuses on the insurance aspects of bankruptcy and corporate restructuring. Insurance and reinsurance coverage litigator Damon Vocke heads the New York practice. San Francisco-based Philip R. Matthews specializes in handling environmental and toxic tort disputes.

Phil Matthews is ranked in the "Hall of Fame" category.

Practice heads: Max Stern, Brian Kelly, Richard L. Cohen, Wendy M. Simkulak and Damon Vocke

Other key lawyers: Philip R. Matthews


  • “The team has deep knowledge of the insurance industry from business, regulatory and legal perspectives, and they provide common-sense advice.”

Duane Morris LLP assists construction managers, design builders and general contractors on the full spectrum of issues arising out of the design, development, financing and management of significant construction projects. Mark Canizio has deep experience in trials and arbitrations relating to construction, while Chicago’s Jeffrey Hamera assists clients on design and build agreements and design agreement negotiations. Patrick Kearney in Philadelphia has been critical to significant projects including sports stadiums, skyscrapers and casinos. Jessica Singh is an established trial attorney and litigator, while Brian Shue drafts and negotiates architect and engineer agreements as well as construction agreements. All mentioned individuals are located in New York, unless stated otherwise.

Brian Shue is ranked in the “Next Generation Partner” category.

Practice heads: Mark Canizio, Jeffrey Hamera, Patrick Kearney and Jessica Singh

Other key lawyers: Benton Wheatley, Kenneth Lazaruk, Owen Newman and Brian Shue

Duane Morris LLP works with clients in all sectors of electricity, oil and natural gas. The firm’s lawyers have experience in transactional, litigation and regulatory experience in areas including environmental and energy regulation before federal and state courts including FERC, DOI, EPA, DOE, SEC, CFTC and FINRA. Brad Thompson, based in Austin, represents renewable energy clients in a range of energy-related issues such as energy compliance matters. Phil Cha, located in Cherry Hill, advises clients on regulatory compliance.

Practice heads: Phil Cha, Brad Thompson and Shelton Vaughan

Other key lawyers: Ilia Levitine, Sheila Slocum Hollis, Robert Kadlec and Phyllis Kessler

Duane Morris LLP‘s corporate team comprises a “wide range of specialized attorneys” who are well equipped to handle the gamut of M&A work, including domestic and cross-border acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, private equity deals and corporate compliance. Chairman Brian Kerwin in Chicago steers the team on a variety of sale and purchase transactions in a myriad of sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, technology and banking. Managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta office Kirk Domescik is praised for his ability “to thread the needle to get a very difficult deal closed,” especially in the healthcare sector. Baltimore-based Michael Hardy is a “go-to partner” for private equity clients.

Practice head: Brian Kerwin

Other key lawyers: Kirk Domescik, Michael Hardy, Robert Kadlec, Lee Potter, Richard Silfen, Driscoll Ugarte, Shelton Vaughan and Joseph Machi


  • “The Duane Morris team does a great job reacting to the changing needs of our firm. A strength of the practice is their ability to help provide advice and counsel that contemplates not just the transaction at hand but ensuring we address potential future concerns/liabilities/business situations.”
  • “Michael Hardy is our go-to partner at Duane Morris. He has a great grasp of our business and goals and has helped staff our projects and transactions accordingly. He has been able to direct his team members with the most experience in each case to work with us and jumps in when a push is needed. He has helped our firm grow and be properly represented in increasingly more complex transactions.”
  • “Wide range of specialized attorneys, with specific areas of expertise. Therefore, well-equipped to handle all aspects of transactions.”

The “extremely knowledgeable” team at Duane Morris LLP advises a range of service provider clients, including post-acute care and senior services, physicians and hospitals. The “unique practice” is well versed in healthcare IT, care and disease management, and hospice and palliative care services. Gregory Brodek and Erin Duffy jointly lead the team. Brodek, who divides his time between Boston and Bangor, regularly represents physician groups and hospital systems in disputes with public and private payors, reimbursement issues and negotiations with federal and state agencies, while Duffy utilizes her regulatory focus to assist with HIPAA and fraud and abuse matters. The “exceptional” Sean Zabaneh, who has extensive litigious expertise, handles healthcare-related government investigations and antitrust matters. Jonathan Swichar regularly “works tirelessly” when representing pharmacy associations in matters concerning audits and unlawful competition issues. Working out of the Atlanta office, Kirk Domescik advises owners and operators of long-term care communities on licensing and regulatory issues on both a federal and state level. David Loder is well versed in hospital governance and managed care arrangements. All mentioned practitioners are based in Philadelphia unless specified otherwise.

Practice heads: Gregory Brodek and Erin Duffy

Other key lawyers: Kirk Domescik, Jonathan Swichar, David Loder and Sean Zabaneh


  • “Duane Morris has a unique practice. They are the go-to firm for pharmacy disputes with payers and regulators.”
  • “Jonathan Swicher is very knowledgeable about pharmacy law and arbitration. He cares deeply about his clients and works tirelessly for them.”
  • “This team is extremely knowledgeable and well respected. They are always on top of things and are great at keeping clients in the loop.”

Duane Morris LLP utilizes the bench strength of locations across Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas to represent a diverse spectrum of clients involved in high-stakes litigation across sectors ranging from hospitality, sports, food and beverages, and luxury goods to banking and finance, energy, tech, software, media and telecom. The team is co-led by Nicole McLaughlin, based in Philadelphia, who brings expertise to domestic and international infringement matters, and in New York by seasoned litigator Mark Lerner, who acts for clients in trademark, trade dress and false advertising cases. In Silicon Valley, Jennifer Lantz applies over 20 years of experience in the practice area. Christiane Schuman Campbell specializes in assisting both startups and global brands in fashion, retail and consumer goods at the Philadelphia office, where Tyler Marandola represents clients in life sciences, software, manufacturing and gaming; they are based alongside associate Lauren Matturri who supports on developing anti-counterfeiting measures.

Practice heads: Nicole McLaughlin and Mark Lerner

Other key lawyers: Jennifer Lantz, Christiane Schuman Campbell, Lauren Matturri and Tyler Marandola


  • “The Duane Morris team is excellent and business-focused. They are excellent in relation to trademark portfolio strategy and building as well as protection.”
  • “Jennifer Lantz is great!”
  • “I have been working with Nicole McLaughlin in Philadelphia for decades. I appreciate her exceptional availability and work quality.

The “diligent and knowledgeable” team at Duane Morris LLP assists clients with company formations through venture capital funds and public offerings, biotech and pharmaceutical licensing deals, and regulatory issues surrounding operations and marketing. Dana Ash and Shannon Sutherland are based in Philadelphia, with Ash handling product liability and toxic tort cases, and Sutherland advising on employment and commercial disputes. In the Boston office, Frederick Ball assists biologics and medical device manufacturers on state and federal FCA, anti-kickback and advertising regulations, while Jonathan Lourie acts for medical device and research tool companies in transactions concerning drug delivery tech, therapeutics diagnostics and antimicrobials. Based in Florida, Patrick Gallagher advises on dispute prevention and resolution, and regulatory issues concerning biosimilar medications and biologics, while Driscoll Ugarte represents emerging companies. Vicki Norton, who works out of the San Diego office, focuses on life science patent counselling and litigation. 

Practice heads: Dana Ash, Frederick Ball, Patrick Gallagher, Jonathan Lourie, Vicki Norton, Driscoll Ugarte and Shannon Sutherland

Other key lawyers: Sean Zabaneh and Ryan Smith


  • “The team’s foresight is crucial to ensuring patents that can sustain even the most serious litigations. Duane Morris has a good consistency in their service.”
  • “They are diligent and knowledgeable with broad and comprehensive understanding of the technologies and updates in law and prosecution ‒ particularly Vicki Norton.”

The intellectual property team at Duane Morris LLP combine an in-depth knowledge of patent law with an aptitude for science and tech, representing clients in defending patent infringement claims. Areas of expertise include abbreviated new drug applications, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, aviation, biotech and wireless communication systems. Based in Atlanta, Woody Jameson and Matthew Gaudet lead the team alongside Anthony Fitzpatrick in Boston and Patrick McPherson in Washington, D.C. In the firm’s Palo Alto office, Stuart Bartow and Philip Woo are integral to the team, often acting as lead counsel for clients.

Practice heads: Woody Jameson, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Matthew Gaudet and Patrick McPherson

Other key lawyers: Stuart Bartow, Philip Woo, Monté Squire and Timothy Shannon

Duane Morris LLP‘s federal, state and local tax expertise attracts a broad range of business entities, including corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, as well as private clients and tax-exempt organizations. Chicago-based Adam Beckerink heads up the firm’s SALT offering – an area in which public accountant Stanley Kaminski is also an expert. In Philadelphia, practice co-head Stephen DiBonaventura has experience in M&A, spin-offs and restructurings for financially troubled businesses, while Hope Krebs is noted for her international planning expertise. Newark-based David Sussman specializes in private investment funds and capital markets.

Practice heads: Stephen DiBonaventura and Brian Kerwin

Other key lawyers: Adam Beckerink, Stanley Kaminski, Hope Krebs, Thomas Ostrander, David Sussman, Jon Grouf, Thomas Schmuhl and Reshma Shah


  • “The internal communication between partners and senior associates is excellent. The team is responsive and always willing to assist, with an exceptional understanding of the challenges that face inbound individuals, U.S. businesses and Americans abroad.”
  • “Technically excellent, commercially minded and empathetic.”
  • “Hope Krebs has successfully steered a number of deals for us.”