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Lawyers in the News – July 18

Charlotte firm adds partner 

Charles R. “Trey” Rayburn III has joined McGuireWoods’ Restructuring & Insolvency Department as a partner in Charlotte, North Carolina, bringing 17 years of experience advising leading financial institutions in workout transactions and large corporate bankruptcies, a McGuireWoods news release stated. 

Rayburn represents administrative agents for syndicated credit facilities in the middle and upper-middle markets, according to the release. His clients include national banks and other lenders that are creditors at various levels of a distressed company’s capital structure, such as senior secured lenders, second-lien lenders, subordinated lenders and unsecured creditors. 

Rayburn handles workouts and bankruptcies in numerous industries, including communications, retail, healthcare, restaurant, manufacturing, technology, agriculture and transportation, the release stated. Chambers USA has rated him one of North Carolina’s leading bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers for 11 consecutive years. 

“Trey is highly respected by restructuring officers at leading financial institutions for his experience and insight in complex bankruptcies and workouts,” said Scott Vaughn, chair of the firm’s Restructuring & Insolvency Department. “He strengthens our capabilities in a highly competitive market and will be a tremendous asset to our clients.” 

“Trey is a trusted advisor whose sound judgment and strong client relationships complement the market-leading litigation and transactional services we provide to financial institutions,” Dion Hayes, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for litigation, said in the release. 

Rayburn, who comes to McGuireWoods from Moore & Van Allen, joins a practice with experience in some of the most significant restructurings and Chapter 11 cases in recent years, according to the release. McGuireWoods earned a nationwide ranking for bankruptcy and restructuring in the 2022 Chambers USA guide and Tier 1 national practice rankings for insolvency and reorganization law and bankruptcy litigation in the 2022 edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms.” The firm represents each of the top 10 U.S. banks ranked by assets. 

“Trey has a stellar reputation and deep roots in the Charlotte legal community. We are delighted to have him on our team at McGuireWoods,” John McDonald, managing partner of the firm’s Charlotte office, said in the release. 

“McGuireWoods is recognized nationally as a firm that financial institutions turn to first for their most critical legal needs,” Rayburn said. “This is a perfect fit for my practice and I am excited to join this highly accomplished team.” 


Former nonprofit counsel joins Raleigh firm 

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has announced that Benjamin Smith is joining the firm in Raleigh as counsel. Smith was formerly the Associate General Counsel in charge of regulatory matters at the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), North Carolina’s leading nonprofit for sustainable energy, a Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton news release stated. Smith will be a member of Kilpatrick Townsend’s Environment & Product Regulation Team and work with the firm’s Energy Industry Team. 

Smith brings over a decade of litigation and regulatory experience from the private and public sectors. He spent the last five years as regulatory counsel and then associate general counsel for NCSEA where he developed policy goals and positions implementing initiatives, campaign plans, and strategies to achieve desired outcomes related to the future of energy in North Carolina. 

“We are excited to add Ben to our team,” said John Livingston, Co-Chair of Kilpatrick Townsend’s Energy Initiative. “Ben adds critical regulatory experience that will add to the services and expertise to the transactional, litigation, permitting, and environmental services already offered to our numerous energy clients in North Carolina and the Southeast more broadly.” 

Smith assisted the general counsel and director of policy in government affairs leadership work for the NCSEA, including research, drafting legislative language, and completing compliance work related to lobbying. He led the NCSEA’s Confrontation Team, which polices NCSEA members regarding their ability to follow the NCSEA Code of Conduct related to the sale of distributed solar and related materials and co-drafted the North Carolina Consumer Guide to Solar which educates North Carolina residents seeking to adopt solar for their home or business.  

Smith earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his bachelor of arts in journalism and bachelor of arts in english from Indiana University. 

Defense attorney joins Winston-Salem firm 

Womble Bond Dickinson announced that James E. Quander, a respected criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in state and federal courts, has joined as an of counsel in the firm’s Winston-Salem office, according to a news release. His practice focuses on complex criminal litigation, including multi-count, multi-defendant criminal conspiracies, murder, sexual misconduct and white-collar cases.  

Quander joins Womble Bond Dickinson from Quander Rubain PA, in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he was the founder and managing partner. 

“James is an excellent lawyer with an outstanding reputation in the Winston-Salem legal community,” said Kim Mann, managing partner of the firm’s Winston-Salem office, said in the release. “His extensive experience in criminal defense law further increases the depth and breadth of services we can offer clients at the local, state, and federal levels. We could not be more pleased that he has decided to join Womble Bond Dickinson.” 

A North Carolina State Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law, Quander has tried more than 50 cases to a jury in the last five years and regularly appears in courts throughout the southeast. Before law school, he was a standout Atlantic Coast Conference student-athlete on the Wake Forest University football team.  

“Womble Bond Dickinson has an incredible team of lawyers committed to client service,” said Quander in the release. “I have practiced with many of the firm’s partners over the years and look forward to growing my practice and contributing to this multi-disciplinary, market-leading firm.” 

Quander is a double graduate of Wake Forest University. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science. In law school, he served as president of the Black Law Students Association and was a member of the Moot Court Board and Joseph Branch Inn of Court.  


Trial lawyer rejoins King & Spalding 

King & Spalding announced that trial lawyer Antonio Lewis has rejoined the firm as a partner in its Trial and Global Disputes practice group. Lewis is based in the firm’s Charlotte, N.C., office. 

As part of the firm’s Consumer Products Litigation team, Lewis will play a key role on trial teams for clients facing product liability, intellectual property, professional liability and a variety of commercial disputes, the release stated. 

Lewis most recently served as Chief Litigation Counsel at Honeywell Inc. for its Safety and Productivity Solutions and Building Technologies businesses, according to the release. He joined King & Spalding as an associate in 2009 and was promoted to partner in 2016 before he joined Honeywell in early 2021.  

“Antonio was a vital part of our Charlotte office and a key player in our trial practice for many years, and we are thrilled to welcome him back,” said Mark Thigpen, managing partner of the firm’s Charlotte office, in the release. 

Lewis earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 2001 and his J.D. from Wake Forest Law School in 2006. He is licensed to practice in both North Carolina and Florida. 

“In the courtroom is where I am at my best, so I’m really excited to reunite with my King & Spalding colleagues and the firm’s leading consumer products litigation practice to return to trial work,” said Lewis. “I am fortunate to know first-hand the way this team collaborates to best serve clients and the opportunity that provides me to expand my practice. It’s great to be back.” 


Patent lawyer joins firm to focus on North Carolina 

Patent lawyer Drew Patty has joined Phelps as an accomplished partner with vast experience helping companies across the fast-growing Southeast region protect their intellectual property.  

He joins five IP partners that serve the region’s biggest innovators, and he brings with him two talented IP lawyers and three experienced paralegals/assistants, and will work closely with the firm’s Raleigh, N.C., office, according to a Phelps news release. 

Patty frequently prosecutes U.S. and international patent, trademark and copyright applications and stays on top of industry trends to steer clients away from infringement risks and help them monetize their intellectual property. Additionally, he regularly counsels clients on data privacy and cyber concerns to further safeguard their work. 

“Phelps offers the opportunities and support to grow my IP practice and our clients’ businesses,” Drew said. “Phelps’ strong presence in the Southeast will enable me to focus on serving clients across the region.” 

Based in Baton Rouge, he will also offer on-the-ground support to clients operating in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Drew is permitted to represent clients across the country before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, its Patent Trial and Appeal Board and its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  


Cranfill Summer hires attorneys 

Cranfill Sumner LLP has announced that Stephanie Romano has joined the firm’s Wilmington office as an associate attorney, a Cranfill Sumner news release stated. She focuses her practice in professional liability, community association law, and personal injury. 

She previously worked at law firms covering multiple areas of law including personal injury, nursing home litigation, ethylene-oxide litigation, arbitration disputes, ADAAA litigation, elder law, estate planning, probate and trust, special needs, family law and more. 

Romano earned her law degree from Elon University School of Law, where she worked with the Guilford County Guardian Ad Litem Attorneys. 

In addition, she received her bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt University where she played lacrosse for all four years. 

Margaret (Meg) Harrington has joined the Cranfill Sumner’s Wilmington office as of counsel. She focuses her practice primarily on civil litigation. 

Harrington has experience defending clients in insurance coverage interpretation, bad faith, product liability, construction accident and defect, medical malpractice, premises liability and general casualty litigation, and first- and third-party residential and commercial property damage claims. 

Harrington spent many years as a neutral arbitrator and chairperson in the Philadelphia Compulsory Arbitration Program.  She volunteered for the past six years with the Dispute Resolution Center in Philadelphia County to facilitate settlements in complex litigation. 

She received her law degree from Widener University School of Law. Following law school, she attended and graduated with honors from the LL.M. program in Trial Advocacy from Temple University School of Law. 

She received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University. 


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