Key Lateral Hires Build on Waller's Strengths in Nashville, Birmingham

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Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, a leading provider of legal services to the healthcare, financial services, technology, retail and hospitality industries, has made a number of key lateral hires in Nashville and Birmingham, strengthening the firm in several practice areas.

Bethany A. Blair, Trip Conrad, Kierstin Jodway, Ignacio Del Huerta, Joshua Porte, Maggie Sandwith, Briant Shumard and Elliott G. Smith joined in Nashville. Chris Thompson joined the firm’s Birmingham office.

The collective experience of these attorneys adds depth to our team across a number of key areas and strengthens the firm's ability to serve our clients' needs. We're excited to add their considerable talents to the firm.

Matt Burnstein, Chair, Waller

“The collective experience of these attorneys adds depth to our team across a number of key areas and strengthens the firm’s ability to serve our clients’ needs,” said Waller chair Matt Burnstein. “We’re excited to add their considerable talents to the firm.”

Bethany A. Blair assists both lenders and borrowers in negotiating, structuring and closing senior credit facilities — including acquisition, financing, development financing and working capital lines of credit. Prior to joining Waller, Bethany gained valuable commercial finance experience at a boutique law firm in Atlanta focused on residential and commercial real estate transactions. She also served as a Legal Fellow to the Honorable Christopher J. McFadden of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Frederick “Trip” Conrad, III defends employers against allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful discharge brought under federal and state laws. Trip advises clients on maintaining compliance with OSHA regulations, and his experience includes labor relations matters, including participating in collective bargaining negotiations with labor unions and defending employers in administrative hearings before the NLRB relating to collective bargaining agreements. Prior to joining Waller, Trip served as a judicial law clerk in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Additionally, Trip was a labor and employment associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Kierstin Jodway represents employers in the healthcare, retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries in labor and employment matters, including allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful discharge. Kierstin also assists clients in developing employee policies and handbooks. In addition to her employment practice, Kierstin has experience advising and representing educational institutions on Title IX and Clery Act matters. Prior to joining Waller, Kierstin was as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General where she served as lead counsel in complex employment and education lawsuits.

Ignacio De la Huerta focuses on transactional matters in the healthcare, manufacturing and technology sectors. He joined Waller with more than a decade of experience in strategic corporate transactions gained both in-house and at well-known international law firms. As in-house counsel at General Motors, Ignacio represented GM in various global transactions including the sale of Opel/Vauxhall and GM Financial’s European operations to Groupe PSA. As a senior associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Ignacio was a key member of legal teams involved in high-profile transactions such as the $2.3 billion acquisition of Hostess Brands by a leading private equity firm. He also assisted Vonage Holdings Corp. in its acquisition of privately-held Nexmo, Inc., a global leader in the Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) segment of the cloud communications market. Ignacio began his career as an associate in the New York office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Josh Porte advises publicly traded and privately held companies on various issues that arise as part of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint venture agreements and other strategic business transactions. Josh also assists clients with environmental permitting in connection with mergers and acquisitions. His practice focuses on the healthcare industry, and he provides counsel to dental support organizations and outpatient services providers. Prior to joining Waller, Josh was a corporate associate with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Nashville and Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. in Minneapolis. Additionally, he served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Priscilla R. Owen, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Austin, Texas.

Maggie Sandwith assists real estate developers, owners, investors and management companies with the financing, development, acquisition, disposition and leasing of commercial real estate. Her practice focuses on mixed-use projects, retail space and shopping centers, healthcare facilities and multi-family residential complexes. Prior to joining Waller, Maggie served as assistant legal counsel at a privately owned and operated commercial real estate company specializing in the acquisition, long-term ownership and management of shopping centers, office buildings, and apartments throughout the eastern United States.

Briant L. Shumard focuses his practice on construction transactions and disputes and environmental enforcement actions and litigation. He represents owners, developers, architects and design professionals in construction disputes involving issues related to contract interpretation, project delay, breach of contract, payment failure and surety bond claims. Since joining Waller from the Atlanta office of Troutman Sanders LLP, Briant has assisted in the representation of oil and gas companies, energy producers, mining companies and manufacturers in high-profile environmental litigation and enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies.

Elliott G. Smith assists clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate dispositions, securities offerings, and periodic reporting required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. He works extensively with healthcare organizations including hospitals and health systems, dental support organizations, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient services companies, private equity firms and other healthcare investors. Prior to joining Waller, Elliott served as a law clerk to the Honorable William R. Sawyer of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Additionally, Elliott was an internal auditor at Coleman World Group before attending law school.

Chris Thompson assists healthcare clients  – including hospitals, post-acute care providers, ambulatory surgery centers, behavioral health providers, and specialty physician practices –  in transactional matters such as mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Chris also provides counsel on day-to-day operational concerns and regulatory compliance including Stark law and Anti-Kickback Statute issue. Prior to joining Waller, Chris was as an associate in the Birmingham office of Burr & Forman, LLP.

About Waller

With approximately 250 attorneys in Austin, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville, Waller assists clients in complex transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. The firm has built a national reputation for its work in healthcare, financial services, retail and hospitality, and has extensive experience in manufacturing, real estate, technology and other industries. For more information, please visit

Media contact:
Sarah Brawner, DVL Seigenthaler

Source: Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP


Categories: Legal Services, Corporate Law

Tags: birmingham, law, legal, nashville

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