Duane Morris Philadelphia Office Adds Trial Partners Jonathan M. Petrakis and J. Colin Knisely

Ashley A. Federer and Louise Melchor Also Join as Associates

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Duane Morris LLP is pleased to announce that Jonathan M. Petrakis and J. Colin Knisely have joined the firm's Trial Practice Group as partners in its Philadelphia office. They join Duane Morris from Deeb Petrakis Blum & Murphy P.C., where Petrakis was the founding member and president.

"We are thrilled to have Jon join Duane Morris," said John J. Soroko, Chairman and CEO of Duane Morris. "He and his group will add to Duane Morris' significant national practice in the area of counseling for banks and other financial institutions." Added Matthew A. Taylor, Chairman of Duane Morris' Trial Practice Group, "Jon is a well-known entity in the business community of Philadelphia who has developed a very impressive client base, not only in the financial institutions and banking world, but also in the general business community. He is a true problem solver for clients who look to Jon and his team in significant matters that are important to their respective businesses. Jon has an infectious personality and is well-liked. What I'm the most excited about regarding Jon's joining the firm is to see him take advantage of our national and international platform, and I truly believe the sky's the limit for him and his team to grow their practice."

"I couldn't be more excited to be joining Duane Morris and its national platform," said Petrakis. "I know that my clients will appreciate the knowledge and experience of the more than 700 other attorneys I now work with," he said.

With more than 25 years of both litigation and transactional experience, the core of Petrakis' practice involves representation of banks and other lenders. Petrakis implements strategies to pursue recovery of commercial loans in actions against defaulting borrowers and guarantors, including bankruptcy litigation; creditors' rights litigation outside of bankruptcy; and the documentation of forbearance agreements, debt restructure agreements and debtor-in-possession financing. He also represents banks and other lenders in matters involving commercial loans, such as mortgage, asset-based, and construction loans, and the sale of loan portfolios.

Also, Petrakis represents a variety of businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, and professional groups, in employment law matters, contract disputes, and other business torts. He counsels clients on the negotiation and preparation of commercial real estate agreements of sale and leases, employment agreements, buy/sell agreements and other contracts.

He earned his J.D. in 1983 and his B.A. in 1980, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Petrakis is a board member of Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

Colin Knisely represents clients in commercial litigation, including torts; employment; professional liability matters; and insurance coverage matters. He represents lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice actions, grievance and disciplinary proceedings. Knisely represents companies in all areas of employment law, among them discrimination claims; wrongful terminations; and other disputes. He represents accountants, architects, insurance agents and brokers, and directors and officers in professional liability, fraud, discrimination and other matters.

Knisely is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) and the Philadelphia Bar Association.

He earned his J.D. in 1997 from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and earned his B.A. in Political Science from Allegheny College in 1993, magna cum laude. Knisely is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Also joining Duane Morris as associates in the Trial Practice Group are Ashley A. Federer and Louise Melchor.

Ashley A. Federer focuses her practice in the areas of business reorganization and bankruptcy, creditors' rights, loan restructuring and commercial finance. Federer represents secured and unsecured creditors in a variety of bankruptcy and collection matters. She graduated in 2005 from Notre Dame Law School. Federer earned her B.A. in 2002 from the University of Scranton, magna cum laude.

Louise Melchor focuses her practice on commercial real estate financing transactions and creditors' rights, including loan restructuring; asset recovery; and bankruptcy representation. She graduated in 2006 from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Melchor earned her B.A. in 1993 in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her M.S. in Environmental Engineering in 1995 from Drexel University.

About Duane Morris
Duane Morris LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 700 attorneys in offices across the United States and around the world, offers innovative solutions to the legal and business challenges presented by today's evolving global markets.

SOURCE Duane Morris LLP



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