PHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Akin Gump is pleased to welcome a five-partner national class action litigation team: Seamus C. Duffy, Michael W. McTigue Jr., Meredith C. Slawe, Kathryn E. Deal and Michael J. Stortz have joined Akin Gump from Drinker Biddle & Reath, where they practiced together for more than a decade. Mr. Stortz will be resident in the firm's San Francisco office, while the remaining four will reside in its Philadelphia office.
At Akin Gump, this experienced group of litigators will expand the firm's national class actions and complex commercial litigation capabilities in key areas, including privacy, advertising and marketing, consumer protection and life sciences; bolster its leadership in the retail litigation space; and strengthen the firm's presence in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
"This is a terrific group of lawyers whose outstanding work will complement what we are already doing so well across the United States," said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. "Their arrival further underscores the true nationwide scope of our class action work, and I am very excited to have them here."
This powerhouse team has a national practice focused on consumer class actions and complex commercial litigation and related compliance counseling. They represent leading companies in the communications, retail, energy, technology, insurance, and pharmaceutical and life sciences industries in their most challenging and high-exposure cases, and are at the forefront of anticipating the next waves of consumer class action litigation and proactively advising clients on how to mitigate risk. This group has successfully led efforts among the defense bar to combat abusive class action litigation brought by professional plaintiffs.
"This group is an ideal fit for our team," stated Stephen M. Baldini, head of Akin Gump's firmwide litigation practice. "They bring a significant track record handling crucial, high-profile matters for global companies, as well as experience in key industries where we have historically been strong. I am thrilled to welcome the five of them to Akin Gump."
Added Seamus Duffy, "Akin Gump offers our team an exceptionally high-quality and sophisticated platform built over time and run by great people. The firm's strengths in a number of key areas, including regulatory issues involving the FCC and FTC, intellectual property, labor and employment, data protection and privacy, and marketing and advertising will be extremely beneficial for our clients. We are very happy to be here and look forward to many successful years ahead."
Messrs. Duffy and McTigue have served in senior leadership roles at Drinker Biddle: Mr. Duffy as one of the managing partners of the firm and chair of the class actions team, and Mr. McTigue as chair of the firm's litigation group, one of the executive partners and a member of the senior management team. In addition, Ms. Slawe served as chair of the firm's retail industry group and vice chair of the class actions team, Ms. Deal served as chair of the summer associate committee, and Mr. Stortz served as vice chair of the class actions team. This group also launched and led a California retail class actions group and a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) team, which they intend to continue at Akin Gump.
About Seamus C. Duffy
Mr. Duffy has more than 30 years of experience representing leading businesses in their most significant class action and complex litigation matters and is a trusted advisor to Fortune 100 companies in the communications and energy industries. A sought-after speaker and writer on class action defense, he is a nationally recognized thought leader on privacy law and litigation. Mr. Duffy has been recognized by Chambers USA and as a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation.
Mr. Duffy received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Villanova University.
About Michael W. McTigue Jr.
Mr. McTigue is trusted by global companies across a broad range of industries to be lead counsel in their most sophisticated and important disputes. He has nearly 25 years of experience representing companies in class actions, business disputes, intellectual property litigation and domestic and international arbitration proceedings, and also serves as national coordinating litigation counsel for a leading global life sciences company. Mr. McTigue has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a "Litigation Star" and by BTI, which noted that in-house corporate counsel praised him for "unsurpassed excellence in client service."
Mr. McTigue received his J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law and his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.
About Meredith C. Slawe
Ms. Slawe defends companies in class actions and commercial litigation matters in courts and arbitration proceedings across the country. She has earned a reputation as an emerging leader in the national class action bar and as an advocate for, and trusted advisor to, the retail industry. Ms. Slawe has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as a "Top Woman in the Law" by The American Lawyer, as a "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by The Legal Intelligencer, and as one of the "40 Under 40" professionals by Philadelphia Business Journal. She was also named to the "Under 40 Hot List" by Benchmark Litigation for 2017 and 2018.
Ms. Slawe received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her A.B. from Dartmouth College. She earned a Certificate from Harvard Business School's Executive Education Program for Senior Leaders in Retail.
About Kathryn E. Deal
Ms. Deal focuses her practice on defending companies at complex civil trials and in class action litigation. She defends leading businesses in the retail, energy and pharmaceutical industries, and manages concurrent class, mass and individual proceedings in a national counsel role. Ms. Deal's class action experience includes defending claims under consumer protection statutes, privacy laws, anti-discrimination legislation and federal and state RICO statutes. She is also a first chair trial lawyer with an outstanding record of success. Ms. Deal has been recognized as a "Lawyer on the Fast Track" by the Legal Intelligencer and as a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation.
Ms. Deal received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University.
About Michael J. Stortz
Mr. Stortz has 30 years of experience representing companies against claims of unfair competition, false advertising, consumer fraud, breach of warranty and product defect, as well as claims arising under the TCPA and related federal and state statutes. He also advises companies as to compliance with these statutes. In addition to his extensive work defending class actions, Mr. Stortz also represents clients in the technology, pharmaceutical and consumer product industries in a wide range of commercial disputes, including antitrust and intellectual property matters.
Mr. Stortz received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.A, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College.
About Akin Gump's Litigation Practice
Akin Gump's commercial litigation representations include nationwide class actions, parallel civil and administrative proceedings, and multidistrict and multistate litigation. The firm's lawyers have the capabilities, experience and skills to successfully guide clients through nationwide disputes, while, at the same time, understanding the unique aspects of local court systems. Many on the Akin Gump team have served with the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies.
Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
SOURCE Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP