T&K Names New Partners

Dallas – The law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been elected Partners, including Gabrielle E. Farina, Benjamin F.S. Herd, Jeremiah M. Mayfield, Micah R. Prude, Christopher D. Smith, John P. Vacalis, and Bruce J. Zabarauskas.

“We elected this group of lawyers to our Firm’s partnership because they demonstrate integrity, expertise across a breadth of specialties, professional drive and focus, and a dedication to providing superior client service,” said Emily A. Parker, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “Their collective experience will directly benefit our clients and facilitate growth across many areas of the Firm.”

In addition to the Firm’s seven new Partners, throughout the past year Thompson & Knight has welcomed five lateral hires into the Firm’s partnership, including Alan P. Baden, Stuart J. Glick, Patrick McManemin, Cassandra G. Mott, and Annette L. Tripp.

“We are thrilled that of the 12 attorneys recently welcomed into our partnership 25-percent of them are women,” added Parker. The make-up of this group further highlights our longstanding commitment to advancing the careers of women in the legal profession.”

The seven lawyers newly-elected to partnership in the Firm are:

Gabrielle E. Farina is a member of the Trial Practice Group in the Firm’s New York office and focuses her practice on international arbitration, complex commercial litigation, and other areas of dispute resolution. Her experience includes contract, bankruptcy, and employment litigation in New Jersey and New York. She also works on a number of high profile and high risk arbitrations in conjunction with 12 Gray’s Inn Square in London. Farina has been selected for inclusion in New York Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (2011-2013) and is a member of the American Bar Association. She earned a J.D., cum laude, from Hofstra University School of Law in 2005, an M.S., summa cum laude, from Rutgers University in 2002, and a B.A., cum laude, from Rutgers University in 2001.

Benjamin F.S. Herd is a member of the Real Estate and Banking Practice Group in the Firm’s Dallas office. In his practice, Herd has represented CMBS lenders in hundreds of loan origination transactions as well as whole loan sales, syndications, and “b-note” purchases/sales. He also represents special servicers in relation to defaulted or troubled loan workouts, maturity default resolution, collateral foreclosure, lease negotiation, and the sale of REO property. In addition, he assists national and regional banks in complex commercial loan transactions, including ground leases, tenants-in-common, and acquisition and multi-tranche construction financing. He serves as Secretary of the Real Estate Section of the Dallas Bar Association and is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas State Bar College, the Young Professionals Executive Committee of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, and the Mortgage Bankers Association. Herd has been selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (2013).

Jeremiah M. Mayfield is a member of the Corporate and Securities Practice Group in the Firm’s Dallas office and focuses his practice on public and private securities offerings; public and private mergers and acquisitions; SEC reporting and general securities compliance; and general corporate, partnership, limited liability company, and contract matters. In addition, he advises physician group practices in connection with transactional and health care matters. He earned a J.D., with honors, from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2005 and a B.B.A., cum laude, from Baylor University in 2002. Mayfield has been selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (2013).

Micah R. Prude is a member of the Employment and Labor Practice Group in the Firm’s Dallas office. He is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and exclusively represents employers in a wide variety employment-related legal issues. In particular, Prude regularly counsels clients on sensitive and complex matters involving employee management, counseling, and discipline; personnel policies and manuals; non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements; and compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws. He also has an active trial practice with lawsuits involving whistleblower retaliation (including claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA)), wrongful termination, harassment, wage-and-hour violations, non-competition and non-solicitation violations, and breach-of-contract. He has been selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (2012-2013).

Christopher D. Smith is a member of the Environmental Practice Group in the Firm’s Austin office and focuses his practice on environmental enforcement and administrative litigation. Particular areas of expertise include wetlands enforcement actions under § 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act enforcement actions, Texas and Federal Clean Air Act enforcement cases and citizen suits, and property and groundwater contamination litigation. He also counsels clients on litigation avoidance and environmental due diligence in corporate transactions, including the use of the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act, and the U.S. EPA’s Audit Policy to limit potential liability. In addition to his environmental and administrative practice, Smith represents clients in connection with commercial disputes and state and federal civil litigation. Smith has been selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (2013).

John P. Vacalis is a member of the Trial Practice Group in the Firm’s Austin office and focuses his practice on complex business, mortgage banking, and commercial litigation matters. He represents clients in a wide range of areas, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credit development and financing, loan servicing, wrongful foreclosures, construction, DTPA claims, employment, federal takings actions, tort, and contract. He earned a J.D., cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law in 2003 and a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 2000.

Bruce J. Zabarauskas is a member of the Trial Practice Group in the Firm’s Los Angeles office. His practice includes representation of institutional lenders, such as national banks, special servicers, and investment banks, in commercial real estate foreclosure actions and Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, he has substantial experience litigating corporate breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, defamation, and First Amendment issues. Zabarauskas also has extensive experience litigating issues in the professional boxing industry. A member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, he has authored numerous articles on federal bankruptcy law and has been retained as an expert witness in connection with a multitude of bankruptcy related issues. Zabarauskas has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (2013).