New Chair for the Corporate & Securities Group

BFKN has named James R. Whitney as new Chair of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Group.

“I’m excited that Jim has been chosen as the next Chair of BFKN’s Corporate & Securities Group. Jim is a superb corporate lawyer and is well respected by both his clients and his colleagues. He is an excellent leader and a great mentor for the younger attorneys in our group. I look forward to our group’s continued growth and outstanding client service under Jim’s leadership and vision.” — Daniel L. Dominguez, outgoing Chair, Corporate & Securities Group

Jim concentrates his practice on general corporate and securities matters. He has experience in a number of substantive areas, including corporate finance, public offerings and private placements, joint ventures, contract negotiations, and mergers and acquisitions. Jim counsels both domestic and international clients in a wide range of industries including real estate, insurance brokerage, manufacturing, and technology. Jim’s representation of clients in the real estate space also extends to issues of REIT compliance, entity and property acquisitions and dispositions, and leasing matters.

“I am very excited to serve as Chair of the Corporate & Securities Group. Under the leadership of Dan and his predecessors, this group has developed a unique balance of sophistication, user-friendliness and business savvy. The attorneys in our group demonstrate a consistent level of excellence that is unrivaled by our peers, while being a pleasure to work and grow with on a daily basis. I am thrilled and proud to have this opportunity.” — James R. Whitney

New Co-Chairs for the Litigation Group

BFKN has also named Maile Hitomi Solís and Matthew A. Bills as new Co-Chairs of the firm’s Litigation Group.

“The natural leadership skills that both Maile and Matt possess, in addition to being top-flight attorneys, will ensure that we continue to attract top talent to the group and deliver world class service to our clients.” — Roger H. Stetson, outgoing Chair, Litigation Group

Maile serves as national counsel for LVMH in a wide range of high-profile matters. Over the last year, Maile served as counsel to LVMH in an antitrust case relating to hiring practices and in multiple cases alleging wage and hour violations and customer discrimination; to Sephora in a biometric information privacy class action; and to Moët Hennessy and its brands in consumer class actions and trademark infringement cases. In addition to her leadership with clients, Maile serves as Co-Chair of the Pro Bono and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committees, is a member of the Associate Review and Business Development Committees and has served as staffing partner for the Litigation Group for the last five years.

“I am honored to serve BFKN and this group of outstanding attorneys and professionals and look forward to collaborating with Matt to ensure that the Litigation Group continues to deliver the highest caliber of service to our clients.” — Maile Hitomi Solís

Matt represents clients in complex commercial disputes in courts and arbitrations across the country. He regularly handles matters involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, non-competes, post-closing disputes, and insurance coverage. Matt has deep experience in the healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, food, financial services, and auto parts industries. Since joining BFKN in early 2017, Matt has served as the Chair of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Group, counseling policyholders and representing them in disputes and litigation with insurers. Matt also serves on the firm’s Finance Committee.

“I am excited to work with Maile and the exceptional attorneys and other professionals in our Litigation Group to help our clients resolve their business disputes.”
Matthew A. Bills

New Co-Chair for the Motor Vehicle Group

BFKN has also named Owen H. Smith as new Co-Chair of the firm’s Motor Vehicle Group. Owen will work alongside current Co-Chair, Sarah M. Bernstein.

“It’s been an honor to serve as Co-Chair with Jim Vogler during his 20-year tenure as Chair. His leadership and guidance were instrumental to the success and growth of the Motor Vehicle Group, expanding our practice from two attorneys in its infancy to now over 20 attorneys. I am excited to continue serving as Co-Chair along with Owen. During this time of immense transformation in the motor vehicle industry, Owen’s strategic insights and litigation skills have already been invaluable to the group and our clients and I look forward to collaborating with him and leading the group together.” — Sarah M. Bernstein

Owen is national counsel to many of the largest manufacturers and premier brands in the automotive industry, such as Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley and Mercedes, among others. He provides counseling and litigation defense to his clients in industry-specific sales and distribution, marketing, and dealer network matters, as well as in antitrust matters ranging from joint ventures, to direct sales and dual distribution models, to pricing and marketing practices. In addition to his leadership of the Motor Vehicle Group, Owen is Chair of BFKN’s Recruiting Committee and a member of its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to contribute to the future of BFKN and the Motor Vehicle Group, to continue to build our team, and to support the exceptional work that we do for our clients" — Owen H. Smith

New Co-Chairs for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

BFKN has also named Maile Hitomi Solís and Daniel L. Dominguez as new Co-Chairs of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DEI”) Committee.

Since joining BFKN in 2016, Maile has served in significant leadership roles in the firm that have empowered her to advance equal opportunity, recruitment, and promotion of diverse attorneys. A newly appointed Co-Chair of the Litigation Group, Maile devotes time and attention to attorney staffing. Maile strives to ensure that work and opportunities are equitably distributed and emphasizes identifying career-building opportunities for diverse attorneys. Maile is also the Co-Chair of BFKN’s Pro Bono Committee and has served on the Leadership Council of the National Immigrant Justice Center since 2003.

“I applaud BFKN’s commitment to and focus on DEI and I look forward to serving alongside Dan and all my colleagues on the DEI Committee to promote and advance this critical and worthy cause within the firm and society as a whole.” — Maile Hitomi Solís

As the outgoing Chair of BFKN’s Corporate & Securities Group and current Chair of the Fashion, Luxury & Retail Group, Dan works with a diverse group of attorneys across the firm to manage and counsel some of BFKN’s longstanding client relationships. Dan collaborates with attorneys from practice groups throughout the firm, enabling him to work with and provide opportunities for a broad cross-section of diverse attorneys. Dan intentionally facilitates rare client contact for his colleagues early in their careers to provide them with opportunities to engage in business development and to grow their own client relationships that will become essential as their careers advance.

“I am thrilled to be able to work with Maile and the great group of attorneys and emerging leaders in our firm to spotlight BFKN’s DEI efforts. We have global, diverse and multi-cultural clients, and I look forward to serving with my colleagues to help BFKN continue achieving that internally, as well.”— Daniel L. Dominguez

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