Angela Di Blasi currently works at Tricon International, Ltd providing advice to General Counsel and management on corporate and commercial matters related to company's global business. Ms. Di Blasi drafts and negotiate contracts, provides advice and support on litigation or arbitration processes in Latin America, and engages outside counsel on a range of matters. She received her J.D. from Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
Jill Warren is the Supervising Attorney for the State of Texas for Mercury Insurance Group. Mercury has been named one of America’s best mid-size employers for 2017 and 2018. The company is the leading independent broker and agency writer of auto insurance in California. Since its inception, Mercury has branched out into other states across the country, as well as other lines of insurance.
As Supervising Attorney, Jill is responsible for all house counsel litigation for the state. She manages an office of attorneys and staff based out of Austin, Texas. Her office represents Mercury insureds in litigation brought against them. Jill is a graduate of Texas A&M University, South Texas College of Law and University of Houston MBA.
Stacy L. Feltham is the Associate General Counsel for BHP Billiton’s Petroleum company, the global upstream oil and gas division of an integrated petroleum and mining company. She leads a legal department that provides strategic guidance, delivers legal advice, and manages risk for BHP Billiton’s operations. She is a trusted advisor on complex oil exploration, development and production ventures and has significant international government negotiation experience. Before joining BHP Billiton, Stacy worked 10 years with ExxonMobil and before that a regional law firm in Canada. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, a Law degree from the University of Alberta in Canada, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Long Island University in New York. She has been a member of Boards and Committees for various legal associations such as the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Canadian Petroleum Law Foundation and the Corporate Counsel Association, and various charitable organizations such as Stages Repertory Theatre, the American Heart Association, the Kids Eat Smart Foundation and the Society for the Physically Disabled.
An exacting and focused litigator who is objective and balanced even in the face of relentless acrimony, Elizabeth takes the time to ensure her clients understand the litigation process and their options. Elizabeth’s no-surprises communication style and immutable commitment to protecting her clients' positions help her to identify opportunities for favorable settlement whenever possible. In the event an acceptable resolution cannot be achieved, Elizabeth’s well-planned, practical legal arguments have proven effective in the event trial should ensue.
Elizabeth has represented individual and business clients in state and federal courts in Texas, California, Delaware, New York and other jurisdictions, including before arbitration tribunals. Her clients have included issuers, directors and officers in securities fraud class actions and litigation arising out of mergers and acquisitions, insider trading, class actions, earn-out, post-closing adjustment and breach of warranty disputes, breach of contract, fiduciary duty, unfair competition and tortious interference with contract, oil and gas litigation, regulatory compliance and related investigations.
Notably, Elizabeth’s industry experience is also broad and includes legal, consulting, insurance, data processing, technology, oil and gas, electric utilities, food and beverage, healthcare, entertainment, advertising, telecommunications, computer, travel, manufacturing, construction, private equity and hedge funds. The common denominator throughout Elizabeth’s representation is that she is depended upon to bring order and direction to big, challenging and acrimonious cases.
Elizabeth serves as a mentor to law students and young lawyers both inside and outside of the firm
Mary-Olga Lovett is a Senior Vice President of Greenberg Traurig, the Co-Regional Operating Shareholder of the firm’s Texas offices and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Ms. Lovett concentrates her practice in intellectual property, commercial and complex litigation. In 2018, she was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas by Super Lawyers Magazine/Texas Monthly and one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Houston, and in 2016 she was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas. Ms. Lovett has served as national trial counsel for five companies on a variety of commercial and liability claims and has tried cases to verdict involving a wide variety of issues, including intellectual property/patent litigation, warranty disputes, trade-secrets, class actions, employment litigation, and product liability matters. She has tried cases in state and federal courts in more than twenty jurisdictions. She has also represented U.S. and international clients in appellate litigation before state and federal courts of appeal and the Texas Supreme Court.
Some of Ms. Lovett’s most recent verdicts (all cases tried since 2011) - are: (1) defense verdict on behalf of Fortune 500 medical-device manufacturer in a lawsuit alleging fraudulent marketing practices (Harris County, Texas, 2011); (2) defense verdict on behalf of a Fortune 500 navigation-device manufacturer accused of patent infringement (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas - Marshall); (3) defense verdict in a bet-the-company class-action suit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act for the nation's largest provider of emergency medicine and ambulance services (United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas-Corpus Christi); (4) defense verdict and award of verdict on counterclaims on behalf of a national contract-management company in suit alleging indemnity and corporate negligence claims brought by a Philadelphia hospital system (Pennsylvania state court – Philadelphia); (5) defense verdict of non-infringement for the country’s leading consumer products company in lawsuit alleging willful patent infringement (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas – Marshall Division); (6) obtaining six years of attorneys’ fees for prevailing plaintiff in commercial case (Harris County, Texas) (7) a defense verdict of non-infringement for global medical device company (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas – Tyler Division); and (8) an award of $537 million and assets valued in excess of $1 billion in favor of client on alter ego claims in a dispute involving a global family energy company.
Mary-Olga is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, Managing IP magazine's "IP Stars," in which she has been recognized as one of the “Top 250 Women in IP,” Texas Super Lawyers, in which she was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Texas” in 2016, “Top 50 Woman Lawyers in Texas” in 2015 and 2016, and “Top 100 Lawyers in Houston” in 2014-2016; and Euromoney’s Guide to the Leading Women in Business Law (2014-2016); she was also short-listed for “Best in Patent” by in Euromoney in 2016. She is a nine-year member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the qualifications for which are a minimum of twenty first-chair jury trials to verdict and peer election. She has been asked to present demonstrations of voir dire and closing arguments at three American Bar Association national meetings, and frequently lectures on trial and appellate advocacy at accredited CLE programs.
Mary-Olga received her B.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University and her J.D. from the Houston College of Law (formerly South Texas College of Law.) She was the first person to hold the national titles in moot court for both the National Appellate Advocacy Competition (ABA) and the National Moot Court Competition (Association of the Bar of the City of New York/American College of Trial Lawyers).
Mira Haykal serves as Senior Legal Counsel at SABIC. In her role, she handles various procurement and sales transactions, commercial real estate transactions, and supports the company’s corporate affairs initiatives and compliance culture. Operating in very diverse capacities, Mira has negotiated contracts across six continents and in three languages. She has trained employees worldwide on topics such as contract drafting and negotiation and anti-corruption laws and strategy.
Mira holds a J.D. from South Texas College of Law and a B.A. in International Studies from Texas A&M University. Mira is also a certified mediator in the State of Texas. Outside the office, Mira is passionate about volunteering in the greater Houston area serving organizations such as the Junior League of Houston, Dress for Success, the Children’s Museum of Houston, and Texas Children’s Hospital. She also enjoys reading, travelling, tennis, and spending time with family and friends.
Sara Bartel is Legal Counsel for Kony, Inc. a mobile application software and development company based in Austin, Texas. In this role she provides legal guidance to management, and negotiates commercial contracts including software and IP licenses with Kony customers in the western United States and Latin America. Ms. Bartel has taught CLEs on platform as a service agreements and transgender legal rights and has published an article on open source software licensing. Ms. Bartel devotes her personal time to activism and volunteer work in her home, Las Vegas, Nevada. She serves on the Board of Directors for NV-CURE, a non-profit advocacy organization helping individuals and families impacted by the criminal justice system and acts as Legislative Chair for that organization. Ms. Bartel is also a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, providing pro-bono name and gender marker changes for transgender clients and over 100 hours per year of volunteer service for the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada. Ms. Bartel also serves on the steering committee for modernization and reform of Nevada’s HIV laws and is a certified advocate and trainer for the Center Advocacy Network, the first program of its kind in the United States to be accredited by the National Advocate Credentialing Program. Ms. Bartel received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and her B.A. from Duquesne University, and is a licensed attorney in the states of Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Michelle Anderson represents employers in all aspects of employment law in both state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies. Her practice focuses on representing employers against claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, violations of leave and disability laws, and wage and hour related issues.
Michelle also litigates and advises employers on issues arising out of employee defection, including the prosecution and defense of claims involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of trade secret laws.
Michelle provides guidance in the areas of employee handbooks, wage and hour compliance, policy and procedure development, and management training. Her entire legal career has focused on labor and employment law.
Michelle has participated in more than two dozen employment practices reviews; including large multi-state employee handbook and policy reviews that cover all 50 states. She has provided policy advice and evaluation to employers as small as five and to those with thousands of employees.
Her experience covers a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, staffing, healthcare, dentistry, production, manufacturing, restaurant, and hospitality. Michelle has also conducted wage and hour audits to determine proper employee classifications and payment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Prior to practicing law, Michelle had a successful career in workforce development where she operated employment and training programs for a private non-profit corporation under contracts from the Department of Labor (DOL), the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CTED), and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
Michelle's background in executive management and workforce development has yielded practical knowledge and experience in addressing numerous workplace issues. Michelle has wide exposure to the challenges facing today's businesses and supervisors; ranging from compliance with state and federal employment requirements to hiring, training, evaluating, and retaining employees in an ever changing labor market.
Michelle was included in Louisiana Super Lawyers - Rising Stars in 2016.
Laura Alaniz is a Partner in Thompson Coe's Labor and Employment section. Her litigation experience provides a unique perspective in analyzing client's practices to reduce risk of claims. She regularly advises clients on compliance issues relating to employment-related laws and prevention of claims including counseling clients regarding leaves of absence, layoffs, unemployment compensation, employment handbooks and policies, and conducting employee and management training. Laura also represents businesses, non-profits, and their directors and officers in a variety of commercial disputes.
Trusted member of Shell’s senior extended legal leadership team, with business, transactional and litigation experience. Legal leader with extensive corporate legal experience across the full spectrum of substantive commercial areas, including high impact commercial and employment litigation and employment law, regulatory and internal investigations, significant transactional matters, including project development and research agreements and major capital contracting and global contracts and procurement. Proven people and project management skills, with a strong commercial mindset, outstanding cultural awareness and ability to quickly adapt to new situations and manage deep learning curves as needed to identify critical issues of focus and sharp decision-making. Extensive experience in business counseling and partnering, pragmatic business focused legal advisor, with substantial experience drafting and negotiating contracts.
Work includes experience managing corporate governance issues, major deal transactional support, as well as litigation and claims management. Accomplishments evidenced by multiple and expansive roles, with increasing levels of responsibility and oversight of critical organizational risks and change management. Currently responsible for oversight of work supporting global supply chain for contracting and procurement for capital expenditures. Direct management responsibility of a team of 10, located in three countries, with additional functional accountability and indirect involvement for others working on major project delivery in other countries in which Shell operates. Lead attorney supporting Global Claims management and prevention initiative.
Thought leader and regular speaker on diversity and inclusion.
Trusted member of several business leadership teams.
Cyndi Baily is a highly accomplished attorney and compliance professional with extensive experience and expertise across diverse legal fields including, health care and life sciences, corporate compliance, data privacy and information security, general commercial and contract law and contract management, employment law, federal and state contracts, non-profit and tax exemption, securities law and corporate governance, licensing and technology transfer, dispute resolution, negotiation and litigation management.
Her demonstrated strengths are in the health care and life sciences industries, in both general counsel and chief compliance officer roles, and the oversight of the internal audit, information privacy and security, policy, risk management as well as environmental health and safety functions.
She is a dynamic professional with broad supervisory experience involving both legal and non-legal professionals; served as part of the C-level suite in three large businesses; and worked with boards comprised of experienced business leaders throughout the US and the world.
Amy Holmes is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Scientific Drilling International, the country’s largest independent wellbore navigation and drilling solutions provider. She has spent her career advising clients on complex global transactions and partnering with senior management on risk mitigation in a dynamic industry. Prior to joining SDI, Amy served as Associate General Counsel of Champion Technologies. Amy’s legal career began at Baker Botts L.L.P. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt Law School. The Houston Business Journal has recognized Amy as Best Deputy General Counsel as well as a 40 Under 40 honoree.
For more than 10 years, Ms. Benavides has provided straightforward legal and risk management advice to the manufacturing and oil & gas services industries in a variety of areas, including compliance, internal investigations, litigation, and employment law.
Currently, as Halliburton’s Chief of Global Investigations & Chief of the Code of Business Conduct, Ms. Benavides supervise and manage Halliburton's Code of Business Conduct (“COBC”) program, including its Global Investigations program, with a direct reporting relationship to the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer.
Hillary Holmes is a partner in the Houston office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, co-chair of the firmwide Capital Markets Practice and a member of the firm's Energy and Infrastructure, Securities Regulation and Corporate Governance, and Mergers and Acquisitions practice groups. Ms. Holmes counsels public companies, private companies, MLPs and investment banks in all forms of capital raising transactions, including IPOs, registered offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements of debt and equity securities, and spin-offs. She regularly advises private and public companies in securities regulation and governance matters. She also frequently serves as an advisor to boards of directors, conflicts committees, and financial advisors in complex transactions involving MLPs and energy companies.
Ms. Holmes has been recognized as one of the top young capital markets lawyers in the U.S. and is ranked by Chambers USA: Texas Capital Markets: Debt & Equity and Chambers USA: Energy and Oil and Gas (Transactional), which sources noted she is “very talented,” “remarkably dedicated,” and “incredibly knowledgeable.” Peers attest that “she is a phenomenal lawyer who has good judgment, is very engaged, and clients love her.” She has been consistently recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. and was the 2017 recipient of the Premier Women in Law Award by the Houston Chapter of the Association of Women Attorneys and the sole 2015 recipient of the Houston Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyers Award. Ms. Holmes frequently writes, speaks and is quoted on matters relating to the oil and gas industry, capital markets, joint ventures and M&A.
Ms. Holmes is active in professional organizations in Houston, including as a member of the Board of Directors of Houston Volunteer Lawyers; a Houston Bar Association Ambassador; a member of the Campaign for the Homeless Committee, Continuing Legal Education Committee, and Lawyers for Literacy Committee of the Houston Bar Association; former co-chair of the Houston Young Lawyers Association's Nonprofit-Law Committee; a Life Fellow and co-chair of the Nominating Committee of the Houston Bar Foundation; and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Ms. Holmes also previously served the State Bar of Texas as co-vice-chair of the Women in the Profession Committee and a member of the Committee to Select Minority Directors. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the local nonprofit organization Harrison’s Heroes and a community volunteer through the Junior League of Houston and St. Luke’s Church. Ms. Holmes has been recognized as a women business leader in Houston by the Houston Business Journal in 2018 and the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2017.
Joyce Soliman leads the firm's Finance Section and chairs the Diversity Committee. She represents commercial banks, private equity sponsors, and other lenders in corporate finance transactions, including commercial loans, asset-based financings, syndicated credit facilities, project finance, letter of credit facilities, real estate loans, acquisition financings, leasing facilities, and energy and infrastructure finance. She also advises target companies and purchasers in private company mergers and acquisitions. Before joining Porter Hedges, Joyce served as Associate General Counsel in the legal department of a NYSE listed company at its corporate headquarters in Houston.
Jamie Carsey is a Senior Director at Markel, where she oversees the extra-contractual litigation against the company. Prior to joining Markel, Jamie was a partner with the law firm Thompson, Coe, Cousins and Irons, where her practice focused on insurance coverage matters and breach of contract and bad faith litigation, including trials, in multiple jurisdictions.
Victoria Lazar is a seasoned executive that has built public and private companies in the technology and infrastructure sectors. Currently, she is Executive Counsel – Mergers & Acquisitions for GE, leading M&A and capital markets transactions to reposition its portfolio at this pivotal time in the company’s history. Previously, Victoria was General Counsel of Surface, Drilling & Production, responsible for the legal, compliance and corporate secretarial functions of the most acquisitive division within GE Oil & Gas, selling highly engineered products and service solutions to oil & gas and industrial companies in the world’s most challenging socio-political and geographic environments. She also led the integration of the legal function and was on the core team that formed Baker Hughes, a GE company, one of the largest combinations in GE history and the world’s second largest oilfield services company, before moving to GE Corporate.
Victoria came to GE from Electronic Data Systems Corporation (now DXC), a former IT outsourcing Fortune 100 company, where she led key global M&A transactions. She became chief legal officer and secretary of ExcellerateHRO, a global business process outsourcing joint venture offering HR and pension solutions to over 33m customer employees. She also advised EDS and the EDS Board of Directors on key governance and litigation topics.
She began her legal career at BakerBotts LLP, specializing in capital markets, commercial and M&A transactions of all types, supporting clients in energy, oil & gas, financial, healthcare, retail and other industries. She also spent two years in litigation, focusing on antitrust and commercial disputes.
Victoria is passionate about furthering excellence and diversity in the profession, and mentoring others. She has been Executive Champion for the GE Women’s Network – Houston hub and led GE’s Houston 2009 United Way campaign. She was executive sponsor for pro bono activities with Tahirih, an organization devoted to defending victims of human trafficking. She organized a highly-acclaimed summer internship program at GE Oil & Gas for first year law students. She is on the Board of Directors of the Texas General Counsel Forum and recently served on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Energy Network. She routinely speaks on general counsel, M&A, diversity and compliance topics and has been active in the American Corporate Counsel Association.
She received her B.A. from Cornell University, graduating with honors, and her J.D. from The Law School at The University of Chicago. Victoria lives in Houston with her husband, Alex, and their two children. She has a working knowledge of Romanian and Spanish and has studied Russian. She is immediate past president of AJC-Houston, has been a play producer [Drama Desk award nominee] and functional Director for Stages Theater and spends time volunteering at the Awty International School.
Krystal Hunter is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for The Brock Group (“Brock”). She joined Brock in 2015, which is an international specialty multi-craft service provider for routine maintenance, turnarounds and capital projects to heavy industrial clients. She has global responsibility for the legal, risk management and commercial real estate functions for the business.
Prior to her tenure at Brock, Ms. Hunter was Assistant General Counsel at TCPN (acquired by Provista in 2015), during which time she managed their litigation, procurement, construction management related services, government contracting issues and provided legal support to the Board of Directors.
She has extensive experience in contract drafting, mergers and acquisitions, business restructuring, commercial real estate, corporate governance, complex litigation, and labor and employment matters.
Ms. Hunter holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, and a Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Erin England represents some of the world’s largest institutions in connection with structuring and negotiating domestic and international complex commercial transactions.
Erin navigates her clients through the complexities of commercial transactions, with an emphasis on credit facilities to private equity funds and REITs secured by the capital commitments of fund investors, mergers and acquisitions financing, general corporate matters, and a variety of real estate transactions, including construction loans and leasing matters.
A devoted advocate to diversity in the legal community, Erin is the co-chair of the Haynes and Boone Women’s Initiatives Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association. Erin is also on the Board of the Town North YMCA, and is an active member of the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, the Women’s Finance Exchange of Dallas, where she served on the Board for two consecutive terms, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Women's Leadership Council.
Porche Jones is a Talent Manager at Legility. She focuses on placing legal professionals with clients throughout Texas and Northwest Arkansas. Porche has been in the legal recruiting profession since 2014, specializing in placing top legal talent with in-house and law firm clients across the country.
Porche is a graduate of Spelman College and LSU, Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Prior to becoming a legal recruiter, Porche clerked for Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, John Weimer. She also spent time as a researcher for the Louisiana State Legislative Bureau. Immediately following law school, Porche entered the legal recruiting profession. She resides in Houston, TX. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter.
Paula Narcisse is Senior Legal Counsel for Cameron International Corporation, a Schlumberger Company. As Senior Legal Counsel, Paula manages legal operational related matters for Cameron within the North America Land and North America Offshore territories. These matters relate to Cameron's Surface Systems, Valves and Measurement, Drilling Systems and One Surface business units, which generate about $3 billion in revenues in North America alone. Additionally, Paula is responsible for special projects for Cameron on a global basis. Her primary responsibilities afford her the opportunity to advise, counsel, and collaborate with the North American geo-market leadership team to help improve and/or meet financial goals and to minimize risk of loss. Paula also works with key stakeholders to manage all related Cameron litigation, including employment, products liability, personal injury, and complex commercial matters. Moreover, she handles compliance and client contract issues as well as conduct related training as needed. Paula is an experienced contract negotiator on varies types of contracts including master services agreements, equipment supply agreements, construction agreements, drilling agreements, purchase orders, equipment leases, procurement agreements, engineering agreements, and confidentiality agreements. Lastly, she is intricately involved in identifying legal risk exposure on related transactions and for the company as a whole.
Prior to her role as Senior Legal Counsel, Paula served as General Counsel for Cameron's Surface Systems Business Unit, which is the largest business unit within Cameron, generating over $1 billion in revenues. As General Counsel, Paula focused on upstream operational legal matters related to Surface Systems Business Unit on a global level.
Before joining Cameron, Paula worked at other companies including Select Energy Services, LLC. At Select Energy Services, Paula acted as Assistant General Counsel. In that capacity, she primarily (i) created, developed and implemented the Contracts Management process, (ii) managed all joint venture transactions, (iii) advised clients on related legal matters regarding the North American shale play, (iv) acted as Interim Corporate Secretary, and (v) prepared and negotiated varies commercial agreements.
Paula also worked at ConocoPhillips Company. At ConocoPhillips, Paula served as Senior Counsel. She managed all related legal work for the following North American downstream business units: Brand Management, Retail, Credit Card Enterprise, Real Estate, Procurement, Wholesale Marketing, and Aviation. In addition, Paula managed major capital projects including acting as lead counsel (i) for the purchase of 5 corporate aircraft for $180 million, whereby synthetic and tax leasing structures were utilized, (ii) for the sale of 8 corporate aircraft at a fair market value of $120 million, (iii) for the sale of 71 retail sites located throughout the United States generating about $45 million in revenues, (iv) in the negotiations of the Operating Agreement between Citibank U.S.A., N.A. and COP, whereby Citibank agreed to manage COP’s credit card operations. The transaction yielded $300 million in synergies, and was expected to yield over $40 million in recurring synergies thereafter, (v) in the sale of ConocoPhillips’ refineries, terminals and retail sites located in Utah and Colorado for approximately $200 million.
Paula earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Xavier University of Louisiana. She also completed the S. M. U. Law Program held at Oxford University, University College, in Oxford, England. She enjoys spinning, watching television, reading and spending quality time with her child.
Lara serves as Assistant General Counsel for Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. (commonly called Universal or Universal Weather). She has been with Universal since June 2009. Universal is a Houston, Texas-based company providing products and services for general aviation worldwide. Its customers include owners and operators of business jets.
Universal offers trip support services, flight planning, weather briefings and graphics, aircraft datalink services using ACARS or SATCOM, aircraft and crew scheduling software, named FlightPak, online trip planning services, aircraft fueling card services (named UVair), and aircraft ground handling services through worldwide fixed-base operators (FBOs), named Universal Aviation.
Lara works closely with Universal's business development group on both domestic and international M&A matters and joint ventures. She also works closely with the following Universal departments on a variety of matters, including but not limited to, contract review and negotiation, litigation matters, credit and collection matters and general corporate matters: (1) Fuels, (2) Accounting/Finance, (3) Global Finance and Treasury, (4) Credit and Bankruptcy Support, (5) Air Culinaire Worldwide (the catering subsidiary of Universal), (6) Human Resources, (7) Sales and (8) Global Compliance. Lara also oversees the Insurance Risk Department.
Prior to Universal, Lara worked as an Associate for 6 years with Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston. Lara's practice focused primarily on the representation of both borrowers and lenders in secured and unsecured lending transactions, with a concentration on transactions in the energy industry. Lara also represented domestic and foreign clients in mergers and acquisitions and other complex transactions. Lara served on the Houston Recruiting Committee from 2006 to 2007.
In September of 2013, Lara was named a finalist in the Up-and-Comer Category by the Houston Business Journal for Best Corporate Counsel Awards.
Phillina A. Lai is Vice President, General Counsel of Tellurian Inc.. She is responsible for leadership of the legal issues in all business transactions, acquisitions, divestments, operations and risk management across Tellurian’s upstream, midstream and gas supply businesses. Tellurian is developing an integrated LNG project including upstream gas production facilities, gas pipelines and a LNG liquefaction terminal in Louisiana. Once complete, the terminal will be able to export up to 27.6 mtpa of LNG per year to customers worldwide. Tellurian’s strategy is to secure low-cost natural gas, design/construct low-cost liquefaction and deliver reliable and flexible LNG to a portfolio of global customers.
Prior to Tellurian, Phillina held leadership roles in the legal departments at BP America and BHP Billiton. At BHP Billiton, she served as Managing Counsel of onshore upstream petroleum assets, with primary responsibility for overseeing all corporate mergers, joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, in addition to midstream and supply transactions. At BP, she served as Senior Counsel of BP America’s Lower 48 onshore business where she managed all legal aspects for the Midcontinent (TX/OK) business unit as well as the business development, acquisition and divestment functions for BP Lower 48. Phillina started her legal career with the firm of Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Houston, Texas, where she concentrated in domestic and international equity and asset transactions. Phillina earned her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and her M.A. and B.A. from Stanford University, where she studied Biology and Sociology. Before starting her legal career, Phillina spent time as a global strategy management consultant with Strategic Decisions Group in Silicon Valley, helping a broad mix of companies make significant improvements to their performance and realize their goals. Phillina was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel and Houston Business Journal as Outstanding In-house Counsel in 2015. She currently serves as a board member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston chapter.
Gabriela Espinoza is currently Legal Counsel for Sulzer Turbo Services Houston, Inc. and provides advice to Senior Management, including Division Presidents and Vice-Presidents, as well as Global Corporate Officers on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters related to company’s domestic and international business. Sulzer is a global industry leader with reliable solutions for the oil and gas, power, and water markets. From its beginnings in Winterthur, Switzerland, back in 1834, Sulzer has greatly evolved to become a currently publicly traded company with international subsidiaries.
Gabriela has vast experience in legal counseling and contract negotiation, ranging from domestic to international issues around the globe, and engages outside counsel when necessary. With a proven track record of working in direct relation with the oil & gas industry, Gabriela has been able to actively negotiate and close Contracts generating great revenue for the Company in one single transaction as well as in complex multi-jurisdictional, multi-language, transactional endeavors. She received her Master of Laws Degree from University of Houston in year 2008.
In her spare time, she greatly enjoys spending time with her three kids and husband, traveling or just relaxing enjoying a good dinner and a movie.
Since joining the firm, Betsy Jackson has practiced in the Corporate/Commercial arena, specifically dealing in Securities, Business Transactions, Commercial Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate. Specific matters with which she has worked include: Various Asset-Backed Financings; Initial Public Offerings; Revolving Credit, Term Loan and Letter of Credit Facilities; and Exchange Act Compliance Work.
Betsy was named Best Lawyers 2015 Tulsa Corporate Governance "Lawyer of the Year”, has an individual AV rating through Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in Banking & Finance Law and Corporate Law. She is the author of: “No More Bananas in the Oklahoma Split: Exempting ERISA-Qualified Pension Plans Under Section 522(b)(2)(A) of the Bankruptcy Code”, Tulsa Law Journal, Volume 25, No. 4, Summer 1990.
Natara is the General Counsel of Gemini Midstream. Prior to joining Gemini in early 2019, she was the Assistant General Counsel of Oasis Petroleum and worked in the Legal Department at Oasis for seven years from 2012 managing a diverse workload of transactional and other legal matters. From 2007 to 2012, she was an associate in the Energy Transactions & Project Finance group at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins where she represented Fortune 500 energy and oil and gas companies in matters involving upstream and midstream transactions, strategic investments and corporate and project financing and development. Natara began her career at Norton Rose Fulbright as an associate in the Corporate Department in 2005.
Natara currently serves on the Tahirih Justice Center Advisory Committee and has also provided pro bono representation for the organization and for other various matters throughout her career. She has a JD from Duke University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Stetson University.
Karina Amelang is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at U.S. Silica Company. Ms. Amelang is the senior legal advisor to C-level executives with a solid background in driving corporate legal strategy, spearheading strategic joint ventures, complex corporate transactions and successful M&A activities in the heavily regulated energy sector. She is an out of the box strategic thinker with an entrepreneurial approach, able to facilitate change and adapt to new opportunities in a fast-paced environment. In addition, she is an effective project team leader with extensive experience in steering multi-disciplined team efforts across the enterprise to achieve strategic corporate goals and objectives. Ms. Amelang has large law firm experience combined with over a decade in publicly traded companies with a focus on drafting and negotiating joint venture agreements, corporate governance documents, commercial contracts and services agreements. She has also managed litigation involving complex commercial disputes, class action lawsuits, bankruptcy proceedings, environmental and regulatory matters. Ms. Amelang received her J.D. from University of Houston Law Center.
Lindsay M. Germano currently works as Lead Counsel, Strategic Transactions for LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. She focuses her practice on complex corporate and transactional matters, including public and private acquisitions, divestitures and investment transactions. She also advises with respect to general corporate governance matters, commercial matters, and compliance with applicable securities regulations. Prior to LyondellBasell, Ms. Germano was Senior Counsel – Corporate and M&A at Nexeo Solutions, a leading global chemicals and plastics distributor, and previously worked for the internationally recognized law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. During her time at Weil, she was a founding member of the firm’s Hong Kong office and also spent time working in the London office. She obtained her JD, with honors, from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University where she was the President of the SMU Law Review Association, and graduated with honors from Rice University.
Jennifer Tomsen focuses on litigation, including commercial and securities litigation in state and federal courts and securities arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and JAMS. She has defended broker-dealers in customer-member and member-member disputes, employment, and regulatory matters, and has represented clients in a wide variety of commercial disputes.
Devika leverages her background and experience to assist clients in obtaining, protecting, licensing, and enforcing intellectual property rights, with a particular emphasis on technology law in the context of mergers, acquisitions, investments, project development and day-to-day business transactions. She counsels clients in fields such as energy, sports, aviation, software and hardware on digital media, open source software, cybersecurity, and other technology matters. She also has experience with a wide-array of transactions, including commercialization agreements, license agreements, reseller arrangements, collaboration agreements, joint ventures, software development agreements, and patent clearances.
Devika has also been designated a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and serves as the Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Task Force.
Debra Ibarra Mayfield is senior in-house legal counsel for Enterprise Products, one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services. At Enterprise, she handles land acquisition, eminent domain and general litigation matters related to Enterprise’s assets and commercial activities.
Ms. Mayfield is also a former State District Judge, having twice been appointed to the bench by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Before becoming a State District Judge, Ms. Mayfield was the first Latina County Court at Law Judge in Harris County. She served as a County Civil Court at Law Judge for four years and was twice elected to that bench.
Before her judicial career, Ms. Mayfield was a partner in a civil defense firm where she handled litigation and appeals in both state and federal courts across the State of Texas.
Ms. Mayfield is an alumna of Texas A&M University and South Texas College of Law Houston. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center teaching private property rights and eminent domain.
She has served on the boards of several non-profits and bar associations, including the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA), the Association of Women Attorneys (AWA) and the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston (MABAH). She has received numerous recognitions for her public service, including being selected as a "Woman on the Move" by Texas Executive Women, awarded the "Public Service Award" from South Texas College of Law, the Amicus Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston, named “Top Latina 40 and Under" by the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas, selected as one of "Houston's 50 Most Influential Women" by Houston Woman Magazine, and awarded the "Outstanding Mentor Award" by the Houston Young Lawyers’ Association.
Ms. Mayfield is married to Eric, a former United States Army Captain, and they have two young children.
Sandra Safro is a partner in K&L Gates’ Washington, D.C. and Houston offices and serves as a Practice Group Coordinator for the Oil, Gas, and Resources practice within the firm’s Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources practice group. She focuses her practice on regulatory, policy, and transactional issues related primarily to natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). Ms. Safro regularly advises clients on matters related to commodity and pipeline transportation issues, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) policies related to capacity release and in the negotiation of precedent agreements, negotiated rate agreements, asset management arrangements, transportation service agreements, and the terms and conditions of service included in pipeline tariffs. Ms. Safro also advises clients on, issues related to the import and export of LNG, including commercial agreements related to terminal capacity, developments on Capitol Hill, and proceedings before FERC and the Department of Energy (DOE). She represents clients in natural gas and oil pipeline rate proceedings before the FERC and state agencies and advises clients on pipeline safety issues before the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Ms. Safro’s clients include natural gas and LNG marketers, importers, exporters and project developers; oil pipelines and shippers; oil and gas drilling companies; financial institutions; and state and provincial government officials. She is also on the firm’s Women in the Profession Committee and chairs the Hiring Committee for the Washington DC office.
Jamie Bryan is a partner in K&L Gates’ Fort Worth and Houston offices where she is a member of the oil, gas & resources practice group. Ms. Bryan concentrates her practice on the oil and gas industry in both the upstream and midstream sector and complex multi-district litigation. For the past 18 years, she has focused on a broad range of energy issues including royalty disputes, lease termination issues, surface use issues, municipal ordinances, environmental claims, right to take challenges, and eminent domain. Jamie has tried cases before both juries and the bench on a wide variety of complex oil and gas issues. Jamie maintains a specialized practice in the area of eminent domain, having represented numerous midstream energy clients and other condemning authorities in a variety of matters involving real property acquisitions, easement negotiations, condemnation proceedings, challenges to their right to take, and subsequent trials. She also counsels clients on policy issues, best practices and litigation avoidance. She is a frequent author and presenter on issues impacting the oil and gas industry, including eminent domain. Ms. Bryan is also active in the Fort Worth Community and focuses on mentoring women in the energy industry.
Kelly Perrier practices in the areas of oil, gas and energy litigation and commercial litigation, particularly focusing on environmental claims commonly referred to as "legacy litigation." She has also represented many independent oil and gas companies in responding to compliance notices issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Kelly interned for Chief Judge Burrell J. Carter of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal while earning her J.D. and Diploma of Civil Law Studies from LSU Law School. Prior to law school, she worked as a media/political consultant for a small firm handling local and statewide campaigns. She is a 2004 cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Malika Herring is Senior Litigation Counsel at BP America Inc. and has worked in the legal department since 2008. With over a decade of in-house litigation experience, Malika has managed hundreds of lawsuits involving personal injury and commercial disputes, both upstream and downstream across an average of 20 states. She also provides advice and counsel to internal BP clients regarding litigation risks and contractual agreements. In addition, Malika serves as the Americas Regional Chair for Diversity & Inclusion in the legal department and heads BP’s service of process (SOP) team which liaisons with BP’s registered agents and receives and distributes all US service for BP. Malika is also a member of BP’s External Counsel Management Committee (XCMC), which is the team that selects and evaluates outside counsel for the company.
Before joining BP, Malika was Assistant General Counsel in Litigation at a Fortune 10 company where she managed over four hundred lawsuits across the country. Malika began her legal career as a litigator in private practice specializing in commercial disputes, employment, toxic tort, product/premises liability, and environmental law for several years in Houston, Texas.
Tamara Anderson is Vice President of Corporate Strategy and General Counsel at PAS Global, an industrial cybersecurity, safety and compliance software company. Tamara is a multi-disciplined entrepreneur with more than 20 years of results-oriented business and legal counsel experience focused in commercial transactions, complex contract negotiations, channel development, international expansion, policy development, governance, corporate strategy and business planning. Tamara served as speaker and author for the UH Law Foundation continuing legal education program for more than ten years, and holds both a B.B.A. in Management and a J.D. from the University of Houston.
Sarah Tobin currently serves as Managing Counsel—Corporate Services at Direct Energy’s headquarters in Houston. As lead corporate counsel for North America, her role includes responsibility for corporate governance, records management, intellectual property, and legal department operations matters. Prior to joining Direct Energy, Sarah was an associate in the business practice group in BakerHostetler’s Houston office. She is a graduate of Ohio University and Vanderbilt University Law School. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading fiction, watching reality television, staying active, and spending time with her family and friends. She also serves as Vice President of Friends of Girls on the Run Greater Houston.
Brooke Geren McNabb has served as lead lawyer in numerous commercial and personal injury matters and has first-chaired multiple trials resulting in favorable jury and bench verdicts. She represents plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and other tort claims. She also represents defendants in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases. Ms. McNabb's practice has focused on big-stakes commercial cases for energy companies and complex disputes in the real estate sector.
Ms. McNabb received her law degree with honors from The University of Texas School of Law in 2004, where she was an Associate Editor on the Texas Law Review, Order of the Coif, and a member of the mock trial team. She graduated with honors from the Plan II Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin in 2000, served as President of the Orange Jackets, the oldest women's honorary service organization at The University of Texas, and was Phi Beta Kappa and a member of Mortar Board.
Ms. McNabb serves as the General Counsel for Communities in Schools Houston and also represents Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. She is a Trustee of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing scholarships and fellowships to outstanding women law students at Houston's law schools, and a past president of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys, an organization devoted to promoting women and the interests of women in Houston's legal community.
Tammy is a highly-regarded, long-time corporate finance partner.
She has an extensive practice that includes representation of financial institutions, institutional investors and corporate borrowers in all types of secured and unsecured financing transactions, including acquisition financings, asset based lending, reserve based lending, master limited partnership (MLP) financing, multi-currency credit facilities, floor plan financing, first lien/second lien transactions and debt restructuring. Tammy routinely represents large commercial banks in connection with syndicated credit facilities to both public and private borrowers in a broad range of industries, including upstream and midstream energy and oil field services, technology, construction, automotive, death care, financial products and services, and real estate. She also has extensive experience in the field of derivative transactions and regularly advises clients on a wide range of derivative products, including interest rate and commodity swaps, caps, options and other hedging arrangements.
Tammy has a proven track record of working with business executives and their teams to complete complex transactional matters under intense deadlines. She is known for being highly responsive and accessible, communicating with clients in a positive, direct and concise manner. She works to maximize efficiencies on any given project, and is able to call on a network of our professionals to lend their considerable experience. Clients appreciate her deep understanding of their business objectives, which enables her to readily guide them through any legal or business matter in a practical manner in order to accomplish their objectives on schedule.
Tammy has been with the firm for nearly 20 years. In 2018, she was appointed as Houston office Managing Partner. Prior to the merger, Tammy served as the firmwide hiring partner. She currently serves as an ex offices member of the firm's Executive Committee. She is also a member of the firm's Opinion Committee and was a member of numerous firm committees, including the Policy Committee, the firm's governing body, the Associates Committee, Business Intake Committee, Diversity Committee, Partners Committee and Women’s Initiative Team.