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Our Commitment to Diversity

K&L Gates, Numerous Lawyers Honored for Diversity, Legal Leadership

4 October 2019

Pittsburgh - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP congratulates New York and Pittsburgh litigation partner Eric Cottle for his election to both the board of directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the executive committee of The National Black Lawyers Top 100. Cottle is the latest of more than a dozen diverse and women lawyers from the firm to be recognized recently for their achievements within the legal industry, with other instances including, among others, a corporate partner’s “40 Under 40” recognition from the National Bar Association; the selection of a Dallas partner to a Top 50 Women Lawyers list; a lifetime achievement award for a partner in K&L Gates’ public policy and law practice; and the naming of three partners to Lawyers of Color’s inaugural list of the “Nation’s Best” practitioners, along with several honors in the diversity area for the firm itself.
The recognitions come amidst several new policies and programs the firm has announced on the diversity front as it continues to enhance diversity and inclusion at the firm and in the profession, including an expanded “Power of Partnership” diversity recruiting program that partners with various clients to offer students the opportunity to work in both a firm and in-house setting and an improved firmwide “Ramp Down, Ramp Up, & Re-Integration” policy for lawyers who take long-term leave.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of these and our other outstanding lawyers,” said K&L Gates Global Managing Partner Jim Segerdahl. “Recognitions such as these align with and support the firm’s belief that creating a team of people with unique backgrounds and perspectives helps to build stronger and lasting relationships both within the firm and with our clients.”

These recent achievements include:

• New York and Pittsburgh litigation partner Eric Cottle was elected to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s board of directors, as well as to the executive committee of The National Black Lawyers Top 100.

• New York corporate partner Calvina Bostick was recognized by the National Bar Association among the nation’s top 40 lawyers under the age of 40. The awards recognize those who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership, and overall legal and community involvement.

• Washington, D.C., public policy partner William Kirk was recognized by the Washington Government Relations Group (WGRG) with the Reginald “Reg” Gilliam Lifetime Achievement Award. WGRG is an association that helps advance African-American government relations professionals’ careers and leadership abilities by increasing the dialogue between its members and key senior-level policy makers to aid in creating public policy solutions.

• Kim Askew, a Dallas partner in K&L Gates’ complex commercial litigation and disputes practice, was selected as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers by the Texas Diversity Council. She also was the recipient of a Georgetown Law Paul R. Dean Alumni Award, given annually to graduates exhibiting leadership to their alma mater and to the legal profession. In addition, Askew was honored with a Serjeant of the Inn Award at a Joint Meeting of the Metroplex Inns of Court, given to a Master of the Inn who has significantly contributed to the profession and the community throughout their career. The American Inns of Court is an association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals who share a passion for professional excellence.

• Pallavi Wahi, K&L Gates’ co-managing partner for the United States and managing partner of the firm’s Seattle office, was selected to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s inaugural Power 100, spotlighting the 100 most influential business leaders helping to strengthen the region and drive its economy. Wahi concentrates her practice on complex commercial litigation and also serves as chairwoman of the firmwide Diversity committee.

• K&L Gates’ Portland office was honored with a Building Diversity Award from the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce for the office’s efforts in shaping the business environment through outstanding work, leadership, mentorship, community involvement, and promotion of diversity. Shiau Yen Chin-Dennis, managing partner of the firm’s Portland office, accepted the award on behalf of the firm and office.

• K&L Gates was named by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) as a Top Performer for each of the last four years, and as a Compass Award winner for 2018. These recognitions are given to organizations that are most active in and supportive of LCLD’s mission and programs, such as the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinder Programs, that aim to identify and advance the next generation of attorneys from diverse backgrounds.

• K&L Gates was introduced as a founding member of the Belgium Legal Diversity & Inclusion Alliance (LDIA). By joining LDIA, firms affirm their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, exchange good practices on diversity and inclusion, and raise awareness of non-discrimination and diversity issues by combining efforts in organizing events, workshops, and training, among others.

• Lawyers of Color named K&L Gates partners Pallavi Wahi (Seattle), Jill Louis (Dallas), and Sang-yul Lee (Chicago) to the organization’s inaugural “Nation’s Best” List, recognizing exceptional law firm partners and senior-level corporate counsel who have achieved prominence and distinction in their fields and demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. They are members of the firm’s complex commercial litigation, corporate, and labor and employment practices, respectively.

• , a Dallas corporate partner, was appointed an Alumni Trustee to the Board of Howard University.

• Miami litigation partner Elisa D’Amico received a 2019 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work founding and managing the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project (CCRLP), a program that offers pro bono legal services to victims of non-consensual pornography. Since its inception in 2014, the CCRLP has helped hundreds of victims of cybercrime.

• Juliana Araujo, a São Paulo partner, was named one of Latin America’s Top 100 Female Lawyers of 2019 by LatinVex. Araujo advises clients on cross-border corporate law and compliance.

• Washington, D.C., investment management partner Lori Schneider was shortlisted for Business Role Model of the Year at the 2019 Women in Asset Management Awards.

• Pittsburgh associate Tami Mack was named one of Pittsburgh Business Times30 Under 30 for 2019, a recognition of young leaders in the business and nonprofit community. Mack advises on corporate and transactional law matters including mergers and acquisitions, banking and asset finance, and venture capital financings, among others.

• Artoush Varshosaz, a partner in K&L Gates’ Dallas office, was named among Dallas’ Best Lawyers Under 40 by D Magazine for a second consecutive year. Varshosaz concentrates his practice on complex commercial disputes, internal investigations, provider-side health care disputes, and insolvency litigation.

• Chicago Women in Intellectual Property (ChiWIP) elected Chicago associate Francesca Cardillo to its board of directors and recognized her with the Outstanding ChiWIP Committee Member Award. Cardillo focuses her practice on a variety of transactions to facilitate the management, transfer, and commercialization of intellectual property.

• Fort Worth and Houston partner Jamie Lavergne Bryan has been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society based upon accomplishment in litigation and ethical reputation.

K&L Gates’ other recent recognitions for its commitment to opportunities for diverse and women lawyers include an eighth Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF); a ninth consecutive rating as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality” from the Human Rights Campaign; and an “Employer of Choice for Gender Equality” certification by the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The firm also sponsors and participates in a number of other diversity-related programs, including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Diversity Council Australia, Equality Campaign Australia, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, and the Stonewall (UK) Global Diversity Champions Program.

To read more about K&L Gates’ commitment and approach to diversity and inclusion, please visit the firm’s website.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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