Culhane Meadows Expands in New York with Addition of Five Lateral Partners

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Culhane Meadows, one of the nation's largest non-traditional cloud-based law firms, continues its expansion in New York City with the addition of five former Big Law partners. The firm is comprised exclusively of partner-level attorneys and now has a total of 11 partners licensed to practice in New York.

Culhane Meadows PLLC

Culhane Meadows PLLC

Culhane Meadows represents a highly evolved operating model built with great attorneys using best practices, process efficiency, quality control and enabling technology at its core.

Culhane Meadows PLLC, one of the nation’s largest non-traditional law firms, announces new expansion in the Big Apple with the addition of five lateral partners: Leslie Chervokas, Robert W. Dremluk, David Jacoby, Robert J. Kiggins and Chiahua Pan. The firm now has a total of 11 partners licensed to serve clients in New York—including co-founder and NY Managing Partner, James E. Meadows.

“Our clients know New York is a global business hub and we are fully committed to expanding our presence and services here through the addition of high-caliber attorneys,” says Mr. Meadows. “Our rapid growth proves that clients and attorneys alike recognize the value proposition of our cloud-based platform as we break away from the inefficiencies found in many traditional firms. Simply put, we’re excited to show New York a better way to practice law.”

Culhane Meadows was launched by a group of former Big Law attorneys—some of whom had worked together for more than 15 years—with the objective of providing an innovative new business platform that leverages modern technology and cloud-based commuting. The result is a national law firm that recruits only partner-level lawyers from Big Law who are drawn to the idea of growing their practice within a collaborative, professional and flexible environment, yet without the heavy sacrifice to work-life balance found in most traditional law firms. Mr. Meadows says there are several key factors that distinguish Culhane Meadows from traditional law firms: (1) the firm has no minimum billable quotas that create inherent and often-ignored conflict between a client’s needs and a firm’s financial demands, (2) partners have freedom and flexibility to work from any physical locations that suit their clients' needs, including home offices, and (3) the firm adheres to a totally objective compensation formula that eliminates internal politics and management bureaucracy.

Kelly Rittenberry Culhane, another co-founder, says that a growing number of Fortune-ranked clients are embracing Culhane Meadows’ game-changing business model because the firm delivers responsive and exceptional partner-level counsel and experience at a fraction of the cost for identical services from traditional firms. “General Counsels recognize the quality of our partners and they are discovering they can rely on us to provide top-notch legal services within a budget that benefits their entire organization,” says Ms. Culhane.

Leslie W. Chervokas is a highly innovative attorney with more than 20 years of experience who presently represents one of the largest U.S. providers of business and residential video, voice and high speed data services in various commercial transactions. Drawing on her substantial knowledge of derivatives and other structured products, Ms. Chervokas also handles complex financings involving myriad asset classes, and specializes in mitigating risk on behalf of major corporations and financial institutions. Ms. Chervokas’ practice at Culhane Meadows also extends to general corporate representation of software providers and other companies in New York’s expanding technology industry. A graduate of Duke Law School, Ms. Chervokas previously practiced at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP where she was engaged in various prominent M&A and financial restructuring transactions.

Robert W. Dremluk is an accomplished business lawyer who joins Culhane Meadows after previously practicing at the international firms of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP. He practices in the areas of litigation, finance, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights and also counsels clients on risk assessment of transactional matters. For example, he helps analyze deal terms for asset purchases, structured finance transactions, real estate workouts, foreclosures, and purchases and sales of distressed assets. “I make it a point to understand a client’s business and objectives and then identify the best framework to deliver innovative and practical solutions,” says Mr. Dremluk. “I help clients make deals and, when necessary, I litigate to enforce our clients' rights.” He holds an AV Preeminent Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory and is regularly recognized as one of New York’s top restructuring lawyers by Super Lawyers Magazine.

David Jacoby is a hands-on commercial litigator with nearly 35 years of experience who joins Culhane Meadows direct from Schiff Hardin LLP. He attended Columbia Law School and Princeton University. “We are very excited to welcome Mr. Jacoby to Culhane Meadows because he brings impressive diversity and depth of knowledge in navigating client disputes in a wide range of business industries,” says Ms. Culhane. He has represented clients in numerous state and federal trial and appellate courts, in private arbitrations and at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague. Although his general litigation practice has involved a variety of business-related disputes, Mr. Jacoby has also developed a focus on intellectual property-related matters. His work includes matters in the haute couture, motion picture, franchising, financial and software industries involving trademarks, anti-counterfeiting, copyrights, trade secrets, Internet issues and contract rights. Mr. Jacoby is recognized as a leader among his peers and his articles have appeared in various treatises and legal periodicals such as The National Law Journal, International Legal Practitioner, Bloomberg Law Reports, and The New York Law Journal. He has held positions in various bar associations, serving multiple terms in the NY State Bar Association House of Delegates, and now is Vice Chair of the International Bar Association’s Leisure Industries Section. Mr. Jacoby was selected to the 2014 New York Metro Super Lawyers list by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Robert J. Kiggins is a graduate of Boston College and Cornell Law School and received his L.L.M. in Taxation from NYU School of Law. He practices in Culhane Meadows’ corporate and business transactions and taxation groups. After 30 years of practice, Mr. Kiggins has gained extensive experience in domestic and international corporate finance and tax matters involving securities broker-dealers, investment advisors, investment companies, life insurance companies, hedge funds, television and theatrical production, international level athletes, real estate investments, medical practice purchases and sales, insurance agencies and bank expansion into insurance and securities fields. Says Mr. Kiggins: “Culhane Meadows represents a highly evolved operating model built with great attorneys using best practices, process efficiency, quality control and enabling technology at its core. It’s a privilege to be part of a firm that is so forward-thinking and always looking for better ways to serve our clients.” His international practice has involved clients in such diverse countries as England, Israel, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan. He is the head of the US Branch of the International Business Structuring Association (IBSA) a multi-disciplinary group based in London, England consisting of advisors to multi-national businesses from a wide variety of countries and continents. Mr. Kiggins is fluent in English and Spanish.

Chiahua Pan was previously a partner in the capital markets group of the New York office of Morrison & Foerster LLP. She is a corporate and insurance lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience servicing major U.S. and international insurance companies, investment banks, insurance brokers and other participants in the insurance industry. Her career has also included special counsel roles at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in their insurance practice groups. Ms. Pan attended law school at the University of California. She also holds a B.A. from Harvard, an M.A. from Yale, and a second M.A. from Columbia. At Culhane Meadows, Ms. Pan concentrates her practice in insurance and reinsurance transactions, and capital markets transactions including insurance-linked notes, structured insurance and reinsurance-related products and securitizations. “Chiahua’s depth of experience in the insurance industry is very impressive and our clients in all industries across the country will be well-served by having her counsel available to them,” says Grant Walsh, a co-founder and co-managing partner of the firm’s Texas offices.

“We are humbled by the success our clients have already provided us in the New York market,” says Mr. Meadows. “And we are very excited about our great new partners who equip us to provide even more legal services to a broader range of client industries.” He adds that Culhane Meadows continues to actively recruit highly-credentialed attorneys with Big Law backgrounds or substantial in-house experience for all six current markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Washington, DC.

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Grant A. Walsh

James E. Meadows
Culhane Meadows PLLC
since: 05/2013
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