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Jones Walker Elects Board Members and Names 12 New Partners
January 14, 2015

Press Release

NEW ORLEANS, January 14, 2015—Jones Walker announced today that R. Christian Johnsen, Government Relations partner, and Aileen S. Thomas, Business & Commercial Transactions partner, have been elected as members of the Jones Walker Board of Directors. Mr. Johnsen and Ms. Thomas will serve four-year terms effective January 1, 2015. Mr. Johnsen has served on the Board of Directors since 2006. 

The following partners comprise Jones Walker’s nine-member Board of Directors:

Pauline F. Hardin, New Orleans
William H. Hines, New Orleans, Managing Partner 
R. Christian Johnsen, Washington, DC
F. Rivers Lelong, Jr., New Orleans
James C. Percy, Baton Rouge
Rudolph R. Ramelli, New Orleans
Gary J. Russo, Lafayette
Aileen S. Thomas, Jackson
Michael D. Waters, Birmingham
Jones Walker also announced that 12 new attorneys have been elected to partnership effective January 1, 2015:
Tarak Anada, Business & Commercial Litigation, New Orleans
Mr. Anada handles a broad array of commercial litigation matters and has substantial experience litigating cases in federal and state courts, as well as before arbitration panels. Mr. Anada’s litigation practice focuses on telecommunications, energy, antitrust, and shareholder disputes.
William C. Baldwin, Admiralty & Maritime, New Orleans
Mr. Baldwin’s practice focuses on a wide variety of maritime commercial litigation, including contractual and indemnity disputes, vessel collisions/allisions, personal injuries, piracy, cargo litigation, multi-district litigation and mass tort claims, and other commercial disputes. He regularly handles maritime transactional matters relating to contractual negotiations, marine acquisitions, financings, and marine gaming operations, as well as Jones Act and regulatory compliance matters.
Melissa A. Campbell, Business & Commercial Litigation, Miami
Ms. Campbell’s practice focuses on commercial and complex civil litigation in both state and federal court. Her practice includes lender liability actions, suits to enforce creditors’ rights, and securities litigation. Ms. Campbell has successfully litigated against large commercial property investors for violation of their contractual obligations and assisted clients with the recovery of several hundred million dollars of assets. Ms. Campbell has extensive appellate experience, having won numerous appeals and successfully argued before Florida’s appellate courts. Ms. Campbell has also represented clients in complex class action private antitrust litigation, as well as companies in merger investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Donald L. Cunningham, Banking & Financial Services, Baton Rouge
Mr. Cunningham’s practice focuses on public finance, municipal bonds, corporate finance, local governments, investment banks, commercial banks, affordable housing, and low-income housing tax credits. He serves as bond counsel, underwriters’ counsel, bank counsel, and trustee counsel on municipal, exempt facility, and multifamily housing projects. Mr. Cunningham has represented several governmental entities as bond counsel and has also served as underwriters’ counsel to several regional, national and international financial institutions. He is a member of the firm’s affordable housing practice group.
Matthew W. Kern, Business & Commercial Transactions, Baton Rouge 
Mr. Kern’s practice focuses primarily on public finance transactions, for which he frequently serves as bond counsel, bank counsel, underwriters’ counsel, and trustee counsel. He also has experience in financing projects with the use of tax increment financing and in the creation of special districts. 
Alexandra Clark Layfield, Corporate & Securities, Baton Rouge
Ms. Layfield counsels corporations on corporate governance matters and the related disclosure requirements of the securities laws and trading markets, including reviewing annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements, and press releases. She coordinates periodic review and compliance with internal company policies including insider trading policies and ethics and business conduct policies, and also handles board and executive compensation matters for clients. Her practice also involves representing issuers in a variety of corporate finance transactions, including tender offers, and public and private securities offerings of debt and equity. She also handles asset and stock acquisitions and mergers.
Matthew A. Mantle, State and Local Tax, New Orleans
Mr. Mantle’s practice primarily focuses on state and local tax matters in Louisiana and on a multistate basis, including tax and business planning, audits, administrative appeals, judicial appeals, utilization of tax and business incentives, government relations, and legislative matters. He is a former Graduate Fellow in State and Local Taxation for the Council on State Taxation (COST), where he worked on matters involving state and local tax litigation at the U.S. Supreme Court, state supreme court, and state appellate court levels. He is also a founder and editor of Cooking with SALT, a legal blog committed to providing timely insights on state and local tax developments affecting clients in taxing jurisdictions throughout the Gulf South.
Avery B. Pardee, Business & Commercial Litigation, New Orleans
Ms. Pardee’s practice focuses on shareholder derivative litigation, commercial disputes, and corporate compliance issues, including internal and government investigations, assisting clients in responding to government subpoenas, developing and implementing compliance programs, and white-collar criminal defense. She has experience in investigations involving allegations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues, commercial kickbacks, conflicts of interest, False Claims Act issues, whistleblower retaliation, fraud, contract noncompliance, and human resources issues.
Scott H. Silver, Business & Commercial Litigation, Miami
Mr. Silver is a partner in the firm’s Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, creditors’ rights work for financial institutions and investors including litigation, post-judgment collections, and lender liability, and a variety of real estate and other contractual disputes. 
Hope M. Spencer, Corporate & Securities, New Orleans 
Ms. Spencer’s transactional practice is primarily focused on executive compensation. She provides comprehensive corporate, securities, and tax advice to companies, executives, and boards on all types of employment, severance, change of control, and equity and non-equity compensation plans and arrangements, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans. In addition, Ms. Spencer regularly advises clients on corporate governance issues. She works with clients of varying sizes and needs, including start-up companies, private partnerships, non-profit entities, and large public issuers, and has represented companies in a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, oil and gas, shipping and marine services, gaming, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications.
Brett S. Venn, Business & Commercial Litigation, New Orleans
Mr. Venn’s practice focuses on a variety of business and commercial disputes, including energy, general contract, and shareholder derivative litigation. He has recently represented companies in disputes under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act, in construction lien and contract disputes, and in litigation arising out of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. He also has experience in investigations involving allegations of commercial kickbacks and conflicts of interest.
Jason “Jay” R. Watkins, Business & Commercial Litigation, Mobile
Mr. Watkins’ litigation and trial experience focuses on bankruptcy matters, commercial litigation, complex insurance disputes, bad-faith cases, personal injury and wrongful death defense. He represents national and local companies and has argued and tried several cases to verdict before state and federal courts in Alabama. Mr. Watkins represents various national financial institutions in the areas of commercial collections, mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcy, workouts, and loan restructuring and counsels businesses and creditors in Chapter 7, 9, 11, and 13 bankruptcy proceedings, with issues involving preference actions, administrative expenses, executory contracts, and the automatic stay.
About Jones Walker
Jones Walker LLP (, with approximately 390 attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Texas, provides a comprehensive range of legal services to a national and international corporate client base.