Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck is pleased to announce 12 promotions effective Jan. 1, 2019. Justin Cohen, Catherine Hildreth, Christine Jochim, Sarah Mercer and Rick Thomas in Denver will become shareholders and Zach Pfister in Washington, D.C., will become a policy director effective Jan. 1. Adam Yowell in Reno will rise to of counsel. Being promoted to senior policy advisors are Teresa Cooke in Sacramento and Laura Johnson, Greta Joynes, David Reid and John Sonsalla in Washington, D.C.
A member of the firm’s Litigation Department, Justin Cohen is a commercial litigator with significant trial experience. He counsels clients in disputes concerning contract-based issues, fraud and other business torts, and breach of fiduciary duty. He regularly advises private companies and individuals involved in shareholder and partnership disputes, developers and other entities facing litigation in the real estate and construction industries, and large public companies. Cohen represents hospitality, health care, energy and technology companies as well as municipalities, manufacturers and individuals and entities in a wide range of other industries. Cohen is also experienced in securities and oil and gas litigation.
Catherine Hildreth, a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department, helps clients navigate the complex real estate landscape. She combines development, land use, entitlement, acquisition and disposition work in her practice when approaching commercial, multifamily, resort and industrial projects. She provides legal expertise to local and national developers when they consider the development or acquisition of a wide range of property assets, including apartments and multifamily residential buildings, office, retail, ski resorts, golf courses, industrial, mixed use and land.
Christine Jochim is a member of the firm’s Natural Resources Department. Her practice concentrates on compliance counseling and federal policy, litigation, and government enforcement. Jochim advocates for clients in matters relating to a broad array of energy and environmental issues. In addition, she helps clients navigate due diligence for complex commercial transactions.
Practicing in the firm’s Government Relations Department, Sarah Mercer pairs her litigation background with her prior service in local and state government to develop creative political and administrative solutions for her clients’ legal problems. She helps her clients overcome challenging and entrenched legal issues by navigating the complex and fickle political landscape. Through her close ties with elected officials and bureaucratic staff at all levels, Mercer forms connections and bridges relationships within the firm and for her clients.
Rick Thomas is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department and brings a national perspective and skillfully represents developers, buyers and sellers of a wide variety of real estate asset types, including senior living facilities, shopping centers, golf courses, medical office buildings and hospitals. Additionally, he has worked with many types of lending institutions to secure financing for acquisition and development of commercial projects. Thomas also assists clients to structure their projects (and their ownership interests in such projects) to meet their business needs and advises clients with respect to joint ventures, condominium creation and conversion, master planned communities, small planned communities, vertical subdivisions, ground leases, REITs, sale-leaseback transactions and tenancies-in-common.
A member of the firm’s Government Relation’s Department, Zach Pfister guides clients through legislative policy affecting the financial services, health care and technology industries and crafts strategies focused on bottom-line, business-driven goals. He serves as one of the firm’s chief liaisons to U.S. House Democrats, leveraging relationships that span from the progressive to centrist wings of the caucus to Democratic leadership. He has a keen understanding of policy issues under the jurisdiction of the House Financial Services, Energy and Commerce Ways and Means, and Appropriations committees.
A dedicated litigator with a background in the hard sciences, Adam Yowell is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department and has extensive experience both enforcing and defending patents. He has argued cases in federal district courts across the country, the PTAB, and the Federal Circuit, including several Markman and dispositive motion hearings. Yowell has substantial experience in all phases of patent litigation, including first-chairing multiple simultaneous IPR proceedings, drafting appellate, claim construction and summary judgment briefs, and generating contention discovery and expert reports.
Senior Policy Advisors
Focusing solely on advocacy for more than a decade, Teresa Cooke has successfully represented trade associations and private corporations in her California government relations practice. Over the years, she has built an extensive network of relationships with key decision makers that along with her work ethic has allowed her to consistently deliver for clients. Her work on tax policy, environmental compliance, energy policy, labor practices, emerging technologies and automotive issues makes her uniquely qualified to offer a comprehensive perspective.
Laura Johnson, a member of the Government Relations Department, provides strategic advice and policy analysis that helps clients frame legislative and regulatory debates and advance their public policy agendas related to early education, higher education and health care issues. She advocates on behalf of an array of education and health care interests, including colleges and universities, providers of early education, physician organizations, academic medical centers, health insurers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies and other health care organizations with regard to federal health care programs and policies.
Bringing more than a decade of Capitol Hill experience to her government relations practice, Greta Joynes provides her clients with in-depth advice grounded in a strong background of telecommunications and technology policy. Her career has provided her with an excellent grasp of energy, health and environment issues. Joynes has drafted key legislation and amendments related to those industries, including the DOTCOM Act, the Next Generation Public Safety Technology Act and the FCC Collaboration Act.
David Reid brings a wealth of on-the-ground policy and finance experience to his government relations work. He combines his experience in both business and politics on building, funding and setting the strategic direction for advocacy campaigns and political action committees. Reid advocates on a wide array of interests, including arts and public health funding coalitions, pharmaceutical and other health care organizations and telecom companies. He also remains active and engaged with the Democratic Party and campaign committees.
John Sonsalla works with an array of public and private corporations, private equity firms and investment partnerships, national trade associations and nonprofit institutions, offering expertise on federal legislative, regulatory and political matters. He is especially well-known for his work in the financial services arena, where he has helped bank and non-bank product and service providers navigate the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee, as well as the rulemaking, supervision and enforcement activities of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).