Patterson Belknap Announces One New Partner and Seven Counsel

December 13, 2017

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP announced that, effective January 1, 2018, Megan E. Bell will become a partner of the Firm, and Kerri L. Alessi, Alejandro H. Cruz, Jordan M. Engelhardt, Joshua Kipnees, Douglas L. Tang, Jason Vitullo and Timothy A. Waters will become counsel.

Megan E. Bell practices in the Firm’s Tax-Exempt Organizations department. Ms. Bell represents tax-exempt organizations in a wide range of matters, including formation and restructuring, tax compliance, governance, fundraising, complex gifts and collaborative funding structures, lobbying and political campaign activities, joint ventures and other affiliations with for-profit and non-charitable tax-exempt organizations, general and mission related investment activities, including program related investments, unrelated business income taxes, compensation matters, and regulatory as well as internal audits and investigations. Her clients consist of private foundations and public charities, including donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, and company foundations with both domestic and international operations, as well as social welfare organizations, business leagues and trade associations, and agricultural organizations. Ms. Bell also represents individuals and for-profit entities in structuring and managing their relationships and affiliations with tax-exempt organizations. Ms. Bell clerked for Judge Richard C. Tallman of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her LL.M. from New York University School of Law and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude, where she was elected Order of the Coif and was Senior Articles Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. She received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, magna cum laude, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Kerri L. Alessi practices in the Firm’s Real Estate department, concentrating in the representation of both landlords and tenants in commercial leasing transactions, commercial real estate financing, and the acquisition and disposition of commercial real property. Her experience includes negotiating all aspects of lease transactions, as well as subleases, management agreements, brokerage agreements, surrender agreements, and other transactional real estate matters. In addition, Ms. Alessi devotes time to pro bono projects and has been honored for her pro bono legal work by Legal Services for New York City. She received her J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, cum laude, where she served as Editor of the Pace International Law Review. She received her B.A. from Fordham University.

Alejandro H. Cruz practices in the Firm’s Litigation department, where he represents clients in complex commercial litigation in trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. His practice includes disputes arising from structured finance transactions, alleged accounting malpractice, antitrust actions, and claims of commodities manipulation. He also conducts internal investigations and represents clients in investigations by government agencies, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Securities Exchange Commission. In addition, Mr. Cruz is a member of the Firm’s Privacy and Data Security group. Mr. Cruz also maintains an active pro bono practice, including federal civil rights actions, housing disputes, disability discrimination, and claims related to religious land use and the First Amendment. In 2016, Mr. Cruz received the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project’s Champion of Justice Award for his commitment to pro bono service. Mr. Cruz served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2011 to 2012. He received his J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Virginia Law Review’s Editorial Board and elected Order of the Coif. He received his A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College.

Jordan M. Engelhardt practices in the Firm’s Litigation department, where he represents clients in a range of intellectual property litigation and complex commercial disputes. He has successfully defended his clients’ patents on highly successful and important medical therapies against generic challenges. Mr. Engelhardt’s practice also focuses on complex commercial litigation, including disputes relating to structured finance, securities, and corporate governance. Mr. Engelhardt shares the Firm’s commitment to pro bono, with a particular interest in children’s rights. He currently serves as a member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Mr. Engelhardt received his J.D. from Cornell Law School, cum laude, where he contributed to the Cornell Law Review. He received his B.A. from University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude.

Joshua Kipnees practices in the Firm’s Litigation department. His practice focuses on false advertising and complex commercial litigation, including matters relating to mortgage-backed securities transactions and successor liability. Mr. Kipnees has represented clients in the food and beverage, insurance, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and financial industries in both state and federal courts. Mr. Kipnees has also led numerous internal investigations involving compliance reviews. From 2009 to 2010, Mr. Kipnees served as Law Clerk to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court. From 2010 to 2011, he served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Leonard I. Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of the Blackletter Law Journal. He received his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude.

Douglas L. Tang practices in the Firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation department. He advises clients on a wide variety of employment, employee benefits, and executive compensation matters, both in the course of clients’ day-to-day business dealings and in connection with corporate transactions. His practice includes the design and implementation of equity-based and other incentive plans, qualified plans and other retirement plans, and deferred compensation arrangements. He also advises on SEC disclosure obligations for reporting companies and on the negotiation of employment and separation agreements. Mr. Tang served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Theodore T. Jones of the New York State Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2009. He received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, magna cum laude, where he contributed to the St. John’s Law Review. He received his B.S. from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Jason Vitullo practices in the Firm’s Litigation department, where he focuses on complex commercial litigation, internal investigations, and government investigation defense. His experience includes bringing and defending false advertising claims, developing damages analyses for structured finance and securities litigation, advising international clients on U.S. civil litigation and government inquiries, and overseeing multi-national discovery. He also works frequently with expert witnesses on technical aspects of commercial litigation. As part of his pro bono practice, Mr. Vitullo has represented families in disputes over educational services, and authored amicus curiae briefs for a non-profit association in matters before the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Vitullo served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and served as Executive Sidebar Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He received his B.A. in chemistry from University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude.

Timothy A. Waters practices in the Firm’s Litigation department, where he represents clients in a range of complex commercial litigation matters in federal and state courts, and in international arbitrations. Mr. Waters’ practice includes representing major corporations in trademark litigations, complex contractual disputes, and patent infringement cases, as well as representing large law firms in legal malpractice actions. He is an active member of the Firm’s anti-counterfeiting practice, and also represents clients in false advertising and consumer fraud litigations. Mr. Waters received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, where he served as Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He received his B.A. with highest distinction from the University of California at Berkeley.