Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli has elevated three of its practice group chairs to department chairs, and created a new department level role. Denise Drake is the Labor & Employment Department Chair after serving as the Employment Disputes, Litigation and Arbitration Practice Chair for the past two years. Farah Nicol will become the firm’s new Litigation Department Chair on Nov. 1, 2019 when Russell Jones, Jr. completes his five-year tenure as Chair. Jones will continue to represent clients in complex litigation matters fulltime. Nicol has served as Co-Chair of the Products Liability and Toxic Tort Practice for the last two years.
Both attorneys are leaders in their respective national practices, and each brings nearly 30 years of legal experience to their Department Chair roles.“Denise and Farah are highly-respected attorneys and leaders,” said Polsinelli Chairman and CEO Chase Simmons. “They have both been a key part of our recent success and I look forward to working with them to continue to grow our Labor & Employment and Litigation Departments.”
Polsinelli has also elevated Health Care Litigation and Disputes Practice Chair Mary Clare Bonaccorsi to Cross Departmental Litigation Chair. In this new role for the firm, Bonaccorsi will focus on strategic alignment of its litigators across service lines and industries. “Our firm is very industry-focused, and we currently have specialized litigators not just in our Litigation Department, but across all Departments,” said Simmons. “Mary Clare’s new role is a direct reflection of our focus on and success in developing industry-specific litigation across the firm, while maintaining our general commercial trial capabilities.”
• Farah Nicol joined Polsinelli in 2014 in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She works closely with clients to develop effective litigation and settlement strategies when managing large mass tort
claims. Her oversight of complex litigation strategies has earned the respect of Fortune 50 to Fortune 500 clients and colleagues. Nicol is frequently called upon by large national and
international clients to handle the most complex and challenging cases. Such matters often require the development of a comprehensive strategy at all levels, including oversight of claims in multiple jurisdictions and coordination with national co-counsel. Her position on Polsinelli’s Board of Directors provides her with deep knowledge and understanding of the firm’s strategic plans and goals, creating a seamless transition into her role as Litigation Department Chair.
• Denise Drake defends companies in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour and ERISA matters, including class actions, collective actions, multi-plaintiff and multi-defendant lawsuits. She has obtained favorable outcomes defeating nationwide class and collective action certification, including nationwide cases valued at more than $500 million. She counsels clients in many industries, which allows her to successfully lead her practice and now, her department in matters of all types. This year, she was named a recipient of the Women’s Justice Awards for the Litigation Practitioner category by Missouri Lawyers Media. She is centrally located in Polsinelli’s Kansas City, Mo. office.
• Mary Clare Bonaccorsi serves as outside general counsel and trusted business adviser to health care and life sciences organizations. For the past two years, she has served as Polsinelli’s Chicago Office Managing Partner, in addition to her role as Chair of the Health Care Litigation and Disputes Practice. This year, she was named among the Notable Women Executive Over 50 by Crain’s Chicago Business; in 2017, she was listed among the Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago. She is active in leadership roles within legal industry associations and through civic and community engagement, demonstrating her ability to juggle multiple balls and display superior leadership capabilities.
“Farah, Denise and Mary Clare are all tremendous talents and I am proud that they have agreed to serve in these Department Chair roles,” said Simmons.
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 875 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client
relationships, the firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation. Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California.