Sanford Heisler Sharp Announces First Firmwide Managing Partner, GC

Posted November 1st, 2021.

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As the firm promotes a slate of new leaders, co-founder David Sanford emphasized the importance of leadership in creating “uniformity and consistency.”

By Andrew Maloney

What You Need to Know

  • Plaintiffs firm Sanford Heisler Sharp has named a new firm vice chair, firmwide managing partner and other leaders.
  • Name partner Kevin Sharp will be co-vice chair of the firm, along with firm co-founder Jeremy Heisler.
  • The firm’s Baltimore office leader Deborah K. Marcuse will also be the firmwide managing partner, the firm announced Monday.

Noting the firm is trying to increase consistency across offices, Sanford Heisler Sharp has announced its first-ever firmwide managing partner and general counsel.

The plaintiffs firm this week also named a new co-vice chair, and promoted managing partners in New York and Nashville, Tennessee, while announcing several other strategic promotions.

Baltimore office managing partner Deborah K. Marcuse will take on the role of firmwide managing partner, Sanford Heisler said in a release, while Russell Kornblith will become the firm’s first general counsel.

Name partner Kevin Sharp, who formerly headed the Nashville office, will assume the role of co-vice chair of the firm, joining co-founder Jeremy Heisler in that role.

“We have one firm, and we happen to have six offices, with about 100 employees nationwide. And as we grow, it’s really important to have consistency and uniformity of practices, whether it involves training, or hiring, or technology or finances—everything involved in running a firm should be consistent if you want it to have one set of values that everyone can rely on,” David Sanford, the firm’s chair and co-founder, said in an interview Monday.

“Having a firmwide managing partner, in addition to the managing partners at all offices, helps create uniformity and consistency. Having one general counsel does the same,” Sanford added.

Marcuse, a Yale Law School graduate and trial lawyer who also has a Ph.D. in religion, will still lead the firm’s Baltimore office, which she helped open in 2018. Among her recent, notable victories is a $14 million settlement in May 2020 in Rapuano v. Trustees of Dartmouth College, in which she represented a class of current and former grad students at the school who alleged a gender-based hostile environment.

Kornblith, who will leave the role of managing partner of the firm’s New York office to become general counsel, specializes in qui tam/whistleblower litigation, sexual assault litigation, and gender and other employment discrimination litigation. Michael Palmer, co-leader of the firm’s wage and hour practice, will become managing partner of the New York office.

Sharp is a former judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, where he served from May 2011 through April 2017, including three years as the court’s chief judge. He co-chairs the firm’s public interest litigation practice.

The firm also announced that Leigh Anne St. Charles, who practices in the employment discrimination and financial services groups, has also been promoted to partner and will assume the role of Nashville office managing partner, taking over for Sharp.

Kate Mueting, co-chair of the firm’s discrimination and harassment practice, will also become co-managing partner of the firm’s D.C. office.

Additionally, Alexandra Harwin has been named executive firm chair of the discrimination and harassment practice, while Melinda Koster and Danielle Fuschetti will become co-chairs of that group, along with Mueting and Saba Bireda.

Nicole Wiitala, a senior litigation counsel at the firm, will join Vincent McKnight as co-ombudsman for Sanford Heisler.

The firm also announced Monday that five lawyers have been promoted to associates, and four others have joined as litigation fellows.

Sanford said St. Charles’ promotion, as well as an additional promotion of Jonathan Tepe to senior litigation counsel, go into effect Jan. 1. The rest are effective immediately.


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