Intellectual Property Strategic Counseling

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2022 New Partner Class Selected by Quarles

Milwaukee — The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced today that it has elected 10 new partners, effective October 3.

“This year’s new partners not only have consistently proven to be outstanding attorneys in terms of their legal skills, but they regularly demonstrated their commitment to the growth and success of Quarles,” said Mike Aldana, the firm’s managing partner. “We pride ourselves on fostering a collegial, collaborative culture in which everyone is equally focused on the success of our clients and the growth and well-being of their colleagues. Our new partners will help strengthen that foundation in the years ahead.”

The new partners are:

Megan Center is a member of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office and the Business Law Practice Group. She represents franchisors in a variety of industries, counseling them on every stage of the franchise relationship, including regulatory compliance, both at the state and federal level, and preparation of franchise disclosure documents and day-to-day franchise system issues. Center also regularly represents buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions, with a focus on transactions involving entire franchise systems, and assists clients with complex commercial agreements. She earned both her B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Zac Foster is a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group and co-chair of the Class Action Defense team, based in Tampa. He specializes in complex commercial litigation for a variety of clients spanning the banking, franchise, network marketing, medical benefits and retail sales industries. He also represents franchisors in contract disputes, enforcement of non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants, actions to protect intellectual property and confidential information, and various other business torts. Foster received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Florida.

Tolga Gulmen is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group in the Madison, Wis., office. A registered patent attorney, he focuses on domestic and international patent prosecution, licensing and strategic intellectual property (IP) portfolio development. Gulmen has worked with pharmaceutical companies, technology transfer offices and startups. His experience includes drafting, prosecuting, managing and licensing patent portfolios with an emphasis on chemistry, pharmaceuticals, materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology. He earned his B.S. from William & Mary, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Daniel Kersey is a Milwaukee-based member of the firm's Business Law Practice Group. He focuses on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters, representing buyers and sellers in M&A and private equity transactions, and assisting clients with complex commercial agreements. Kersey also serves as outside general counsel for his clients, providing practical business and legal advice on day-to-day matters. He received his B.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Steve Kruzel is a member of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, located in Milwaukee. He represents a broad range of employers on all facets of labor and employment law, regularly negotiating collective bargaining agreements and assisting employers in contract administration and arbitrations. Kruzel also has considerable experience defending employers in employment discrimination cases and wage and hour class and collective actions. He frequently counsels employers on day-to-day human resources issues and employment issues related to mergers and acquisitions. Kruzel earned a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and J.D. from Marquette University.

Thomas McDonell is a Chicago-based member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. He focuses on complex commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract disputes, real estate and construction litigation, financial institutions litigation and post-judgment enforcement. He routinely appears in both state and federal courts, including the Illinois Court of Appeals. McDonell also is active in pro bono work and serves as the firm’s national coordinator for the Veterans Pro Bono Program. He received a B.A. from Boston College and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Maciej (Matt) Pietruczak is a member of the firm's Business Law Practice Group, based in Milwaukee. He represents companies and their investors in a wide range of transactions, including private equity, venture capital, growth equity and mergers and acquisitions. Pietruczak also serves as outside general counsel to companies ranging from early-stage startups to large privately held companies. He works with private equity sponsors, including leveraged buyout funds and venture capital funds, corporate venturing funds/departments and family offices in both minority and control investments. He received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and J.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Emily Shircel is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in Milwaukee. She partners with companies of all sizes to develop and manage comprehensive corporate immigration programs to support business needs. Shircel also provides seasoned counsel regarding I-9 compliance and worksite enforcement, including compliance issues arising from corporate reorganizations and mergers. She helps clients develop and maintain overall compliant I-9 programs and works with them to conduct internal I-9 audits, establish best practices and guide clients through government I-9 audits. She earned a B.A. from St. Olaf College and J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Ashley Strait is a Phoenix-based member of the Health & Life Sciences Practice Group. She advises entities in the health care industry such as pharmacies, pharmacy wholesalers, veterinary pharmacies, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and third-party logistics providers. She focuses on licensure and federal and state regulatory compliance, including licensing issues associated with health care transactions and regulatory compliance matters related to new business and service delivery models. Strait received her B.A. from the University of Arizona and J.D. from Loyola University in Chicago.

Li Zhu is a member of the Intellectual Property Practice Group in Chicago. She provides strategic counseling on the protection and enforcement of trademark, copyright, design, trade secret and IP-related issues in supply chain management, especially in China. Zhu was trained in China, Europe and the U.S., including 15 years of China practice experience. She offers first-hand experience in anti-counterfeiting, brand protection and IP portfolio management in the U.S. and China for various industries. She earned an LL.B. (J.D. equivalent) from National University of Defense Technology in China, an LL.M. from University of Groningen in the Netherlands and an LL.M. from Stanford University.

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