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Quarles to Open Office in St. Louis, Continuing Strategic Growth

News Release

New Office with 10 Attorneys Builds on Firm’s Growth After Earlier Expansions into San Diego and Denver

The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP announced today that it is opening a St. Louis office. The new office, the firm’s 13th, will be led by Travis Kearbey, a leading national employment law attorney and trusted business advisor who joined Quarles in July.

Sarah Sise, who joined Quarles in April and leads the firm’s Employee Benefits team, also will be in the St. Louis office. The new office initially will have 10 attorneys and three business professionals, including six attorneys who joined the firm since the start of August. The location will be announced later this fall.

The St. Louis office marks the next step in Quarles’ long-term growth strategy of building strength upon strength, following openings earlier this year in San Diego and Denver. In terms of both geography and market opportunity, St. Louis is well-suited to Quarles’ offering.

“Given its economic diversity, size and parallels to other key markets for us, St. Louis makes perfect sense as we continue to grow our platform,” said Mike Aldana, firm managing partner and chair of Quarles’ executive committee. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to establish a foothold in a new market with highly regarded leaders like Travis and Sarah and a talented group of attorneys and business professionals with deep roots in the community. We are excited about our future in St. Louis.”

Brad Vynalek, firm president, said the new office creates an important opportunity for Quarles to better serve both existing and new clients.

“With our existing base of clients in the St. Louis area and our strengths in the region’s most prominent industries – such as health care, bioscience, financial services, transportation and education – we see significant alignment,” Vynalek said. “Our unrelenting commitment to best-in-class client service drives our strategic growth decisions. This move enables us to strengthen our partnership with current clients in the region while broadening our reach in the market.”

In addition to Kearbey and Sise, other members of the St. Louis team include partners Robert Browning, Camille Roe (who will be working remote from Kansas City), Lauren Schuster, Beth Silker and Jason Stavely, and associates Colleen Essid and Michelle Lewis.

Quarles of counsel and senior strategic advisor Cornell Boggs, who spent more than a decade as in-house counsel in St. Louis, also will be part of the St. Louis team. He also will remain part of the firm’s Indianapolis office.

Business professionals based in St. Louis will be Dave Fleisher, the firm’s chief operating officer; Jennifer Sloop, senior director of legal recruiting and integration; and Christian Zust, director of pricing and practice economics.

“Quarles brings a unique platform and service offering to St. Louis and I am honored to take the helm of our new office and build upon the firm’s recent success in expanding into other key markets,” said Kearbey. “I’m also excited to officially welcome our newest additions to St. Louis and to have such wide-ranging capabilities from which to service clients in Missouri and beyond.”

About the Attorneys

Travis Kearbey provides clients with experienced labor and employment guidance, particularly in the areas of litigation, business transactions, employment law counseling and labor law. He has handled jury trials in federal and state courts on discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower claims, has litigated restrictive covenant disputes in federal and state courts, and has represented clients before numerous state and federal administrative agencies.

Sarah Sise helps clients navigate the challenging regulatory environment associated with employee benefits and executive compensation. She is particularly experienced at assisting clients with design and administration of qualified retirement plans, nonqualified arrangements, welfare and fringe benefit plans and executive compensation programs, in addition to guiding clients through plan audits and service provider changes.

Robert Browning develops and implements creative and practical solutions to complex tax problems for individual and corporate clients of all sizes on federal, state, local and international tax matters, including regularly representing them before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state taxing authorities and in U.S. Tax Court. He counsels public and private companies on tax provisions in asset acquisitions, stock acquisitions, transfers of LLC membership interests and overall deal structure.

Camille Roe focuses her practice on employment litigation, including defending against discrimination, harassment and retaliatory discharge claims brought in state and federal courts and in arbitration. In addition, she provides advice and counsel to clients on various personnel issues, conducts internal investigations and pay audits, and has experience serving as a neutral on employment matters.

Lauren Schuster advises clients on matters involving employee benefits, executive and equity compensation, employee stock ownership plans, and compliance with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. She regularly assists with the benefits and compensation aspects of mergers and acquisitions and works with employers to design equity and incentive arrangements, as well as tax-advantaged plans, that help retain talent while complying with complex regulatory requirements.

Beth Silker represents clients in an array of employment-related and commercial disputes, including those involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. She aids employers in the enforcement of restrictive covenants, including noncompete, non-solicitation and confidentiality obligations, as well as developing strategies aimed at avoiding litigation, including for leave of absence, workplace accommodations and separation issues.

Jason Stavely counsels employers on a wide range of labor, employment and human resource matters, including wage-and-hour class actions, California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) matters and workplace disputes involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and restrictive covenant disputes in federal and state courts. His experience also includes conducting workplace training and counseling clients on compliance with state and federal laws relating to discrimination in employment.

Colleen Essid advises clients on a variety of labor and employment issues, including employee benefits and tax matters. Prior to practicing law, Colleen supported multinational businesses’ global mobility objectives in implementing a variety of international relocation services.

Michelle Lewis counsels clients on employment law compliance, policy development, diversity initiatives, affirmative action, and higher-education law, including Title IX compliance. She has in-depth experience developing policies on the prevention of harassment and discrimination in work and learning environments in addition to conducting small and large-scale employment investigations. Her experience also includes work related to collective bargaining agreements, negotiations, arbitrations and mediations.

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