Baker Donelson Announces Newly Elected Shareholders In New Orleans

Katie L. Dysart

NEW ORLEANS – Baker Donelson has elected 15 new shareholders across the Firm, including four attorneys in its New Orleans office: Katie L. Dysart, Christopher M. Hannan, Benjamin West Janke and Robert L. Wollfarth.

         "This is a truly exceptional group of attorneys who are highly regarded within the Firm and within their respective industries," said Nancy Scott Degan, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's New Orleans office. "I look forward to the continued success of our new shareholders as they serve the Firm in this new capacity."

         Dysart is a member of the Firm's Consumer Finance and Compliance Group where she focuses her practice on the representation of financial institutions in a wide variety of cases and arbitrations, including mortgage servicing litigation and other mortgage-related matters, lender liability claims, wrongful foreclosures, ACH-related actions, Truth in Lending Act (TILE) claims, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) actions, and claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices and breach of fiduciary duty. An active speaker and author for the Louisiana Bar and other professional associations, she is a Fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation and serves as Vice Chair of the Trial Evidence Committee for the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation. Dysart has been listed as a "Rising Star" in Louisiana Super Lawyers since 2015 in the area of banking and currently serves as a pro bono coordinator in the New Orleans office.

         Hannan, a member of Baker Donelson's Transportation Group, focuses his practice on the areas of admiralty and maritime law. He has significant experience in a variety of areas involving insurance defense and personal injury claims, both inland and offshore marine concerns, as well as onshore and offshore energy industries. Hannan is also experienced in providing contract and regulatory advices for maritime and offshore industry clients, with a focus on indemnity, insurance and additional insured issues, as well as representation in maritime commercial disputes, including maritime lien issues and Anti-Indemnity Act concerns. An avid writer, Hannan oversees Baker Donelson's maritime blog Striding the Quarterdeck and is also a published poet. He has been listed as a "Rising Star" in Louisiana Super Lawyers since 2015 and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

         Janke is a member of the Firm's Business Litigation Group and represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries. His practice includes a strong focus in trademark and copyright litigation matters, where he protects and enforces trademarks and oversees the due diligence and prosecution process through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Janke also handles a variety of complex commercial litigation, especially in the construction, hospitality and retail industries. He has been published extensively in several leading U.S. law reviews, as well as internationally, and regularly contributes to the Louisiana legal community as a board member and speaker for the Supreme Court Historical Society of Louisiana and through his work with the Louisiana Law Institute. Since 2013, Janke has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Louisiana Super Lawyers. In 2015, he was named a "Top Lawyer" in Intellectual Property by New Orleans Magazine and was also named to the New Orleans City Business' "Leadership in Law" list.

         Wollfarth is a member of Baker Donelson's Tax and Mergers and Acquisitions Groups and represents clients across the country in a variety of matters, including start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, federal, state and local tax planning and controversy, obtaining tax and economic incentives, business combinations, sales, contractual relationships, financing projects and operations, restructuring, buy-outs and dissolution. He serves as the Firm's State and Local Tax (SALT) practice area coordinator and also serves on the executive committee for the Firm's Manufacturing Initiative. A frequent speaker and author on tax and economic development issues, Wollfarth has been recognized in Louisiana Super Lawyers since 2012 and was recognized as a "Top Lawyer" in tax law by New Orleans Magazine in 2015. He serves on the board of the New Orleans Business Alliance.

         Amy Kebert Elder of the Firm's Jackson, MS office was also named a shareholder. She is a member of Baker Donelson's Gaming Practice Group and Commercial Transactions & Business Counseling Group, where she focuses her practice on gaming regulatory and business law in Mississippi and Louisiana. As a member of one of the largest and oldest gaming practices in the United States spanning Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, Elder represents all types of domestic and international gaming-related clients, including casinos, gaming equipment manufacturers, casino management companies, investors, commercial lenders and private equity firms in a wide range of gaming matters including licensure, regulatory compliance, financing and project development. Elder was recently elected to a second consecutive term on the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA), an association of attorneys, financial experts, casino executives and regulators in the gaming industry.

         Baker Donelson gives clients access to a team of more than 650 attorneys and public policy advisors representing more than 30 practice areas to serve a wide range of legal needs across 20 offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. Ranked as the 64th largest law firm in the U.S., Baker Donelson is recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For."

         For more information


Christopher M. Hannan


Benjamin West Janke


Robert L. Wollfarth


Amy Kebert Elder



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