Michele C. Kirrane

Apr 28, 2021

Michele Kirrane is a Partner at Wendel Rosen. She is an experienced litigator who has handled large exposure matters in both state and federal courts, from intake to trial. Michele has a diverse litigation practice that includes commercial, products liability, premises liability and catastrophic loss actions. She is trusted by a wide range of clients including product manufacturers and suppliers, business owners, municipalities, schools, individuals, community organizations, and retailers.

Michele understands the high stakes of litigation and takes a tailored approach to each matter she handles. She is tenacious in her investigation and development of strategies carefully designed to protect her clients’ interests.

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Richard A. Sipos

Oct 01, 2020

Richard Sipos is a partner at Wendel Rosen and has over three decades of experience in complex litigation and real estate business transactions. Richard has successfully tried numerous jury and bench construction cases involving hotels, schools and prisons; and other business litigation matters including legal malpractice, securities fraud and partnership disputes. He has expertise in high-stakes transactional real estate and business matters including leasing, sales, disability access and hazardous materials contamination. Richard has facilitated clients’ business purchases and sales of wineries, a waste transfer station, a fire suppression company and a trucking brokerage.

Richard’s ability to advise businesses and to understand all facets of commercial real estate was enhanced by his 20 years of service as a Director and Chairman of the Board for Beard Land & Improvement (an industrial developer) and Modesto and Empire Traction (a short line railroad). After retiring from those Boards, Richard’s most recent Director role is for Axonis Therapeutics which is developing some of the most promising treatments for spinal cord injuries and other neurological diseases.

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Walter R. Turner

Jul 29, 2019

Walt is a partner in the firm’s taxation and business groups. His practice focuses on corporate and business transactions, with an emphasis on associated federal income tax matters. Highly experienced, Walt is esteemed by clients and colleagues for his deep insight, trusted counsel, and enduring relationships.

Business and Tax Counsel

Walt guides clients in a broad range of transactional matters. His practice emphasizes sales and acquisitions, including mergers and other tax free reorganization transactions involving closely-held companies doing business in California and throughout the United States. The mergers and acquisitions Walt handles are often the result of succession planning for family-owned businesses, another focus of his practice.

Expert Consultant and Witness

In recent years, Walt has devoted significant time to expert consultant and witness work in complex income tax and federal estate and gift tax cases. A member of the firm since 1978, he is a former member of the Tax Law Advisory Commission of the California Board of Legal Specialization. Walt has authored or co-authored numerous publications dealing with income tax matters, and he lectures frequently before trade and professional organizations.

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R. Zachary Wasserman

Jul 29, 2019

Zack works with private businesses and public agencies to negotiate and draft complex real estate and financial structures. Working frequently with state and local regulatory and permitting agencies, he represents clients before a variety of administrative bodies to enable clients to complete some of the regions most intriguing projects, including: development of a mixed-use project in San Franciscos Fillmore District featuring Yoshis Jazz Club and Restaurant and 80 condominiums; entitling a 14-story, 220-unit residential building in Jack London Square; and the creative vertical subdivision of the Oakland YWCA, rescuing the Y from bankruptcy and saving a Julia Morgan building. He is currently representing the Oakland As in negotiations with the City of Oakland and County of Alameda acquisition of the Coliseum for a large mixed use development. 

Zack has served as lead general counsel for the Alameda County Transportation Commission and its predecessors for over 30 years, assisting it with a wide variety of matters including funding, legislation, compliance with public laws, environmental and personnel issues, and reauthorizaation. 

In 2012, Zack was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as Chair of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). As General Counsel to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, Zack played an integral role negotiating with BCDC on the Bay Plan Amendment to address rising sea levels. In addition, Zack serves as a member of the Bay Area Regional Collaborative, which coordinates regional policies of MTC, ABAG, BAAQMD and BCDC. 

He serves as the current Chair of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. For many years he has served as general counsel to the Chamber, as well as to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance and to several non-profit corporations and foundations engaged in technology transfer and scientific development. 

An active member of the East Bay community, Zack has donated hundreds of hours of his time to committees and programs designed to enhance the economic development of Oakland and surrounding communities. 

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Eugene M. Pak

Jul 29, 2019

An experienced counselor and litigator, Eugene provides strategic advice to his clients in both transactional and litigation matters. He acts as outside general counsel to many of his clients, and specialized intellectual property and litigation counsel to others. Eugene is a trusted advisor and vigorous advocate for his clients, helping them build and protect their businesses and brands, and to structure favorable deals and agreements.

Eugene’s clients include apparel companies, craft breweries, computer gaming companies, food and beverage companies, technology companies, and many others. He brings a diverse background to his work, having worked at large and small firms, as in-house counsel at a technology company, and at a nonprofit public interest firm.

Intellectual Property Development, Protection and Litigation

For more than fifteen years, Eugene has advised companies in the selection, registration and maintenance of their trademarks and copyrights both domestically and abroad. He has filed or managed thousands of trademark and copyright applications and registrations worldwide. He advises companies with large, well-established international trademark portfolios, as well as newer companies that are just developing their brands.

Eugene also represents clients in related areas such as advertising and marketing issues, social media issues, software licensing, website terms of use, privacy policies, DMCA policies and compliance, and trademark licenses and co-existence agreements. Eugene is also an experienced IP litigator, having litigated numerous IP cases and disputes in federal and state courts. His experience includes disputes involving trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, domain names, anti-counterfeiting, patent, trade secrets, and false advertising issues.

Craft Beer Law and Alcohol Beverage Law

Eugene leads the Craft Breweries & Brew Pubs practice at Wendel Rosen, advising craft breweries and others in the alcohol beverage industry. He serves as outside general counsel to many of his clients, advising them on a wide range of issues from entity formation, trademarks and copyrights, distribution and other contracts, employment issues, alcohol beverage (ABC) and labeling regulations, as well as marketing and advertising issues.

Eugene frequently speaks at beer conferences and has been quoted in Brewbound, All About Beer, The Daily Journal, and other media outlets. He ‘tweets’ on legal and business issues facing craft breweries as @beerattorney.

Business and Employment Advice and Litigation

Eugene is also an experienced business and employment law attorney. He has represented companies in a wide range of business and commercial matters, including antitrust issues, broker-dealer disputes, class action cases, investment fraud, bid disputes, real estate disputes, unfair competition matters, California Business & Professions Code §17200 claims, and Commerce Clause issues involving state and federal beverage laws and regulations. In the employment law field, he has advised and represented clients in matters involving non-compete agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, employment discrimination, independent contractor versus employee status, and wage and hour laws. In addition to representing clients in court, he has represented clients in employment disputes before administrative agencies such as the California Labor Commissioner and New York Stock Exchange (arbitration).

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Laurie A. Sanders

Jul 29, 2019

Laurie has more than 25 years of experience as a business transactional attorney. A partner in the firm’s Business practice, she serves as outside general counsel, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, commercial agreements, venture capital financings, private equity transactions, succession planning, and corporate governance. She guides domestic and international businesses, entrepreneurs, and middle market companies in creative approaches to the challenges of rapid growth.

Business Transactions

A trusted partner to her clients, Laurie advises investors and companies through the lifecycle of a business, from formation, financings, equity compensation and securities transactions to acquisitions and sales of businesses and founder ownership transition. Her experience includes complex licensing transactions, sophisticated joint venture arrangements, and other types of commercial agreements.

Experience

Laurie began her career in the business and corporate law departments of major national and international law firms in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. She worked with public and private companies on securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, ’34 Act matters, secured financings, and corporate governance. Her experience encompasses a number of industries such as technology, professional services, consulting, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail distribution. Laurie has negotiated cross-border transactions with parties in Europe and Asia, and has clients in England, Australia, and Canada.

Influence

Laurie serves on the steering committee for mergers and acquisitions with IR Global and is an attorney mentor to student teams through U.C. Hastings’ Startup Legal Garage. She has been a frequent speaker and panel moderator for groups including Continuing Education of the Bar, Financial Executives International, the Association for Corporate Growth, Women in Consulting, Provisors, and the Alameda County Bar Association. She served as executive editor of the Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law at Duke University School of Law.

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Timothy H. Smallsreed

Jul 29, 2019

Tim is a member of the firm’s Business practice and Trusts and Estates practice. He is an experienced advisor to clients on legal matters through all business stages, from formation and finance, to operation, growth, and exit. He provides trusted counsel on business succession planning, as well as a range of sophisticated estate planning, trust and probate matters.

Business

In his business practice, Tim forms and advises business entities, including single member enterprises and syndicates. He is experienced in negotiating and documenting mergers and acquisitions, dissolutions, asset sales, intellectual property development contracts, distribution and marketing agreements, international trade facilities and regulatory enforcement actions.

Trusts and Estates

Tim guides clients in a range of estate planning matters. He is experienced with multi-generational business succession planning, including formation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies. He assists with shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, real property acquisition and leasing, and nonprofit and philanthropic entity formation and operation, including matters involving donors and affiliated entities. He serves clients with insurance trusts, revocable trusts, minors’ trusts, charitable remainder trusts, private foundations and public charities. He is also experienced in trust administration and probate procedures including those that apply to the acquisition, management, improvement and disposition of real property.

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Jeffery B. Levi

Jul 29, 2019

Jeff is a partner with the firm’s trusts and estates practice.  In addition to his experience in estate planning, he has a background in corporate and transactional law, which gives him unique insights into advising individuals and families with business interests. Jeff works closely with clients to devise strategies and creative solutions to meet their objectives. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law.

Estate Planning

Jeff works with individuals and families to plan and structure their estates. He prepares revocable trusts, irrevocable generational trusts, wills, durable powers of attorney, and advance health care directives. With his corporate and transactional skills, Jeff frequently forms and prepares the organizational and operating documents for family businesses (such as family limited partnerships and limited liability companies) to meet clients’ estate planning and business objectives.

Business Law

Jeff’s experience includes forming, organizing, and counseling limited liability companies, partnerships, and corporations. He has acted as outside counsel for entities on a variety of legal issues, such as buy-sell agreements, duties of directors, and family business succession. Jeff has handled major transactions, including acquisitions, financings, conversions, and dissolutions, and advises clients about their estate planning options when faced with liquidity events or other changes in their businesses.

Jeff also has substantial experience with forming, counseling, and obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations.

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Richard A. Lyons

Jul 29, 2019

A partner and chair of the firm’s food and beverage practice, Richard is highly experienced in corporate, securities, and intellectual property (IP) law. He co-founded the firm’s intellectual property and green business practice groups and has deep insight in a broad range of business and legal matters. Richard is passionate about helping visionary companies meet their objectives.

Corporate

Versed in all aspects of the “business of business,” Richard guides clients in legal matters related to operations, organization, financing, and mergers and acquisitions. He assists clients in entity formation, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, equity and debt financing, distribution and vendor agreements, covenants not to compete, and employment agreements, and has represented companies and investors in venture capital rounds and private equity transactions.

Securities

Richard has represented both companies and professional investors in countless  exempt private securities transactions, including founders, accredited investors, venture capitalists, private equity, family offices, and strategic investors. He is experienced with disclosure and registration requirements under state Blue Sky and federal securities laws. He has advised clients on private placement memoranda, stock purchase agreements, structuring investor preferential returns, representations and warranties, and related ancillary agreements.

Intellectual Property

Richard is experienced with trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and patent licensing, and advises clients concerning the selection and clearing of trademarks, the protection of trademarks, and infringement issues. He has represented retail brands and businesses involved in digital entertainment and production services. With a background in computer programming, Richard has substantial legal experience advising software companies and, developers of  enterprise products, including  cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) .

Food and Beverage

For more than two decades Richard has guided food and beverage companies, including natural and organic businesses and investors, in matters related to growing, manufacturing and production, co-packing and contract manufacturing, distribution, retail and online retail, food service, consumer brands, FDA labeling requirements, and third party certifications, such as Organic, Non-GMO and Fair Trade. He has also worked on product recalls and product recall insurance coverage issues.

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Sidney A. Israels

Jul 29, 2019

Sid has extensive experience in real estate, business and regulatory matters. He represents a broad spectrum of clients, including title insurers and agents, healthcare providers, transportation logistics, food processors, lenders, agribusinesses, real estate investors and venture capital providers.

Not only working with startups, Sid works with well-established entities in negotiating and closing complex business deals involving mergers, acquisitions, sales, share and asset purchases, shareholder separations, joint ventures, and private placements.

He represents prospective business purchasers, and he has developed special skills in working with business founders, their families, and personal professional advisors. Sid’s involvement is usually characterized by team participation, excellent communication between participants resulting in expeditious and efficient documentation, often avoiding costly future misunderstandings.

Sid has been instrumental in developing a strong team at Wendel Rosen to effectively represent title insurers and underwritten title insurance companies in regulatory matters before the California Department of Insurance. These matters include audit compliance and the obtaining of organizational permits and approvals for sales, mergers and acquisitions of underwritten title companies.

In addition, he has a particular passion for transportation issues, bringing experience and familiarity with matters involving logistics and infrastructure financing affecting shippers, retailers, rail carriers and land development projects.

A native of Modesto, California, Sid provides first-hand knowledge of the Great Central Valley’s changing demographics and connectivity to Wendel Rosen’s clients and their expanding needs. Sid helped originate and maintains strong connections with Wendel Rosen’s Modesto office. With considerable experience and knowledge of the Great Central Valley’s resources, challenges and opportunities, Sid has been involved in several projects, including agriculture research, food safety, farm equipment manufacturing, and public and private development partnerships.

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