Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of seven associate attorneys bolstering multiple practice groups in the firm’s Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield, Missouri; and Overland Park, Kansas, offices:
- Simrat Johal: Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Kansas City
- Aurora Kammerer: Health Care, Overland Park
- Daniel O’Malley: Corporate and Business Transactions, Kansas City
- Homayoon Rafatijo: Intellectual Property, Kansas City
- Henry Sivils: Real Estate, Springfield
- John Spisak: Intellectual Property, Kansas City
- Connor Walsh: Real Estate, St. Louis
All seven previously joined Spencer Fane as law clerks earlier this year and have now earned admittance to their respective state bars. This measured growth in the market reflects the firm’s continued commitment to attracting and retaining top legal talent that facilitates a response to increasing client demand on complex matters.
“Spencer Fane continues to seek out opportunities to increase our capacity to handle the full spectrum of legal needs for our clients, especially in core practice group areas for our firm,” Spencer Fane Chair Patrick J. Whalen said. “This group of talented attorneys fits well with the dynamic culture we have established at Spencer Fane, and each brings a focus and background that aligns well with identified needs for our clients in litigation, corporate, IP, health care, and real estate matters. We have definitively improved our ability to provide collaborative and efficient legal services through the utilization of attorneys at different points in their careers.”
One of the fastest-growing firms in the nation, Spencer Fane currently operates 22 offices across the United States, recently surpassed the 400 mark for attorney headcount, and continues to climb rankings as one of the largest 200 firms in the country. The firm has experienced double-digit percentage revenue growth for each of the past seven years while also being ranked among the top law firms in the nation for lawyer satisfaction.
About the Attorneys
Simrat Johal (Kansas City)
Johal’s practice focuses on addressing the full range of litigation risks that a business might encounter, collaborating with all key stakeholders to quickly resolve matters and in a beneficial manner that aligns with a client’s unique objectives and goals.
Prior to entering private practice, Johal gained experience as a legal intern in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Kansas City, Kansas. Duties included conducting legal research, drafting documents, and attending training sessions and court hearings that inform her knowledge of litigation procedures. She also completed an internship with the Criminal Justice Act division of the Public Defender’s Office and gained experience in electronic discovery, research, and collaboration with law firms.
Johal completed her undergraduate studies in political science and American studies with a minor in African American studies at the University of Kansas. She later earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law.
Aurora Kammerer (Overland Park)
Kammerer provides legal services to clients ranging from large health systems and hospitals to specialty providers and solo physician practices. Her approach to collaborative client service centers on understanding the challenges providers face related to ongoing changes in health care access, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, health information technology, and government fraud investigations.
However, Kammerer also regularly facilitates advisement for clients on any type of legal matter a health care operation faces, including litigation and real estate, environmental, and financial matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Kammerer spent time as a legal intern for Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph. She assisted general counsel in developing policies and legal strategies addressing critical changes in health law due to COVID-19 and kept the legal department up to date on developments in the law related to the pandemic that were having a massive impact on the operations of a hospital. This also afforded her beneficial practical experience with various federal health laws including Stark, HIPAA, and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
Kammerer completed her undergraduate studies at Creighton University and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law. She later spent time as a legal intern with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and extern for Magistrate Judge Roberts in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.
Daniel O’Malley (Kansas City)
Prior to entering private practice, O’Malley worked as a summer associate at Spencer Fane, where he gained practical experience collaborating with several attorneys. His work included researching and drafting memoranda for clients on business, tax, and litigation matters and analyzing contracts related to complex transactions. Previously, he also completed a clerkship with the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Defender’s Office, as well as internships with the U.S. Marshals Service (Northern District of Ohio) and the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.
O’Malley will continue to provide high levels of client service for businesses ranging from small startup entities to very large public companies, with responsive and proactive day-to-day legal advice on all aspects of operations critical to success.
O’Malley completed his undergraduate studies at Davidson College in North Carolina and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude. While in law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 90 of the UMKC Law Review, was a legal research and writing teaching assistant, and assisted both the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic and the Intellectual Property Clinic. Danny won CALI Awards in six different classes: Contracts I, Civil Procedure I, Lawyering Skills I, Law of International Trade & Finance, Legal Accounting, and Professional Responsibility.
Homayoon Rafatijo (Kansas City)
Rafatijo graduated with distinction from Sharif University of Technology – the leading institution for STEM fields in the Middle East – with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering and a minor in physical chemistry. He relocated to the United States in 2013 to pursue a doctorate in theoretical and computational chemistry from the University of Missouri.
After obtaining his first postgraduate degree in 2017, Rafatijo continued to conduct research under a Multi-University Research Initiative grant funded by the U.S. Army Research Office, which competitively selects proposals based on their potential to improve the technological capabilities of the Army. He also collaborated with world-renowned professors, applied “Big Data” mining techniques, developed algorithms, designed Molecular Dynamics simulations, and created computer codes to derive research conclusions. This culminated in several publications in prominent, peer-reviewed journals and ultimately sparked his interest in the field of patent law.
Rafatijo maintained research and instructional duties while obtaining his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law. His practical background in data science, computational chemistry, and combustion engineering fits well with the Spencer Fane priority of bringing in attorneys with a working knowledge of the industries important to clients.
In addition, Rafatijo has taught as an adjunct professor at multiple universities, including the University of Missouri.
Henry Sivils (Springfield)
Sivils will establish a practice based on managing all aspects of transactions for individuals, companies, developers, builders, property owners, and financial institutions. He will collaborate with an accomplished team of attorneys that helps clients navigate all legal matters to allow essential stakeholders to keep projects and deals of all sizes on schedule and within budget. He also provides counsel on development incentives, tax credit financing, and opportunity zones.
Sivils completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri in 2018, majoring in sociology, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2022. While in law school, he participated in the Tax and Transactional Law Society competition, worked with a professor as a research assistant, helped his colleagues as a Constitutional Law Fellow, and contributed to the Journal of Dispute Resolution and served on the publication’s editorial board.
John Spisak (Kansas City)
Spisak brings more than a decade of experience in multidisciplinary engineering, with a track record of solving complex problems and leading cross-functional projects. This informs his unique perspective in building a mutual understanding of his clients’ businesses, guiding individuals and companies through preparation and prosecution of complex patent, copyright, and trademark matters in patent offices around the world.
In addition, Spisak assists clients with more general technology issues, including licensing, product development, due diligence, cybersecurity, innovation, IP theft, and assignment of ownership.
Prior to entering private practice, Spisak spent time as both a lead engineer and engineering consultant for companies specializing in the design, production, installation, and system commissioning of solar power generators. He also previously owned and operated a residential construction and remodeling company, giving him the practical professional services experience in essential to the Spencer Fane client service model.
Spisak completed his undergraduate studies in biomedical/medical engineering at Boston University in addition to participating in a study abroad program in science and engineering at Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. He later earned his Juris Doctor from the Washburn University School of Law.
While in law school, Spisak completed a legal externship for the Hon. John W. Broomes at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
Connor Walsh (St. Louis)
Walsh handles all phases of real estate transactions for individuals, companies, developers, builders, property owners, and financial institutions in his private practice, incorporating a collaborative approach to all related legal matters that helps clients keep projects and deals of all sizes on schedule and within budget.
Prior to joining in a full-time capacity, Walsh also spent another stint at Spencer Fane as a law clerk in addition to being a part of the firm’s summer associate program in 2021. He gained multidisciplinary legal experience in Corporate and Business Transactions, Real Estate, Banking and Financial Services, and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
Walsh also previously worked for a local title company as a legal assistant and helped clients with all aspects of the pre-closing process on real estate transactions. He passed the Missouri Title Producer Exam, providing him with valuable insight into processes related to his current legal work.
After completing his undergraduate studies in professional writing with a minor in general business at Miami of Ohio University, Walsh earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.
While in law school, Walsh worked as a student attorney in the Community Economic Development Clinic and represented nonprofit corporations, community-based associations, and small businesses with transactional legal needs and various corporate and business matters.