Commitment to client-centered growth starts with internal development
Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce seven attorneys have been elected partners, continuing an established track record of internal advancement at the firm. The new partners include attorneys in Spencer Fane offices in Kansas City, Missouri (Stephanie Lovett-Bowman and Mike Seitz); Overland Park, Kansas (Stacy Harper, Crystal Howard and Reed Williams); St. Louis, Missouri (Megan Meadows); and Denver (Tom George).
The elections to partnership were effective January 1, 2019.
“When bringing on new talent, we are proactive in ensuring we get a good match for both our firm and the individual at the front end,” said Patrick J. Whalen, managing partner at Spencer Fane. “We don’t focus on succeeding or failing to attract a certain employee. We want to find attorneys who share our passion and vision for client-centered growth and provide them with a path to partnership that supports their professional development.”
Showing consistent financial growth in recent years, Spencer Fane continues to strive for a nontraditional partner-to-associate ratio with an emphasis on providing services that meet the unique needs of all clients. The firm invests in experienced attorneys with the intention of providing them with high-level work that fosters a culture of leadership.
“We pride ourselves on staffing most matters with small teams, which I believe provides real benefits to our clients and to us, as practitioners,” said Stephanie Lovett-Bowman, who worked at Spencer Fane from 2010 to 2015 before returning in 2017. “I worked closely with clients from Day 1 and learned early on how to be responsive to their needs. I also learned to develop solutions that are practical — not just legally sound.”
“Spencer Fane attorneys constantly challenge one another by setting a high bar for excellence and legal skills, but they are always eager to share experience and insight, to collaborate, and to celebrate individual, group and firm successes,” said Tom George, elected partner after 2½ years with Spencer Fane.
Reed Williams added, “I believe the culture at Spencer Fane is truly unique. There exists a spirit of collegiality and unity of vision that allows the firm to be an extremely effective advocate for its clients.”
Spencer Fane strives to meet the continually evolving needs of clients, with the firm’s attorneys often collaborating across practices and office locations to provide comprehensive service.
“My clients look for the availability of services across practices areas,” said Stacy Harper, who joined Spencer Fane in 2016. “At Spencer Fane, I have found not only a strong network of attorneys in other practice groups, but also a unique depth in the health care and cybersecurity teams that allows me to respond to my clients’ complex needs in a timely manner. These client-focused resources are further reinforced by the Spencer Fane leadership team, which clearly defines the firm’s identity and provides us a path for future financial success and stability.”
Added Mike Seitz, “The firm’s emphasis on client service is one of the things that drew me to Spencer Fane and what sets it apart from other law firms. Spencer Fane does more than pay lip service to client service. Attorneys and staff search out client feedback and are always looking for ways to get better. It’s satisfying to work at a firm where everyone shares the same goal of improving the client experience.”
The practice at Spencer Fane of strong communication with clients requires attorneys to develop important skills. While all associates are encouraged to seek out partnership, each individual can pursue the designation at the appropriate pace.
“I’ve had great experiences working with attorneys within my office and across other offices, which is a great way to network and promote myself within the firm,” said Megan Meadows, who was elected partner after more than six years in the firm’s St. Louis office. “This commitment to the individual is important for an attorney wanting to become partner. There has never been pressure to progress toward partnership at a certain pace, which has always been reassuring to me.”
Crystal Howard added, “Spencer Fane fosters professional development on an individualized path, creating an environment that promotes and values all lawyers. This culture created a space for me to hone and develop my legal competency while defining my own path to partnership.”
Brief attorney biographies for each of the new partners are included below.
ABOUT THE ATTORNEYS
Tom George (Denver) — Tom counsels municipal and local governmental entities throughout the state of Colorado in all aspects of formation, operation and dissolution. He helps existing special districts such as metropolitan districts, water and sanitation districts, parks and recreation districts, business improvement districts, fire districts, and other governmental authorities with day-to-day operations, elections, public finance, and statutory compliance so they can build and maintain public improvements and provide efficient services to property owners and constituents.
Stephanie Lovett-Bowman (Kansas City) — Stephanie is a litigator and counselor who specializes in helping school districts and other educational institutions resolve disputes and implement best practices to proactively avoid risk and conflict. As a former investigative attorney for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), she has unique insight to advise educational institutions in responding to OCR and other governmental agency investigations.
Stacy Harper (Overland Park) — Stacy counsels health care organizations on regulatory compliance, reimbursement and data security issues. Using her prior experience as a health care compliance officer, she assesses risks and develops strategies for clients to mitigate risk and improve compliance. She also develops plans to coordinate data privacy, data security and data breach response for health care providers, health plans, employer sponsors of self-insured health plans, and other businesses.
Crystal Howard (Overland Park) — Crystal helps businesses and individuals structure business plans and transactions to resolve tax problems. She also represents clients in tax controversies before the IRS and state agencies and advises partnerships and corporations on all aspects of federal income taxation, including entity formation, reorganization and dissolution. Additionally, she counsels tax-exempt organizations on a variety of legal issues.
Megan Meadows (St. Louis) —Megan assists clients through all aspects of the dispute resolution process, and also counsels employers through the broad array of labor and employment law issues that arise in the workplace. She assists employers with claims of discrimination and retaliation, along with wage and hour, leave and non-compete disputes. Megan also handles complex litigation matters, including insurance coverage, wrongful death, products liability, and bad faith.
Mike Seitz (Kansas City) — Mike is an experienced litigator who represents clients in complex civil litigation and appellate matters. He has handled cases with aggregate claims exceeding several billion dollars in potential liability and has experience in many areas affecting business clients, including contract law, copyright and trade secret litigation, class actions, professional malpractice, accounting disputes, fraud and unfair competition, racketeering, the False Claims Act, real estate disputes, and employment litigation.
Reed Williams (Overland Park) — Reed helps health care providers in matters related to corporate governance, contractual obligations and management issues. He regularly drafts bylaws, risk management policies and other internal documents for health care professionals to ensure they are abiding by regulatory requirements, while also assisting his clients with all manner of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.