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15 Vorys Attorneys Included in the 30th Edition of Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year”

Fifteen Vorys attorneys have been named 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.  Each year, only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year”.  According to Best Lawyers, lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” have earned a high level of respect among other lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.  The Vorys lawyers and their selections are listed below:

  • Nelson D. Cary has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Labor Law – Management.  Nelson represents management in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including counseling employers on compliance with, and defending employers in litigation arising out of, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and similar state laws.  He also advises employers on union elections and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB), negotiates union contracts (including project labor agreements (PLAs)), and defends labor contract arbitration proceedings. 
  • Tiffany Strelow Cobb has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.  Tiffany is chair of the firm's bankruptcy and creditor's rights practice group.  She represents unsecured creditors, secured creditors, chapter 7 and post-confirmation plan trustees, unsecured creditors committees and their members, suppliers and other parties in interest in chapter 11 reorganization cases, chapter 7 cases and in related litigation on a national basis and has acted as co-counsel on an international basis.  Most recently, Tiffany is litigation counsel to defendants in an alleged fraudulent transfer adversary proceeding in the In re FTX Trading Ltd. bankruptcy case (Delaware); represents the largest unsecured creditor in the In re Instant Brands bankruptcy case (Texas), resulting in negotiated critical vendor treatment; represented a global media company in a contested sale matter in the In re Vice Media bankruptcy case (New York), achieving contract assumption, assignment and cure; and represented the DIP lender in the In re Volunteer Energy bankruptcy case (Ohio).
  • Mark A. Knueve has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Litigation – Labor and Employment.  Mark is chair of the firm’s labor and employment group.  He represents primarily employers and assists them in litigation matters, focusing on complex employment litigation such as wage and hour class actions and collective actions.  He is involved in the preparation of employment-related documents, including employment policies and contracts.  Mark also participates in employment-related arbitrations, as well as employer counseling, training and non-compete matters.
  • Judith L. Marsh has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Commercial Finance Law.  Judy has more than 20 years of experience representing large, national retailers and consumer brands.  Although her focus is on corporate, commercial, franchising and distribution, and finance transactions, she strives to serve these companies as a strategic partner to help them reach their business objectives.
  • William G. Porter has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.  For over 35 years, Bill has led trial teams, litigated and tried a wide variety of cases on behalf of public and private corporations and their directors and officers, including class actions and injunctions in federal and state courts.  As lead trial lawyer, he has litigated on diverse legal topics, including products liability, health and patient care, corporate, banking, fiduciary and commercial matters.  Bill has tried more than 40 jury and bench trials and has appeared multiple times before the Ohio Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit and numerous state courts of appeal.
  • Gregory D. Russell has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Oil and Gas Law.  For more than 25 years, Greg has been advising producers and pipeline operators in Ohio on business and regulatory matters, ranging from asset transactions, to unit operations and development, to leasehold and royalty disputes.  His practice frequently involves appearing before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies.
  • J. Theodore Smith has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Real Estate Law.  Ted practices in general real estate development, and has specific experience in construction and design contracts, condominium law, real estate acquisition and sales, real estate covenants and restrictions, leasing, liens, evictions and real estate secured finance.  He also works closely with the firm’s economic development incentives attorneys to structure and implement the real estate transaction elements of incentives projects.
  • Evelyn Lundberg Stratton has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice.  Eve counsels clients on variety of practice areas, including appellate issues, litigation and health care.  In addition, she handles mediations, arbitrations and private judging.  Eve has decades of trial and appellate experience.  She uses this experience to counsel attorneys and law firms throughout Ohio, providing case preparation and trial consultation.
  • Mark E. Vannatta has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Nonprofit / Charities Law.  Mark practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, litigation including estates and trusts, tax-exempt organizations and probate law.  He has considerable experience in drafting and formulating estate plans, with an emphasis on estate and generation-skipping transfer tax savings, and is actively involved in all aspects of estate administration for individuals and families.  Mark also has extensive experience advising tax-exempt organizations.
  • Nici Workman has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Banking and Finance Law.  Nici is chair of the firm’s finance group.  Her practice focuses on commercial and structured finance matters, representing national and regional banks and public company and other large corporate borrowers in a wide range of financing transactions including syndicated and multi-currency credit facilities, asset-based lending facilities, acquisition financings, leveraged ESOPs, mezzanine financings, mortgage warehousing facilities and securitizations.
  • J. Bret Treier has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Akron Lawyer of the Year in Banking and Finance Law.  Bret is the managing partner of the firm’s Akron office.  His practice focuses primarily on representing public and significant private companies, which he counsels regularly on a broad range of matters involving acquisitions, dispositions and other transactions, corporate and board governance, securities law compliance and reporting, including executive compensation and disclosure issues, and public offerings of debt and equity securities.  Bret is particularly experienced in representing public financial institutions and plastics manufacturers, and multi-generational family-owned businesses.
  • Mark A. Watkins has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Akron Lawyer of the Year in Litigation – Intellectual Property.  Mark provides IP counsel to many Fortune 1000 companies across the U.S. and around the world, helping companies create IP strategies for the procurement and protection of their IP rights.  He has experience in evaluation and counseling concerning intellectual property rights acquired or divested in mergers and acquisitions; and in evaluation, counseling and negotiations on behalf of clients concerning transfer of intellectual property rights, including assignments and licenses.  Mark has participated in the enforcement and defense of a wide range intellectual property matters, including patent, trademark and copyright infringements, and misappropriation of trade secrets.  His experience in the entertainment industry is extensive.  He has represented a variety of celebrities and athletes in the areas of product endorsement, brand licensing, development and protection of celebrities as brands, as well as in the enforcement of trademark and brand infringements worldwide.
  • Elia O. Woyt has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Akron Lawyer of the Year in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law.  In his energy practice, Elia represents lenders and developers on various energy infrastructure matters, including power generation facilities and midstream facilities.  His energy project experience encompasses structuring, financing, engineering, procurement, construction, operations, maintenance, supply, natural gas transportation service, power purchase, transactional and other commercial arrangements.  Elia also has significant experience representing creditors and other parties in bankruptcy proceedings, receiverships and commercial litigation matters and regularly advises financial institutions with respect to creditors’ rights law and Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
  • Bryan H. Falk has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Cleveland Lawyer of the Year in Banking and Finance Law.  Bryan is the managing partner of the Vorys Cleveland office.  He has broad and deep business counseling experience and a reputation as an effective legal project manager and problem solver.  His practice also includes representing both public and private companies in the structuring, financing, acquisition, development, construction, and disposition of commercial real estate projects, from global corporate headquarters and R&D facilities, to 1 million+ square foot distribution facilities to mixed-use retail, office and residential developments.  He represents many national and regional banks in connection with a wide range of secured and unsecured transactions, including syndicated and single bank asset-based facilities, commercial loans, subordinated debt financings and all types of commercial real estate loans, including tax credit and opportunity zone structures.
  • Kent A. Britt has been named the 2024 Best Lawyers’ Cincinnati Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law.  Kent’s practice is focused on business and commercial litigation.  Kent has significant experience representing clients in complex commercial, banking, insurance, construction, employment, ERISA and shareholder derivative and fiduciary duty litigation.  Kent has presented on the issues of alternative dispute resolution, law for design professionals in Ohio, fundamentals of construction law, construction contracts, public competitive bidding and contracting in Ohio, ESI and e-discovery, lender liability and consumer financial services law.


One hundred and fifteen Vorys attorneys were included 30th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and 44 Vorys attorneys were named to the 2024 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America list.  Click here to see a full listing.

About Vorys: Vorys was established in 1909 with just four attorneys and has grown to nearly 375 attorneys in nine offices in Ohio, Washington, D.C., Texas, Pennsylvania, California and London.  Vorys currently ranks as one of the 200 largest law firms in the United States according to American Lawyer magazine.  Learn more at

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