Eckert Seamans announces new leadership roles

Kathryn A. English appointed chair of firm’s Business Division;

Patricia S. Mahlstedt named co-chair of Hospitality & Gaming Group;

Christopher L. Bennett named vice chair of Hospitality & Gaming Group; and

April Morgan Hincy named vice chair of Financial Services Litigation Group

Eckert Seamans is pleased to announce that its Business Division will be led by Kathryn A. English (Pittsburgh) as chair. English succeeds Timothy Q. Hudak, former chair of the Business Division and Hospitality Group, who recently assumed the role of co-CEO, along with Dorothy A. Davis. English has served as vice chair of the Business Division since 2009 and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2005. Eckert Seamans’ Business Division includes 12 distinct areas of practice: aviation, business counseling, employee benefits, financial services, government relations, hospitality, intellectual property, public finance, real estate, real estate finance, securities, and tax.

“Kate was the overwhelming choice of our executive committee; her prior experience as vice chair of the Business Division and on the firm’s board of directors position her exceptionally well to step in to the chair role,” says Davis.

“Kate is committed to our clients, our firm, our culture, and our people, and will play a key role in Eckert Seamans’ next chapter of continued growth,” says Hudak.

In addition, Patricia S. Mahlstedt (Pittsburgh) was named co-chair of the Hospitality & Gaming Group and Christopher L. Bennett (Washington, D.C.) was named vice chair of the group. They will serve alongside Hospitality & Gaming Group co-chair Mark S. Stewart (Harrisburg) and vice chair Jay T. Blount. Member April Morgan Hincy (Pittsburgh) was named vice chair of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Group.

English joined the firm in 1998, and practices in the employee benefits area, working with global public companies and privately held companies of all sizes regarding Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), tax, and executive compensation matters. She provides advice and counseling concerning compliance with ERISA, tax, and other related laws, and provides support in litigation and collective bargaining. English represents clients before federal agencies responsible for regulation of employee benefits. She is admitted to practice in New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. She is a regular speaker on employee benefits topics and has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and was named the Best Lawyers 2016 Employee Benefits “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh. English earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1994, and her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 1991.

Mahlstedt joined the firm in 2006. She focuses her practice on hospitality law, representing hotel owners, developers, investors, and management companies. Her practice covers various aspects of hotel-related matters for clients whose properties are located throughout the United States as well as in international locations, including hotel acquisitions and sales, joint venture negotiations, financing matters, leases, management agreements, franchise and food and beverage operating agreements, and day-to-day hotel operational matters. Previously, Mahlstedt was an associate general counsel for six years at Interstate Hotels, the nation’s largest independent hotel management company. While serving in that capacity, her practice covered general corporate transactional matters of the publicly-held company, including mergers and acquisitions as well as hotel operational matters. Specifically, she had major responsibility in negotiation and administration of hotel management agreements, hotel acquisitions, joint ventures and financing transactions, and securities transaction and reporting matters. Mahlstedt earned her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1991, and her B.A., with highest honors, from Saint Vincent College in 1988.

Bennett joined the firm in 2015 after a 16-year tenure at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., where he served as chief administrative officer and general counsel. He oversaw the legal affairs of the global hotel management company, which includes more than 450 hotels across North America, Europe, and Asia. While at Interstate, Bennett also oversaw Interstate’s human resources department with its 33,000 global associates, served as managing director of the company’s international portfolio, and oversaw the company’s public relations team. He is also a certified public accountant. Bennett received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from Virginia Tech.

Hincy joined the firm in 2004, and focuses her practice in the area of commercial business litigation and also handles real estate, transactional, and regulatory compliance matters. Her litigation experience includes lender and servicer liability, class actions, contractual disputes, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) compliance, labor and employment matters, construction litigation and mechanic’s liens, medical and professional malpractice claims, unemployment compensation, administrative hearings, insurance coverage disputes, bad faith actions, products liability, intellectual property infringement, predatory lending, and mass tort litigation. Hincy’s transactional experience includes advising on regulatory compliance including RESPA, TILA, and EFTA, handling real estate transactions, negotiating asset purchase agreements, and negotiating contractual relationships. Hincy earned her J.D., cum laude, in 2001 from the Duquesne University School of Law, where she served as associate recent decisions editor of the Duquesne Law Review. She earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in 1997 from Washington & Jefferson College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.