Eckert Seamans Attorneys and Practices Ranked by Chambers USA 2017

June 1, 2017

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC has again been named among the nation’s leading law firms, earning top rankings in multiple practice areas and markets in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Notably, the firm’s Aviation Group and Hospitality Group were listed as recognized practitioners nationwide. Additionally, in Pennsylvania, Chambers USA ranked the firm’s Construction, Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, and General Commercial Litigation groups among the state’s top practices.

Ten Eckert Seamans attorneys were selected by their clients and peers for inclusion among America’s Leading Business Lawyers by Chambers USA. Attorneys with the firm’s Hospitality and Aviation practices earned national rankings, while lawyers in the firm’s Public Finance, Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Construction, Litigation, and Intellectual Property practices earned high honors in Pennsylvania.

Full rankings and editorial commentary are available on the Chambers and Partners website. The publication’s rankings are based upon the recommendations of more than 10,000 clients and lawyers throughout the United States. Chambers USA researchers conduct thousands of interviews to obtain opinions about the lawyers and law firms the interviewees have dealt with over the past year. The leading law firms and attorneys are then compiled and ranked based on the comments in the interviews.


Timothy Q. Hudak (Pittsburgh), Notable Practitioner in Leisure & Hospitality Law – According to Chambers USA, the “’well-regarded’ Timothy Hudak regularly assists clients with management and franchise agreement negotiations and hospitality joint ventures. Clients praise him as ‘responsive and smart,’ noting that ‘he understands the business and manages his team very well.’”

Evelyn D. Sahr (Washington, D.C.), Notable Practitioner in Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory – According to Chambers USA, Evelyn Sahr is “sought after by clients to assist with a range of regulatory issues, including export control, antitrust and compliance issues, as part of a wide-ranging and multifaceted practice. One commentator appreciates that ‘she has a nice, broad view and is able to go deep.’”

Drew M. Derco (Washington, D.C.), Associates to Watch in Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory – According to Chambers USA, “’Excellent’ rising star Drew Derco is a widely respected associate with in-depth knowledge across a variety of regulatory issues, with particular experience before the DOT. He is highlighted for his understanding of foreign route authority actions.” [Editor’s Note: Derco was promoted to member (partner) in April 2017, after the conclusion of the Chambers USA research period.]


Construction – According to Chambers USA, the team is “well respected for representing a wide range of clients, such as public and private owners, suppliers, designers and sureties. Esteemed for its strength in construction disputes and also regularly advises on bidding and procurement, government contracts and regulatory compliance issues. Active in both national and international projects in the infrastructure, energy and leisure sectors.”

Intellectual Property – According to Chambers USA, the team has an “enviable track record in the registration and protection of patents, trademarks and copyright. The firm also offers a sophisticated licensing and portfolio management service.” Sources say, “Very good performance.”

Bankruptcy/Restructuring – According to Chambers USA, the team “regularly advises an impressive roster of clients from a variety of sectors, covering Chapter 11 cases, workout litigation and reorganizations. Renowned for its prowess in contentious bankruptcy work including lender liability, preference and fraudulent conveyance actions. Possesses expertise across a variety of industries, in particular the leisure sector, regularly working with hotels and fast food restaurants.”

Litigation: General Commercial (Western Pennsylvania) – According to Chambers USA, the team is “distinguished for its representation of clients in commercial litigation before state and federal courts and highly regarded for its strengths in IP and trade secret disputes. Also maintains a fine reputation for its insurance coverage defense work.”



Joan N. Stern (Philadelphia), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, Joan Stern has a “’tremendous reputation’ for her bond work and is highly regarded for her counsel in healthcare, education and transportation financing. Her ‘availability and commitment’ set her apart in the eyes of clients, who say her ‘level of dedication is second to none.’”


Gary M. Schildhorn (Philadelphia), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, Gary Schildhorn is “well-respected by peers.” One interviewee says, Gary is “a creative and very skilled practitioner. He is definitely highly regarded and has a lot of experience through the years – truly an excellent lawyer.” He represents clients in the full range of bankruptcy matters and restructurings.

Karen Lee “Kitt” Turner (Philadelphia), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, Kitt Turner is “praised by clients for her ‘speed, efficiency and very broad knowledge of bankruptcy issues.’ She regularly deals with state and federal bankruptcy proceedings, as well as litigation, and recently she acted as lead partner representing Zurich in Corinthian Colleges’ Chapter 11 proceedings.”


Scott D. Cessar (Pittsburgh), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, Scott Cessar is “acclaimed for his work in arbitration and mediation, where peers note that he is ‘very competent, responsive, and practical.’ One client enthuses: ‘He was like no other lawyer. He tries to understand his client and respond accordingly. He really knows construction, knows all the Pittsburgh players and is highly regarded there. I’m thrilled I sought him out because he’s perfect.’”

Christopher R. Opalinski (Pittsburgh), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, “’excellent trial lawyer’ Christopher Opalinski is a fine choice of counsel for complex construction suits and acts for a range of clients in the public and private sector. He regularly handles disputes at state and federal level and before arbitration panels, and is highly regarded for his experience in cross-border cases.”

Cornelius J. O’Brien (Pittsburgh), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, Cornelius O’Brien is “highly experienced in construction claims and disputes, acting for contractors, managers and subcontractors. He is also noted for handling construction litigation on behalf of municipalities and pharmaceutical companies. One appreciative client values his ‘very accommodating’ approach and ‘conscientiousness of costs and expenses involved.’”


Roberta Jacobs-Meadway (Philadelphia), Notable Practitioner – According to Chambers USA, the “highly esteemed” Roberta Jacobs-Meadway is “noted for her wide-ranging expertise in trademark and copyright issues.” Sources describe her as “an outstanding lawyer” and “unstoppable – she’s at the top of her game!”

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