Ashton Batchelor Managing Director of Pricing, Legal Project Management and Financial Analytics
Robins Kaplan LLP
Ashton Batchelor leads trial law firm Robins Kaplan LLP’s Pricing, Legal Project Management (LPM), and Financial Analytics functions.
Drawing upon her extensive experience in legal operations, Ashton helps create innovative and practical fee arrangements ranging from simple fixed fees to complex shared risk arrangements. Ashton also supports attorneys and clients through the firm’s sophisticated diligence process for risk-based arrangements to ensure these arrangements are based upon shared assumptions and terms of success. In addition, Ashton partners with Robins Kaplan’s executive board and leadership team to manage the firm’s portfolio of risk-based arrangements.
LEGAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Ashton oversees Robins Kaplan’s matter management program, including an in-house team of certified legal project managers who partner closely with firm clients to effectively scope, budget, and manage legal matters from inception to result. These efforts help provide transparent, predictable, and efficient delivery of legal services.
Ashton also oversees a team of financial analytics professionals who support the economics behind each of Robins Kaplan’s practice groups, working closely with firm management and practice leaders to support revenue management, performance benchmarking, and profitable delivery of legal services. Previously, Ashton held similar roles in legal project management in pricing at national law firms. Prior to working in legal operations, Ashton was a litigation paralegal.
Tim Corcoran is a former CEO who now guides law firm and law department leaders through the profitable disruption of outdated business models. Tim is a Trustee and Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, former President of the Legal Marketing Association and a member of its Hall of Fame, an American Lawyer Research Fellow, a Teaching Fellow in the Master in Legal Business program at the Australian College of Law, a frequent presenter at lawyer retreats and legal conferences, and a writer whose articles are published regularly in leading publications.
Tammera Diehm is the Firm President of Winthrop & Weinstine, a business law firm of more than 150 attorneys in Minneapolis, MN. Selected as Firm President at the end of 2019, Tami serves as President of the Board of Directors, and oversees all aspects of firm management operations. Tami has been practicing law at Winthrop & Weinstine for 19 years, representing clients in complex real estate and development matters. She has a particular focus on representing clients in multi-unit real estate, especially in the downstream energy, convenience store, and franchise quick-serve restaurant industries. In addition to managing the firm and maintaining a practice, Tami is also active in the Twin Cities community. She served for 12 years as an elected member of a suburban city council and she currently serves on several boards to support community efforts related to affordable housing, education and pro bono services. Tami earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from William Mitchell College of Law and her B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science & Urban Studies, from Augsburg College. Prior to joining Winthrop & Weinstine, Tami clerked for the Minnesota Supreme Court.
As a CRM Success and Business Development Technology Consultant, Chris Fritsch works together with leading professional services firms across the country to help them select and implement the right Client Relationship Management and eMarketing solutions to support their marketing and business development efforts and maximize value and return on investment.
Chris writes and speaks internationally on legal technology and business development topics including CRM, email marketing, data quality and competitive intelligence and was named among the top 10 Marketing and Business Development thought leaders in the JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards. In recognition of her achievements as a consultant and business contributions to the legal profession, Chris was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management in 2017.
Before founding ClientsFirst Consulting in 2007 Chris was a top sales professional and leader. She also worked as a business developer and an in-house Legal Technologist for an Am Law 50 law firm based in Atlanta.
Chris received her law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, GA, where she served as Managing Editor of the Emory International Law Review, as well as student and faculty technology consultant.
Before venturing into Law, Technology and business development, Chris owned and operated a chain of restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida.
Chris is also the author of a leading CRM blog at CRMSuccess.net.
Robert ("Bobby") is the managing partner of the firm, a member of its Executive Committee, and a co-chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Committee. A partner in the Corporate & Securities practice group, he focuses on counseling private companies on transactional and governance matters impacting their operations around the world, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, joint venture transactions, divestitures, corporate restructurings and succession planning.
Bobby is also a strategic advisor to wealthy families and entrepreneurs concerning critical business decisions and personal matters including the maximizing of revenues and preserving personal wealth. He also counsels clients on the transition of business leadership and wealth across generations. Serving a diverse range of client needs including estate planning, investment advice, financing, tax planning, and charitable endeavors, Bobby consistently finds innovative ways to ensure clients’ business interests and personal lives are protected at every level. Committed to serving his community, he is a member of the Development Committee of Chicago Legal Aid Clinic, serves on the Alumni Board of the College of Arts & Sciences of Indiana University and the Alumni Board of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. He is on the Board of Regents of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is Vice President of the American Friends of Hebrew University's Midwest Board. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Governing Commission of the Hillels of Illinois.
Bobby sits on NGE's Income Partner Review, Marketing/Client Development, and Tax Review Committees.
Stefanie Marrone advises law firms (of all sizes), professional service firms, legal tech and B2B companies, professional associations and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients, attract new clients and achieve greater brand recognition and market share.
Stefanie has worked with a broad range of law firms of all sizes over her 20-year legal marketing career from Big Law, to mid-size firms to boutique firms to solo practitioners.
She also works with accounting firms, recruiting firms, legal tech companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Stefanie understands what her clients need from working at law firms for 20 years.She is not just another consultant.
She has walked in the shoes of the CMOs she works with and she has worked side-by-side with lawyers in all practice areas for 20+ years. She knows how law firms (both big and small) operate and how to get things done effectively and efficiently. In addition, she loves what she does. She knows how to help lawyers in marketing and business development, how to help legal marketing professionals and she knows how to market the services of legal service providers because she is one now and she has utilized their services for many years.
These firms include Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Morrison & Forester, Proskauer, Mayer Brown and McKee Nelson (which is now part of Morgan Lewis) and mid-size firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin.
At each of these firms, she developed and executed revenue generating, business development, internal and external communications strategies, branding and multi-channel content marketing/thought leadership campaigns on a firmwide, practice, industry and lawyer level that had a real impact on the firm and its lawyers.
Knowing that so many B2B companies – especially law firms – are just scratching the surface when it comes to how they use their content and social media, she is passionate about helping organizations and their employees effectively utilize social platforms for business development, revenue generation and visibility opportunities.
A former journalist, Stefanie often writes about issues facing lawyers and legal marketers today. In addition to writing on this blog, you can follow her articleson JD Supra.
She is also a frequent conference and webinar speaker on social media and marketing-related topics.
A lifelong New Yorker, Stefanie didn’t go far from home for her education. She holds a master of science in strategic communications from Columbia University (which she completed while working full-time) and a bachelor’s degree,cum laude, in history and art history from New York University.
Giving back to the industry that has given her so much is very important to Stefanie. She has served in several local, regional and national Legal Marketing Association volunteer roles. She was secretary of the LMA’s Northeast Region and co-chair of the 2019 LMA Northeast Regional Conference.
Stefanie consults for law firms, individual lawyers from firms of all sizes and a wide range of professional service firms, including accounting and recruiting firms. Her services include:
Marketing and business development strategy development (on a firmwide, practice and individual level)
Outsourced CMO/marketing director support for small and mid-sized firms – she will help you run your marketing efforts without paying for a full-time employee
Social media consulting – she will help you use social media to actually bring in new clients and retain your existing ones as well as boost your visibility and brand recognition
Social media training (for groups, one on one and firmwide) – optimization of individual LinkedIn profiles and company pages
Content marketing and thought leadership consulting, strategy and development
Lead generation and business development support
Stefanie lives in New York City with her French bulldog puppies Lucy and Scarlett, who serve as her company’s CFOs (Chief Frenchie Officers), which translates to snoring next to her desk and occasionally barking at the front door as her clients know.
Mark Medice is a Principal at LawVision and leads the Financial Performance and Data Science Practice. He has over 20 years of leadership experience providing and applying data solutions to the most pressing challenges facing law firm leaders. Mark spent over 10 years at Thomson Reuters where he launched and led the Peer Monitor program. During that time, he created the Peer Monitor Index (PMI) which is widely used throughout the legal industry. Immediately prior to LawVision, Mark led new initiatives around analytics and metrics at Intapp.
Law firm leaders rely on Mark’s unparalleled experience in financial competitive intelligence and benchmarking, predictive analytics, industry performance, rates, pricing trends and strategy, profitability, and other critical issues facing firms today.
Courtney Paulk knows how to lead people and projects to a successful outcome. Courtney is the first female president of 90-lawyer Hirschler and a highly regarded construction lawyer.
Since her election to Hirschler’s top spot in September 2018, Courtney has been laser-focused on growing the Virginia-based middle market firm and providing support to its top-ranked practices and lawyers. Her agenda is simple: write the next chapter of the Hirschler success story by expanding firm services, recruiting top talent and maximizing the client experience.
In addition to her roles as president and head of Hirschler’s litigation section, Courtney maintains an active law practice, co-chairing the firm’s construction group and advising public and private owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors on a broad range of business matters and disputes. She is a member and past president of the Richmond District Executive Committee of the Associated General Contractors of Virginia. She also serves on the Contract Documents and AIA-AGC Joint Committees of AGC America.
Outside of the courtroom, Courtney is well-known for her ultra-distance open water swimming feats, many of which are accomplished in support of charitable organizations. Notably, in August 2021, Courtney became the first person ever to achieve a double Triple Crown of Open-Water Swimming: twice around the 28.5-mile circumference of Manhattan, a two-way crossing of the 20-mile Catalina Channel and a two-way crossing of the 21-mile English Channel. She chronicles her amazing feats on her blog Swim & Tonic.
Courtney joined Hirschler in 2002, after serving as a law clerk for the City of Alexandria Circuit Court. She earned her undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College and her law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. Courtney and her husband Matt, a judge in Richmond General District Court, live in Richmond.
A seasoned trial attorney with more than two decades of experience – including trying more than a dozen cases to verdict – Jennifer Morgan DelMonico represents defendants in tort and product liability actions and parties in complex litigation disputes. Jennifer works with leading national and multinational manufacturers and businesses, providing representation against claims for product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, breach of contract, ERISA violations, environmental violations, patent infringement, copyright, trade secrets, and unfair trade practices. Jennifer recently completed a six-year term as managing partner of Murtha Cullina, and brings her experience running a business to her representation of clients facing complex legal challenges. She has deep connections to companies and business leaders across the State of Connecticut based on her recent service as Chair of the Board of Directors of both the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), the State’s most influential business organization, and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.
Some highlights of Jennifer’s litigation experience include:
Trial counsel in an eight week jury trial involving claims for violations of the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, breach of contract, and spoliation of evidence.
Trial and appellate counsel in the successful defense of a multinational medical device manufacturer against claims that its surgical mesh was defective and caused serious personal injury.
Trial counsel in the successful defense of claims and prosecution of counterclaims in a complex breach of contract case arising from the installation of a water system in a private property development.
Trial counsel in the successful defense of a gas supplier in an action for serious personal injury following a natural gas explosion.
Trial counsel in the successful defense of a public company against a minority shareholder challenge to the company’s recapitalization, involving a matter of first impression under Connecticut corporate law.
Trial and appellate counsel in the successful claim of a nursing home against a former resident’s conservator for breach of the probate bond securing his faithful performance of fiduciary duties, involving a matter of first impression under Connecticut health care law.
Counsel in summary judgment win for a manufacturer of exhaust fans against personal injury and property damage claims arising from a fire that destroyed plaintiff’s home.
Counsel for the prime contractor for the State of Connecticut’s upgrade of a complex, multi-million dollar computer system in multiple lawsuits arising from that upgrade.
Defense counsel for a multinational science company in its asbestos product liability litigation throughout New England, securing dozens of summary judgments and withdrawals.
Defense of gear manufacturer in lawsuit for property damage arising from nearly twenty in-flight airplane engine failures and a related recall.
Jennifer received a Bachelor of Music degree in Oboe Performance from Northwestern University in 1994, and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997. From 1997 to 2000, Jennifer was an attorney in the Product Liability department at King & Spalding in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Before becoming Managing Partner of Murtha Cullina, she served as Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Department and Managing Partner of the Firm’s New Haven, Connecticut office.
Jennifer currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms. She is the past Chair of Goodwill of Southern New England and the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of New Haven. In 2020, Jennifer was recognized among the “New Haven Power 50” and “Hartford Power 50” by the New Haven and Hartford Business Journals, one of only two Connecticut business leaders named to both lists.
Jennifer is a member of the American Law Institute, the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and the New Haven Inn of Court. She is a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and the former Secretary/Treasurer of the Foundation of the New Haven County Bar. In 2020, Jennifer was named a Woman Leader in the Law by Corporate Counsel and American Lawyer Magazines, as well as one of the Top 25 Women Super Lawyers in Connecticut. She has an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale Hubbell.
Jennifer has received numerous other honors and awards, including the School for Ethical Education Ethics in Action Award, the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year Award, the Hartford Business Journal Women in Business Award, the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Alumnus of the Leadership Center Award, and the DuPont Minority Counsel Network Diversity Sponsorship Recognition Award.
Roberto Pont Chief Strategy and Operations Officer
Roberto brings a combination of strategy and operational experience to his role as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. He joined the firm in 2020 and developed a strategic plan to grow the business and optimize operations through three pillars focused on Business Growth, Engagement and Innovation.
Focusing on innovation, during 2021, Roberto spearheaded the launch of the firm's affiliated consulting business “MC Advisory”, to differentiate the firm’s offerings and create new business opportunities. With the business of law and legal service landscape changing significantly, the Advisory offers a collaborative suite of services to complement the work of lawyers. He is also coordinating multiple operational teams to design a medium- and long-term digital strategy for the firm, with the aim of adopting new technologies, expanding virtual business practices and increasing accessibility of information for firm members.
As a CPA and FCCA, Roberto has held several executive roles with KPMG’s Global Advisory practice, and Canadian Consulting and Deals businesses. He draws from 13 years in consulting to help resolve problems, identify new opportunities and implement organizational changes.
Roberto is a seasoned traveler and has lived across the globe in Canada, the UK, Spain, Hong Kong, the Congo, Venezuela and Guatemala. When off the clock, he enjoys cooking, playing sports and spending time with his wife and two kids.
Cheryl has 38 years of experience, unique to one law firm. That one law firm has seen tremendous change and growth over the years, from a single office with 35 attorneys to a regional firm with 140 attorneys across six offices in two states. Cheryl was promoted to Senior Financial Analyst after having moved up through the accounting ranks. She works primarily with the Firm’s Financial Operations (Finance Ops) Team, bringing clarity to the Firm’s financial results and developing strategies for top and bottom line growth. In addition to being part of the Finance Ops Team, Cheryl works alongside the Firm’s Strategic Business Unit Managers, analyzing each Unit’s financial results and offering insights to aid in improving performance on an individual and a collective basis. Having begun her career in the legal industry in accounting in the pre-computer era, Cheryl has not only witnessed tremendous change in legal technology employed within and outside of the financial area, but she has also been instrumental in the implementation and integration of the Firm’s new technology offerings. The knowledge gained through financial system implementations, conversions, and mergers, along with her accounting and finance background enhanced by mentors and resources offered by various legal professional organizations, has enabled Cheryl to become a trusted advisor to the Firm. She received an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and Accounting prior to beginning her career at the Firm. When life permitted, she returned to college and achieved her goal of attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree concentrating in Organization Leadership and Learning, graduating Magna Cum Laude, in 2015, from the University of Louisville.
Jeffrey Sharp is the Managing Partner of Marshall Gerstein. He is a registered patent attorney with more than 30 years of experience in patent prosecution, litigation and transactional work who focuses his practice in the areas of biotechnology, chemistry, and chemical engineering.
Jeff has handled matters in a wide variety of biotechnology disciplines, such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and gene therapy; recombinant nucleic acid technologies, including plant biotechnology; and in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostic and gene-sequencing methods. He has also gained successful outcomes in diverse chemical and chemical engineering technologies, including organic, inorganic, and metallurgical chemistry; chemical and metallurgical processing; and food and beverage chemistry.
Sharon L. Sprague Client Service and Practice Development Manager
Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Sharon Sprague serves as the Client Service and Practice Development Manager at Warner Norcross + Judd. She works with the firm’s 230+ attorneys and specialized practice and industry groups to identify client service opportunities and provide strategic support to ensure the delivery of exemplary client service. Having worked within the legal industry for 30 years, the guidance and direction she provides creates the framework for the practice and industry groups’ yearly goals and objectives – ensuring targeted focus and progress is reached each and every year. Her attention to detail and knack for organization helps attorneys and their teams remain centered on Warner’s commitment to offering the highest quality client experience.
Silvio “Sil” Talarico is the Executive Director at Sunstein LLP, a highly respected intellectual property boutique law firm serving a wide range of companies, educational institutions, and inventors in pursuit of protecting and maximizing investment in their highly valued domestic and international patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
Sil is a certified public accountant and holds a progressive 20+ year career in innovative and progressive law firm management including deep hands-on strategic and tactical competencies spanning all areas of law firm governance, practice management, and administrative operations all built upon a core aptitude of sound financial management. He has held executive level positions in small to mid-sized law firms as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in addition to other financial management roles as Chief Financial Officer, Finance Director, and Accounting Manager in Am Law 100 and 200 firms.
He has successfully led firms to operational excellence and improved profitability through his experience that spans strategic and detail level knowledge gained from leading finance, technology, marketing/business development, human resources/benefits, risk management, real estate, office operations, talent development, and other functions within law firm environments.
Using his innate level of high entrepreneurial drive gained from growing up in family businesses, he has built and mentored teams to execute upon opportunities and solutions while embracing the reality of continuous business climate change to drive positive outcomes.
Gordon Vala-Webb Senior Advisor, Technology and Innovation
Gordon is a thought leader, speaker / author and innovation professional. With Lex Mundi since 2017, he works to help their member firms accelerate their uptake of innovative ideas and technology. He is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management with a Master's of Management Science (Technology). With decades of experience leading organizations to become smarter by increasing their flows of information, innovations and decisions, he put everything he knows into his book Building Smarter Organizations: Leading your Zombie Organization Back to Life.