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Waller adds to deep bench of corporate practice

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, a leading provider of legal services to the healthcare, financial services, private equity and real estate industries, has made several key hires to strengthen the firm’s Corporate practice.

In 2021, the firm has hired a number of attorneys in its Corporate group, including:

Associate Sam Baker, who assists private equity and venture capital firms, healthcare organizations and other clients with mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. He also assists clients with day-to-day operational issues, corporate governance, and reorganizations. Prior to joining Waller, Baker gained valuable experience as an associate for Miller & Martin PLLC.

Associate Matt Bryson, who represents private companies and financial sponsors in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and other investment, financing and exit transactions. His transactional experience also includes venture and later-stage equity financings, fund formation, corporate restructurings and commercial contracting arrangements. Prior to Waller, Bryson was a member of the corporate team in Dentons’ Atlanta office.

Associate J. David Creasy, who advises private investment funds, investment managers and institutional investors in formation, investment, transactional and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Waller, Creasy gained valuable experience at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York where he worked in the firm’s private investment funds practice, and at Seward & Kissel LLP in New York where he focused on investment management.

Associate Vivian DePietro, who assists clients across industries with a variety of SEC-registered capital markets and securities transactions, including initial public offerings, private investment in public equity transactions, at-the-market offerings and other capital markets transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions. She also advises clients with respect to SEC reporting and corporate governance matters. Prior to joining Waller, DePietro gained valuable experience as a capital markets associate for Lowenstein Sandler LLP in New York, and in a similar role at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Attorney Cristina Lue, who assists healthcare clients with governance matters, mergers and acquisitions, and other complex corporate transactions. Lue has experience in both corporate and government settings, including six years serving as in-house counsel for a large insurance claims management company. She also worked as a senior attorney for a financial services company, where her work focused on SEC filings, negotiating settlements, evaluating private securities transactions and guiding those organizations through due diligence efforts and regulatory compliance. In the public sector, Cristina served as a public health policy analyst for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she identified key legislation and reviewed newly implemented federal laws, rules and regulations.

Associate Bhavesh Modi, who supports healthcare organizations pursuing strategic transactions. He assists clients with mergers and acquisitions, various stock and asset purchases and sales, and private placement and investment transactions. Prior to joining Waller, Modi gained valuable experience as a corporate attorney for Winstead PC in Austin, Texas, where he focused on healthcare M&A transactions, healthcare regulatory matters and growth efforts for emerging companies. He also served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Texas Attorney General’s Office in the civil Medicaid fraud division and as a staff attorney for the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

Associate Willard Younger, who represents buyers and sellers in the healthcare and financial services industries in structuring and executing merger and acquisition transactions and complex reorganizations. He works extensively with strategic and private equity investors and their portfolio companies on transactions within the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Waller, Younger gained valuable experience as a corporate associate for Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York. He also served in roles in New York State Government and politics focusing on economic development, infrastructure and campaign finance.

Associate Daniel Walder, who focuses on mergers and acquisitions and securities transactions. His experience includes advising corporate and banking clients on a broad range of public and private transactions, both domestic and cross-border, including mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, high-yield and investment-grade debt offerings, follow-on and secondary equity offerings, and committed financings. Prior to joining Waller, Walder gained valuable experience as an associate for Latham & Watkins LLP in New York, where he was a member of the firm’s corporate department and capital markets practice.

Associate Jonathan Wilson, who assists clients in healthcare and tech with preferred stock financings and mergers and acquisitions. He also works with emerging companies and has experience managing venture capital investments for both companies and investors. Prior to joining Waller, Jonathan gained valuable experience as an associate for Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Austin, Texas, where he served as lead associate for preferred stock financings, and as an associate for Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, LLP in Menlo Park, California, where he assisted with stock financings, venture capital investments, and mergers and acquisitions of public and private companies.

Associate Laura Layton, who assists physician practices, private equity investors and other clients in the healthcare industry with mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, and regulatory compliance. Having begun her transactional career in media and communications where she worked in both in private practice and as in-house counsel, she brings a unique perspective to complex healthcare transactions. Prior to joining Waller, Laura served as a legal fellow at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She also gained valuable experience as in-house counsel for a global media company, as an associate for Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and as a law clerk for a corporate firm in Lima, Peru.

“The battle for legal talent is fierce right now, and we are excited to bring in new attorneys that represent a diverse array of skills with extensive experience within government and high-profile law firms,” said David Clay, who leads the corporate practice group at Waller. “It speaks to the level of work that Waller attorneys can perform in cities that are increasingly attractive in a post-COVID world.”

About Waller’s Corporate Practice Group

Experienced in complex business transactions, Waller is a trusted advisor to domestic and international public and private companies for matters arising in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities transactions and compliance, collaborative business arrangements and general corporate matters.

The firm’s representation extends to acquirers, targets, sellers, commercial banks, financial advisors, institutional investors, boards of directors and special committees in both negotiated and contested transactions. Waller also represents funds and investor groups that are frequent participants in financing and M&A transactions.

In the last four years alone, the firm has provided successful counsel in transactions with an aggregate value of more than $10 billion and growing.

Waller’s corporate practice was recently recognized by Chambers USA as being in Band 1 among law firms in Tennessee in the corporate category.

According to Chambers, Waller has an “eminent corporate team with notable prowess in the healthcare sector.” In addition, it “offers expertise across the gamut of corporate matters, including M&A, joint ventures, recapitalizations and private placements. Additionally noted for its counsel on SEC compliance and associated corporate regulatory matters.”


Sam Baker
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Matt Bryson
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Cristina Lue
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Bhavesh Modi
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Willard Younger
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Dan Walder
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Jonathan Wilson
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Laura Layton
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