NEW Background - Practices (Litigation & Trial)

Litigation and Trial


Crowell & Moring Opens in Denver

Firm adds a team of litigation and transactional lawyers led by two female partners

Meshach & Katy

Denver—October 14, 2021: Crowell & Moring has launched a Denver office with an initial team skilled at guiding clients in sophisticated corporate transactions across a variety of regulated industries, as well as complex commercial and regulatory litigation matters. The addition of this group builds on the firm’s recent growth, including new offices in Chicago and Indianapolis. 

The four new lawyers joining the firm in Denver include partners Meshach Rhoades, an experienced litigator who joins Crowell & Moring from Armstrong Teasdale and will be Managing Partner of the office, and Katy Raffensperger, whose transactional practice focuses, in particular, on health care industry deals. She practiced previously at Hogan Lovells. The group also includes two corporate and health care associates, Laura Martinez and Melissa Moravec, from Hogan Lovells. They will join three lawyers already based in Denver: Betsy Derwinski, a senior counsel, and Suzanne Walts, counsel, in the firm’s Technology and Intellectual Property Department, as well as Sarah Rippy, an associate in the firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Group. Crowell expects additional legal talent to join in the near future.

“We are delighted to welcome this talented and diverse group of lawyers to Crowell & Moring as we open in Denver,” said Philip T. Inglima, chair of Crowell & Moring. “Denver is a dynamic city with business strengths that align well with our platform, including in sectors such as aerospace, health care, financial services, infrastructure, energy, technology, and life sciences. Our new office will deepen our capabilities in litigation, including regulatory litigation, corporate and transactional, and health care.”

Rhoades is a trusted adviser to Fortune 100 companies. She has litigated a variety of cases in the areas of contracts, intellectual property, business torts, real estate, class actions, finance and banking litigation, and labor and employment in state and federal courts nationwide. Rhoades’ clients span a variety of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, real estate, finance, and telecommunications. She focuses on the regulatory aspects of litigation and regularly interfaces with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Justice. Rhoades held several leadership roles at her previous firm. Most recently, she served as Chief Diversity Officer, leading the execution of the firm’s strategy on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, Rhoades is active in the Denver community. She co-founded the Latinas First Foundation, which focuses on the cultural and historical contributions of Latinas in Colorado while providing opportunities and scholarships. She also previously served as the National Finance Director for the Hispanic National Bar Association. Rhoades earned her law degree from the University of Colorado, and her undergraduate degree from Regis University in Denver, where she served as captain of the school’s basketball team for three years.

“Meshach has an impressive breadth of experience that complements the capabilities of our Litigation and Torts Groups. She also brings charismatic leadership skills, which will be of great benefit as we focus on serving the broad needs of our clients and growing our team in Colorado,” said Jennifer Romano, co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Group. “Meshach’s regulatory practice is expansive and will be of strategic value to clients as they navigate compliance and enforcement issues in conjunction with the pursuit of their business growth objectives.”

“This is an exciting opportunity to launch Crowell & Moring’s Denver office and build a strong team of lawyers to advise the growing business community here,” Rhoades said. “As a former college athlete, I value teamwork above all else. I am thrilled to be joining Crowell -- a firm that embraces that mindset both internally, and in the collaborative interactions with its clients.”

Raffensperger joins Crowell’s Corporate and Health Care groups. She brings valuable experience and insight into a wide variety of corporate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, mergers, going-private transactions, leveraged buy-outs, tender offers, reorganizations, joint ventures, and general corporate and complex commercial matters. Her corporate practice spans multiple industries, including health care, hospitality, sports and entertainment, technology and manufacturing. She earned her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

“With Crowell & Moring’s expanding platform, we are well-positioned to meet the sophisticated business objectives of clients, including at the intersection of their transactional and regulatory needs,” Raffensperger said. “In addition to driving success for our existing clients, we look forward to building a strong corporate team in Denver that can provide M&A and other transactional legal services to companies locally and nationally.”

“Katy expands our transactional capabilities for Crowell’s deep roster of clients in the health care sector, as well as for clients in other regulated industries,” said Paul Mourning, co-chair of the firm’s Health Care practice. “Katy and her team are a perfect fit as we continue to grow to meet the needs of our clients, given their extensive experience advising health care payors in the expansion of their service offerings.”

This move builds on Crowell & Moring’s strategic growth in the United States and around the globe. Crowell & Moring and Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione joined forces in July, creating a team of more than 100 technology-focused intellectual property lawyers and scientific professionals and adding new offices in Chicago and Indianapolis. In April, 24 lawyers from Wall Street boutique Kibbe & Orbe joined the firm’s New York, London, and Washington, D.C. offices. And last fall, the firm established an office in Doha with the addition of an infrastructure development and controversy team. Over the past three years, the firm has welcomed more than 95 lateral partners.


Christine Elfmann
Senior Communications Manager