Lewis Brisbois Strengthens Minneapolis Commercial Litigation and Employment Law Practices with New Partner Hires
Minneapolis, Minn. (August 17, 2020) - Lewis Brisbois is pleased to announce the addition of Kari Berman and Tina Syring to its Minneapolis office as partners in its Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice and Labor & Employment Practice, respectively.
“We are truly excited to have Kari and Tina join the Minneapolis office," said Minneapolis Managing Partner Michelle Gilboe. "The addition of these two talented, well-known, and respected partners in employment and business litigation puts us well on our way to achieving our goal of growing this office to reflect the diversity of practice in the firm. Kari and Tina are smart, vibrant lawyers who have vigorous practices and fit right in.”
Ms. Berman brings to Lewis Brisbois over 25 years of experience in complex commercial and business litigation in both state and federal courts nationally. Her practice includes significant representation in multi-district and class action defense arising from federal statutory claims. Examples of such work include class action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), multi-state litigation defending large drug company manufacturers, claw-back litigation including the representation of private lenders in a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme and related Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Minnesota, and claims arising from environmental regulatory compliance issues.
Ms. Berman also routinely represents clients in shareholder, contractual, restrictive covenants, fiduciary breaches, and intellectual property and trade secrets litigation. She has extensive experience representing diverse clients in a variety of corporate governance matters, internal investigations, contract negotiations, and merger and acquisitions. Ms. Berman also has represented companies successfully in Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigations, and advises senior executives and governing boards on various corporate strategic matters.
In discussing joining Lewis Brisbois’ Minneapolis office, Ms. Berman explained, “We have a lot of goals and aspirations for this office and I think that all of us are really excited to be here.” She added, “I know a number of the lawyers who opened this firm. We have practiced together. It became obvious that it was a good match and a good fit, and that we would all be able to do great things together.”
In addition to handling complex litigation and other commercial matters, Ms. Berman counsels companies on lawsuit avoidance by ensuring compliance with various federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the False Claims Act (FCA), and the Stark Law. She also serves as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) counsel for medical device manufacturers and advises the FDA on international regulatory matters.
“There is not a lot that I won’t take on,” Ms. Berman said of her diverse practice.
In addition to managing her law practice, Ms. Berman has served in important leadership roles within Minnesota-based policy-making organizations. She was appointed by the governor of Minnesota as a commissioner to both the Minneapolis Airport Commission and the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. She also has remained involved in community work by serving on multiple boards of directors, presently serving as a director for the Ronald McDonald House/Upper Mid-West.
Ms. Berman has taught Appellate Advocacy at the St. Thomas School of Law, and has contributed to published texts, including the first and second editions of Minnesota’s Courtroom Evidence Deskbook. A graduate of Columbia University’s Barnard College and Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Ms. Berman is admitted to practice in Minnesota.
Ms. Syring, who has more than 25 years of experience in the labor and employment arena, joins Lewis Brisbois from Cozen O’Connor. She regularly counsels employers on complex labor and employment issues with a business focus, addressing social media matters, executive terminations, harassment and discrimination allegations, wage and hour strategies, whistleblower complaints, and long-term succession planning. Ms. Syring also assists clients with Department of Labor audits and Affirmative Action program reviews by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Minneapolis office of Lewis Brisbois," said Ms. Syring. "Our team of lawyers, both locally and nationally, are some of the best litigators and individuals you can work with. I am excited to join such a talented group.”
In addition to client counseling, Ms. Syring represents publicly traded and private employers in litigation involving federal and state discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims. She also has extensive experience working with companies on labor and employment matters related to mergers and acquisitions, including handling executive compensation issues, drafting and negotiating executive employment and severance agreements, and providing guidance during the due diligence process.
Named to Best Lawyers Employment Law – Management and Minnesota Super Lawyers lists, Ms. Syring is admitted to practice in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. An active member of state and local bar associations in those states, she also serves as a member of Minnesota Women Lawyers, the Defense Research Institute, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Since 2013, she has been ranked in Chambers USA for Labor & Employment. Ms. Syring graduated from Hamline University School of Law and received her undergraduate degree from Indiana State University.