News & Insights  |  Press Releases

Wiley Rein Announces Seven Partner and Counsel Promotions

January 2, 2014

Wiley Rein is pleased to announce the election of four new partners—Rachel A. Alexander, Kimberly A. Ashmore, Robert D. Benton, and Maureen E. Thorson—effective January 1, 2014.  The firm has also promoted associates Colleen King and Brendan J. Morrissey to of counsel, and associate Kimberly L. Sikora Panza to special counsel.

“These promotions reflect the notable and hard-earned achievements of a group of outstanding lawyers,” said Chairman Richard E. Wiley.  “We congratulate them for these well-deserved accomplishments and applaud the dedication they have shown to their clients and the firm.”

The Firm’s Newest Partners

Rachel A. Alexander, promoted from associate, is a member of the Health Care, Government Contracts, White Collar Defense & Government Investigations, and Insurance practices.  Ms. Alexander counsels clients on health care and government contracting matters with an emphasis on procurement, federal and state regulatory compliance, contract administration, internal and governmental investigations, compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and litigation arising out of government-sponsored health care initiatives such as Medicare, TRICARE, the Federal Employees Health Benefits, and Medicaid programs.  Prior to entering the legal profession, Ms. Alexander spent over a decade in health care administration working for industry leading providers and health plans.  Ms. Alexander earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from The George Washington University Law School and her B.A. from Rutgers University.

Kimberly A. Ashmore, previously an associate, is a member of the Insurance Practice.  She represents insurers and professionals in connection with complex professional liability disputes.  A former clerk for the Honorable Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, she specializes in claims against professionals including lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, insurance agents, and real estate brokers.  She earned her J.D., with highest honors, from The George Washington University Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, a recipient of the Willard Waddington Gatchell Award—presented to the top three students in the graduating class—and a member of The George Washington Law Review.  She received her M.S. from the University of Central Florida and her B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University.

Robert D. Benton, promoted from of counsel, is a member of the Corporate, Election Law & Government Ethics, and Satellite practices.  He represents for-profit and nonprofit entities in compliance, governance, and transactional matters all over the world.  He specializes in transactions involving broadcast, satellite, and communications assets; venture capital and finance transactions; general mergers and acquisitions; and international holding structures.  His nonprofit experience includes compliance with rules governing political and lobbying activities, federal tax reporting, international grants, and corporate governance practices.  Since completing law school, Mr. Benton has worked as district representative for former U.S. Rep. Charles W. Stenholm (D-TX) and as an adjunct professor of Business Law at Angelo State University.  He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Baylor University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Maureen E. Thorson, formerly of counsel, is a member of the International Trade Practice, representing clients in all areas of customs law and international trade litigation.  She is a licensed customs broker with particular experience in developing customs compliance programs, obtaining import permits and licenses, qualifying for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism certification, and complying with Free Trade Agreement rules.  Ms. Thorson, a former clerk for Chief Judge Donald C. Pogue, U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT), now serves on the CIT’s Advisory Committee.  She received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center—where she was a member of Law and Policy in International Business.  She earned her B.A., with distinction, from the University of Virginia, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

The Firm’s Newest Of Counsel

Colleen King, promoted from associate, is a member of the Communications Practice.  She counsels clients on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and compliance with ongoing regulatory requirements, particularly related to satellites, earth stations, international authorizations, and submarine cable licenses.  She advises clients on communications issues including licensing, foreign ownership, national security, and access to spectrum.  She assists clients with securing FCC and state approvals for mergers and public and private equity transactions.  She previously was a claims examiner with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Radiation Exposure Compensation Program.  Ms. King earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from The George Washington University Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and an associate with The George Washington Law Review.  She received her B.A., cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross.

Brendan J. Morrissey, previously an associate, is a member of the Litigation, Appellate, Communications, and Food & Drug Law practices.  He assists clients with trial and appellate matters before courts and federal agencies.  He has particular experience litigating cases for telecommunications clients, subpoena defense and enforcement actions, False Claims Act actions, and voting rights cases in the federal courts.  Mr. Morrissey, a former clerk for the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, regularly represents clients before the Supreme Court of the United States in cases involving constitutional issues.  He earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from The University of Akron School of Law, where he was an editor for the Akron Law Review, and his B.A.J., cum laude, from St. Bonaventure University.

The Firm’s Newest Special Counsel

Kimberly L. Sikora Panza, formerly an associate, is a member of the Franchise, Intellectual Property, and Privacy practices.  She represents franchisors and licensors in connection with transactional and regulatory compliance matters.  A former clerk for the Honorable Roger W. Titus, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Ms. Sikora advises clients on intellectual property, privacy, and security issues.  She is also an associate professorial lecturer at The George Washington University Law School, where she had earned her J.D. with highest honors, and was a member of the Order of the Coif, received the John Bell Larner Award for Highest Cumulative GPA, and was Notes Editor for The George Washington Law Review.  She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from American University, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.