Daily Journal “Top Women Lawyers” in California Awards Select Rita-Anne O’Neill and Laura Kabler Oswell

November 11, 2020

S&C partners Rita-Anne O’Neill and Laura Kabler Oswell were named to the Daily Journal’s list of 2020 Top Women Lawyers in California. The list recognizes California women lawyers at the top of their practice.
Rita-Anne O’Neill, co-head of S&C’s Global Private Equity Group, was recognized for her representation of Lion Capital in its “stalking horse” purchase agreement to acquire the assets of luxury menswear retailer John Varvatos. The deal was struck as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, which added a layer of complexity. “There was an overlay of the court process in the deal,” she said. “We were interacting with a whole other team in the firm going before the court.”
Rita was also recognized for her work as “an influential figure in the M&A field … advancing women in the legal profession, but specifically in M&A.” She has designed and implemented programs to educate women law and business students about the realities of a career in M&A, and provided social and networking opportunities for women at the highest levels of the M&A field. This is Rita’s second recognition on the Top Women Lawyers’ list.
Laura Kabler Oswell, co-head of the Firm’s FCPA and Anti-Corruption Group, was noted for her representation of Volkswagen in investigations and cross-border litigation stemming from the $1.2 billion landmark settlement that she helped negotiate with the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. Laura continues to represent Volkswagen in claims brought over the fuel economy ratings of some vehicles, and in antitrust claims brought in Michigan federal court.
Laura told Daily Journal that she is particularly proud of S&C’s positive reaction to the difficulties created by the global pandemic. “Core aspects of what we’ve said as a firm about working well as a group across many offices has happily proved out even now,” she said. Laura was previously recognized as a Daily Journal Top 40 Under 40, which highlighted her work launching the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Clearinghouse.