Philadelphia, PA – For the first time in its 126-year history, Pepper Hamilton on Nov. 18 2016 elected an all-female class of lawyers to the ranks of partner and of counsel, the firm’s chairman announced. 

“Today is a special moment for Pepper Hamilton," said Thomas M. Gallagher, chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee.  “We have elevated an exceptionally talented class of lawyers - all women - to our partnership and of counsel ranks. We look forward to working closely with these deserving, hard-working lawyers as they continue in Pepper's long tradition of cutting-edge problem solving and client service."

Those elected as partners are:
Abigail A. Hazlett – Philadelphia, White Collar Litigation and Investigations
Shirley R. Kuhlmann – Boston, Corporate and Securities
Judith L. O’Grady – Washington, Health Effects Litigation
Nilufer R. Shaikh – New York, Corporate and Securities

Those elected as of counsel are:
Tracey E. Diamond – Philadelphia, Labor and Employment
Jessica A. Rickabaugh – Philadelphia, Health Effects Litigation

The promotions come at a time when the legal profession continues to struggle to promote women to partner and other leadership positions.  According to the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, more than half of law school students are women, and women account for nearly 45 percent of associate positions, but only 21.5 percent of partners and just 18 percent of equity partners in law firms are women.

“The women we promoted today are all extraordinary lawyers,” Gallagher noted. “It is doubly rewarding to see us continue to advance our commitment to diversity and inclusion at the same time.”

About Our New Partners and Of Counsel

Abigail A. Hazlett is a member of the White Collar Litigation and Investigations Practice Group in the Philadelphia office. She focuses her practice in white collar defense, representing companies in a variety of state and federal criminal and civil actions, and regularly advises companies on compliance issues and internal investigations. Hazlett started her career as an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York, and before that, as a law clerk to the Honorable Harvey Bartle III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Hazlett earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2005 where she was senior editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law. She earned her B.A. in political science from the Pennsylvania State University in 2001.

Shirley R. Kuhlmann is a member of the Corporate and Securities Practice Group in the Boston office. She concentrates her practice in corporate and securities matters, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, public securities offerings including domestic and foreign IPOs, securities law compliance and general corporate representation of U.S. and foreign companies. Kuhlmann is a 2007 graduate of Emory University School of Law, where she was the executive managing editor of the Emory Law Journal. She graduated with a B.A. in economics and political science from Columbia University in 2004.

Judith L. O’Grady is a member of the Health Effects Litigation Practice Group in the Washington, DC office, where she focuses her practice primarily on the defense of products liability actions against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. O’Grady practiced for more than a decade with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. Before becoming an attorney, she was a laboratory assistant at the Stanley Laboratory of Brain Research in
Bethesda, Maryland, where she researched the normal development of the brain and the neuropathology of major mental illness. She also worked as a laboratory technician in the Anesthesiology Department of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. O’Grady received a B.A. in biological sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. In 2004, she received her J.D., with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law and was the recipient of the ARC of Baltimore Outstanding Service on Behalf of Disabled Persons Award. As an intern at the National Association of the Deaf Law Center, she represented clients with disability discrimination claims. She also received her health law certificate.

Nilufer R. Shaikh is a member of the Corporate and Securities Practice Group in the New York office. She focuses her practice on the representation of private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as strategic buyers and sellers in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures, restructurings and minority investments across a variety of industry sectors. Shaikh also has represented venture capital firms and emerging growth companies in debt and equity financing transactions. Before joining Pepper, she was an associate with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Dechert LLP. Shaikh received her J.D. in 2002 from Harvard Law School, where she was associate editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and general editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She earned an A.M. in history/Middle Eastern studies in 2001 from Harvard University and a B.A. in history and political science, summa cum laude, from Rutgers University in 1994.

Tracey E. Diamond is member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the Philadelphia office. She practices in the areas of employment law, human resources counseling and employment litigation. Diamond regularly counsels clients on workplace issues, provides harassment training, conducts internal investigations, drafts policies and procedures, negotiates employment and severance agreements, and advises on compliance issues. Before joining Pepper, she was director of human resources and operations for a not-for-profit charitable organization, and was general counsel of a national retail optical  company. She also clerked for a federal judge in the Southern District of New York. Diamond earned her law degree in 1992 from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar and articles editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. She received her B.S., magna cum laude, from Tufts University in 1988. 

Jessica A. Rickabaugh is a member of the Health Effects Litigation Practice Group in the Philadelphia office. She concentrates her practice on consumer fraud, pharmaceutical and medical device products liability litigation, as well as regulatory counseling involving prescription medications, medical devices, medical gases and human tissue-based products. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a law clerk to Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Justice Ronald D. Castille. Rickabaugh earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2005, and a B.A. in history, with high honors, from Swarthmore College in 2002.

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 450 lawyers nationally.  The firm provides corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation and the world.  The firm was founded in 1890.