McCarter Elevates New Class of Partners


Vadim Cherkasov, Ashley Turner & Benjamin Smyth

McCarter & English, LLP is pleased to announce the election of eleven new partners, resident in seven of the firm’s offices and representing eight of its practice groups.

Managing Partner Joe Boccassini said: “I am very excited to welcome a talented and diverse class of partners. Our new partners have distinguished themselves as exceptional practitioners and trusted advisors to their clients, and exemplified the skill and integrity that have defined our firm for 175 years. We congratulate them on this tremendous achievement, and look forward to working with them as they continue to develop their practices.”

Added Joe Lubertazzi, Chair of the firm: “We are proud to elevate such a large and distinctive group of lawyers. Each of our new partners has garnered a reputation for excellence in their respective practice areas, and reinforced the firm’s full-service capabilities. Their elevation is a testament to the extraordinary skill and diligence they have demonstrated as counselors and advocates for their clients.”

Farhan Ali—Tax, Employee Benefits & Private Clients, Newark—Farhan advises taxpayers on state and local property tax and redevelopment/abatement matters. His practice is national in scope and involves prosecuting complex property tax appeals, resolving multifaceted property tax issues, and addressing PILOT and abatement incentives as well as tax liabilities for industrial, commercial, and multi-family properties.

Vadim Cherkasov—Intellectual Property, Philadelphia—Vadim provides patent lifecycle and portfolio management advice, patentability opinions, and freedom-to-operate assessments to domestic and foreign start-ups, established companies, and universities. As a former mechanical engineer, he represents clients in the medical, mechanical, electrical, and software industries.

Jennifer Farina—Insurance Recovery & Counseling, NewarkJennifer works with policyholders to maximize their insurance coverage for losses under a variety of policies. She engages in all aspects of litigation and also counsels clients in connection with policy renewal negotiations and the appropriate handling of insurance assets and related liabilities in corporate transactions.

Tiffany Hubbard—Labor & Employment, Hartford—Tiffany represents clients on a full range of employment litigation and counseling issues, including workplace safety, wage and hour, and fair employment practices. She advises clients concerning their federal grant and contract obligations, as well as compliance with human and animal research regulations.

Alexandra Jones, PhD—Intellectual Property, Washington, DC—Alex represents clients in the fields of biology, oncology, immunology, genetic engineering, antibody therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, and biochemistry. A former USPTO Patent Examiner, she provides strategic patent portfolio advice, patent validity opinions, freedom-to-operate opinions, and due diligence evaluations for emerging and established companies, and for academic institutions.

James Kellar—Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Litigation, Newark—James is a well-versed litigator with first-chair trial experience who represents businesses and individuals in commercial disputes across a wide range of industries. His experience includes litigating commercial lending, bankruptcy, real estate, and construction disputes, including representing lenders and special servicers concerning defaulted commercial loans, commercial foreclosure actions, and inter-creditor disputes.

Sarah Smith—Public Finance, BostonSarah negotiates all aspects of public finance transactions for underwriters, banks, not-for-profits, public entities and agencies, and universities. She counsels clients on bond issues involving higher education, charter schools, affordable housing, clean water, healthcare, senior care facilities, telecommunications, transportation, and public infrastructure.

Benjamin Smyth—Business Litigation, Wilmington—Ben focuses on litigation involving complex commercial disputes and statutory actions relating to Delaware business entities. An experienced litigator, he represents clients in a wide range of corporate, business, and commercial disputes, including matters involving trade secrets, contracts, and litigation arising from mergers and acquisitions.

Wei Song—Intellectual Property, Boston—Wei provides global patent portfolio strategy and management, freedom to operate (FTO) assessments, and infringement analysis to universities, startups, and major pharmaceutical corporations. Previously a Big Pharma research and development scientist, he represents clients in fields of chemistry, polymer chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and nano-material science.

Jared Sorin—Corporate, East Brunswick—Jared represents tech, tech-enabled, and life sciences startup, early stage, and emerging growth companies as well as the investors, executives, and directors who support or lead them. His work involves general corporate, finance, and transactional matters, including choice of business entity, debt and equity financing transactions, securities law compliance, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, business formation, and strategic alliances.

Ashley Turner—Insurance Recovery & Counseling, PhiladelphiaAshley works to evaluate and secure insurance coverage claims for corporate policyholders across a range of industries. She counsels clients in disputes involving, among other things, directors and officers liability, errors and omissions liability, and general commercial liability disputes.

About McCarter & English, LLP

McCarter & English is a firm of more than 375 lawyers who deliver solid results and innovative solutions to clients nationwide. In 2020, the firm was recognized as Law Firm of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal and in 2019 received the prestigious ABA Pro Bono Publico award. More than 40 percent of Fortune 100 companies, as well as mid-market and emerging growth companies, rely on McCarter for cutting-edge transactional work and complex litigation matters. Clients benefit from McCarter’s relationship-driven approach, a deep understanding of their businesses and legal needs, a lean and efficient service model, and a determination to help them move their businesses forward. For more information, visit

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