ROUTE TO THE TOP
Barnes graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in May 2010. Brandon Barnes, still her fiancé at the time, was working at McDermott as an associate when Barnes graduated (they met in law school after Barnes had her offer to work at McDermott as a summer associate). Unfortunately, that was at the height of the financial crisis, and the firm deferred her start date. She worked as a Constitutional Law Fellow at the Institute for Justice until she became an associate in McDermott's antitrust and competition practice, where she defended health care mergers, assisted in counseling clients, and worked on civil and criminal antitrust cases.
She had found that she loved to draft contracts and work on deals, she said, but saw little of this work in her new position. She sought out Sorini, leader of McDermott's alcohol regulatory and distribution group, who had recently lost an associate and gave Barnes some work for his brewery clients. "You name a small craft brewery, they're his clients," Barnes said.
She researched trade-practice issues for him, negotiating and drafting distribution agreements for breweries. Dogfish was a client, and when she found out the company was in the market for a young general counsel to grow with the brewery, she saw her opportunity. "I know that one of the reasons they hired me was that I've done a lot of the regulatory work with Marc," Barnes said.
Barnes was born in Pittsburgh. She and Brandon haven't had any kids, she said, but she considers her dogs her children. Her hobbies include landscape photography and travel.
LAST BOOK AND MOVIE
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien in preparation for the forthcoming movie; Wreck-It Ralph.
This article originally appeared in The National Law Journal.