Angela Lopez, Cowles and Thompson.


Adam Arikat has joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges in the firm’s Dallas office as an associate. Arikat joins the firm’s tax, executive compensation & benefits practice groups.

John D. Penn has been named Firmwide Chair of the Perkins Coie’s Bankruptcy & Restructuring practice. A partner in the firm, John represents secured and unsecured creditors, debtors, trustees and unsecured creditor committees in major and high-profile reorganizations and insolvency proceedings. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and past president of the American Bankruptcy Institute. John is certified by both the American Board of Certification and Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Business Bankruptcy Law.

John Sokatch joins Dykema Cox Smith’s commercial litigation group after practicing as a partner at a top-rated litigation boutique in Dallas.

Kyle Owens joined Dykema Cox Smith’s financial industry practice group after serving as associate general counsel for Capital One Financial Corp.

Michael Santa Maria, of Baker McKenzie in Dallas, was named chair of the Firm’s North America International Commercial Practice. Santa Maria is a leading cross-border transactions lawyer assisting companies on various brand expansion strategies via direct investment, joint venture or franchise business models.

Robert Albaral, of Baker McKenzie in Dallas, was named managing partner of the Firm’s Dallas office, following a 30-year career with the firm.


Angela Lopez, shareholder at Cowles and Thompson and head of the firm’s immigration law practice group, has been named to the 2017 list of Top 50 Women Lawyers in Dallas by the Texas Diversity Council.

Attorneys from Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix were honored Thursday with awards at the 25th annual Texas Minority Counsel Program. The program runs Nov. 8-10 in Austin. Award winners at this year’s conference are as follows:

Lawrence Clifton Morgan, senior corporate counsel of Republic Services Inc., based in Phoenix, received the TMCP Corporate Counsel of the Year Award. The award recognizes an in-house counsel who has opened doors for Texas minority, women and LGBT attorneys by promoting diversity within his or her department and/or company and by consistently hiring minority, women and/or LGBT attorneys in private practice.

Rodney Ellis, senior adviser at Dentons US LLP in Houston, received the TMCP Trailblazer of the Year Award. The award recognizes an attorney who has effectuated the promotion of diversity within the legal profession through hiring, retention and mentoring of minority, women and LGBT attorneys; partnering with minority, women and LGBT-owned law firms; and involvement with Bar and/or community activities designed to promote diversity within the legal profession.

Abel Martinez, group vice president of partner relations, risk solutions and government affairs for HEB Grocery Company in San Antonio, received the 2017 TMCP Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes an attorney who has demonstrated extraordinary support and advocacy for the advancement of minorities, women and/or LGBT people in the legal profession over the course of his or her legal career.

The Texas Minority Counsel Program, created in 1993, is an annual networking and continuing legal education event hosted by the State Bar of Texas Office of Minority Affairs. TMCP endeavors to increase opportunities for minority and women attorneys who provide legal services to corporate and government clients, and to expose those organizations to the talent found in diverse lawyer communities.