Baker Donelson launches new group
by MBJ Staff
Published: March 14,2010
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has launched a Gaming Industry Service Team. This multidisciplinary group of attorneys and advisors from across various Baker Donelson offices and practice areas represents domestic and international gaming clients before state gaming commissions and other state governmental bodies.
The team is led by Dan M. McDaniel Jr. Previously leader of the gaming practice at Phelps Dunbar, McDaniel has joined Baker Donelson as a shareholder in the firm’s Jackson office. He concentrates his practice exclusively in gaming law and has more than 15 years’ experience representing both domestic and international gaming clients and also has experience representing clients in proposed gaming legislation.
McDaniel is a founding member of the Mississippi Association of Gaming Attorneys and is former president of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.
Key members of Baker Donelson’s gaming group include three attorneys who have recently joined the firm in addition to McDaniel. Paul S. West, who has joined as a shareholder in the firm’s Baton Rouge, La., office, will serve as the Louisiana vice chair of the gaming group. Previously chair of the gaming practice at McGlinchey Stafford, West is a recognized authority in all areas of gaming law and represents casino owners, operators, suppliers and financiers. His representation of gaming clients includes work in the regulatory, transactional and litigation areas, and he has advised governmental entities in negotiations with gaming enterprises. West is the current president of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.
Heather J. Camp, of counsel in the Jackson office, represents domestic and international industry members including casino developers, casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers and gaming device distributors as well as their equity holders, officers, directors, key employees, gaming employees, lenders and landlords before the Mississippi Gaming Commission and other Mississippi governmental bodies. She is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors and the Gaming Law Section of the Mississippi Bar Association.
Amy Kebert Elder, an associate in the Jackson office, handles the representation of both domestic and international gaming clients. Her practice includes development, licensing, financing, registration, findings of suitability, transfers of ownership, operation, training, compliance, work permits, patron disputes, investigations, disciplinary proceedings and other regulatory and transactional matters. Elder has extensive experience in public finance, acting as counsel in various capacities for tax-exempt bond issues.
Baker Donelson attorneys Joel R. Buckberg and William G. Somerville round out the team’s leadership. Buckberg, of counsel in Baker Donelson’s Nashville office, serves as the Tennessee vice chair of the gaming group. A recognized leader in the hospitality industry, Buckberg counsels clients on corporate and asset transactions and operations in hospitality, franchising and distribution, including strategic planning and transactions, financing, mergers and acquisitions, system policy and practice development, regulatory compliance and contract system drafting.
Somerville, shareholder in the firm’s Birmingham office, serves as the group’s Alabama vice chair. Mr. Somerville represents gaming manufacturers both as advisor and as litigation counsel in state and federal courts. He also represents major operators of electronic gaming facilities in state and federal court, as well as in negotiations with state and local regulatory officials.
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