Forrest Firm Attorneys Named to 2019 Super Lawyers

The Forrest Firm is pleased to announce that seven of the firm’s attorneys have earned recognition in the annual ranking of North Carolina attorneys by Super Lawyers magazine. Among the honored attorneys are Monica Webb-Shackleford, Kelli Ovies, Rachel Blunk, Leslie Lasher, Adam Wanee, Jason Pfister, Jeff Wolfe, John Burns, and James Forrest.

The magazine’s four-part selection process yields an annual listing of “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars,” the latter comprised of attorneys either under the age of 40 or with less than 10 years in practice. The process consists of peer nominations from fellow North Carolina attorneys, independent research by an attorney-led team, peer evaluation by practice area, and finally a selection geared by firm sizes to allow for representation across the legal community in its entirety.

Webb-Shackleford, Burns, Pfister, and Forrest earned the distinction of Super Lawyer, with Ovies, Lasher, Wolfe, Blunk, and Wanee named Rising Stars.

Monica Webb-Shackleford has earned recognition as a 2019 Super Lawyer in the area of appellate law. In her practice at the Forrest Firm, Monica also serves clients in the areas of employment law and business litigation. She has represented clients in numerous appeals at state and federal levels, and she has developed deep experience in the healthcare sector. In addition to her legal practice, Monica coordinates the Forrest Firm’s pro bono and community service efforts as part of the firm’s operation as a certified B Corporation.  In addition to a juris doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, Monica holds a master of public health degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

John Burns is a 2019 Super Lawyer in business litigation. He represents clients in a wide variety of matters involving commercial litigation, arbitrations, and appeals, with insights and perspectives gained from over 20 years as a practicing attorney in North Carolina. John frequently serves clients in the financial services industry and has represented companies in corporate contract and tort disputes, loan workouts, commercial foreclosures and collections, and construction contracting disputes. He has also represented clients in bankruptcy proceedings across North Carolina and in Delaware.  A former Wake County Commissioner, John earned his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem.

Jason Pfister is a 2019 Super Lawyer in real estate. Jason counsels clients on all aspects related to the development of real estate, including land use, zoning, acquisition and leasing of commercial properties. In addition, He advises clients on risk management and dispute resolution, while advancing client interests proactively when litigation proves strategically wise or unavoidable. Jason represents clients in North Carolina’s federal and state courts, including the North Carolina Business Court, in various types of commercial disputes, including matters arising out of breach of contract, fiduciary duties, unfair trade practices, real estate, promissory notes, guarantees, commercial leases, shareholders agreements, and governing documents for closely-held entities. He earned his law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem.

James Forrest, recognized for the fifth time in his career by Super Lawyers, is a Super Lawyer in business and corporate law. James founded the Forrest Firm in 2011. In addition to his duties leading one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing law firms and the largest law firm to operate as a certified B corporation, he focuses his law practice on matters related to strategic transactions for the firm’s clients. James earned his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.

Kelli Ovies is a Rising Star in the area of intellectual property law. She advises entrepreneurs and executives on intellectual property matters at every stage of the business life cycle. Kelli counsels clients to help them identify, evaluate, and address intellectual property risks and opportunities.  She has prosecuted trademark registration applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and has initiated and defended Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings for clients. Kelli’s work has also spanned copyright registration and intellectual property infringement matters, as well as litigation involving claims including breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Leslie Lasher is a Rising Star in Super Lawyers for the sixth consecutive year in the area of employment and labor law. She has represented public and private employers, entrepreneurs, and executives.  Leslie primarily advises clients on issues related to compliance with state and federal employment laws, including Title VII, ADA, FMLA, and NC REDA, and regularly drafts and negotiates employment contracts. In addition, she has pioneered the Forrest Firm’s HR/Employment Audits, positioning firm clients proactively for employment-related risk management and more competitive, fair workplaces. Leslie earned her law degree from the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro.

Jeff Wolfe, a four-time honoree by Super Lawyers, is a Rising Star in the area of business and corporate law. Jeff advises and counsels businesses in an array of industries, covering entire lifecycle of for profit and non-profit entities, including formation, financing, day-to-day contracts, and exits. He has served as a business mentor and coach for companies participating in Triad Startup Weekend, Creative Startups, and the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center. Managing Attorney of the Forrest Firm’s Winston-Salem office, Jeff graduated from the Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem.

Rachel Blunk, a Rising Star in business litigation, maintains a hybrid practice focused on business needs, including civil litigation and business law. she handles business disputes regarding matters such as breach of contract, intellectual property infringement, and enforcing and defending non-competes. In her transactional practice, Rachel focuses on the protection and licensing of intellectual property, government contracting, operations, business formation, succession planning, and employment issues, including independent contractor and employment documents. Managing Attorney of the Forrest Firm’s Greensboro and Charlotte offices, as well as the Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association, Rachel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

Adam Wanee, a Rising Star in business and corporate law, focuses his work in general corporate representation, angel and venture capital financing, and mergers and acquisitions.  He counsels executives and entrepreneurs through entity formation and corporate governance, contract matters, angel and venture capital fundraising, debt financings, and strategic transactions. His current work spans multiple industry sectors, and Adam advises companies at virtually every stage of the business life cycle, from early-stage startups to emerging growth and established companies. Adam has represented some of North Carolina’s premier life sciences and information technology companies, advising entrepreneurs and executives through corporate formation, debt and equity financings, mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic transactions, as well as regular corporate governance matters, and the drafting, review, and negotiation of contracts. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.