Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP partners Alana K. Ackels, R. Heath Cheek and Ross A. Williams have been named to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas” list, featured in this month’s print edition.
“Alana, Heath and Ross have worked hard to cultivate excellent reputations in the business community through outstanding client service and meaningful civic involvement,” said James Skochdopole, managing partner of Bell Nunnally. “They are important members of our client-first team and true rising legal stars.”
Attorneys under 40 who have practiced law for at least five years – primarily in the DFW area – are eligible for the “Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas” list. D Magazine asked metroplex attorneys to submit nominations for two lawyers outside their firms and one within for consideration, based on this prompt: “Which young Dallas lawyer, of those whose work you’ve witnessed firsthand, would you rank among the current best?” Candidates were then vetted by a panel of area attorneys in conjunction with the publication’s editors.
Ackels is a partner and a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits and Litigation practices. Licensed in Texas and California, she has extensive experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts and arbitration. Ackels advises employers on how to navigate the multitude of state and federal laws governing the employer-employee relationship and ways their businesses can minimize risk. She routinely represents employers in claims involving discrimination, harassment and retaliation; wage and hour claims; trade secret litigation; and non-compete matters. Ackels also litigates complex commercial matters, non-subscriber negligence claims and employee benefit challenges under ERISA. A three-time “Texas Rising Star,” She earned both her legal and undergraduate degrees at Southern Methodist University (J.D., cum laude, 2009; B.A., cum laude, 2006).
Cheek is a partner, practicing in the firm’s Litigation group. He focuses on trials and disputes, representing Fortune 500 companies to start-up businesses and high-net-worth individuals in industries including private equity, financial services, energy and real estate. Cheek is an active member of the community, having served in various board or leadership positions for the Dallas Museum of Art, Cotton Bowl Council, North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, Texas Tech Alumni Association, Republican Lawyers of Dallas and Christian Legal Society, among others. He has been named a “Texas Rising Star” annually since 2014. Active in the community, 2017 was Cheek’s third year as vice chair of the State Fair of Texas Development Team, helping the event raise more than a million dollars in scholarship funds for inner-city Dallas and rural Texas students. He is a graduate of Baylor Law School (J.D., 2006) and Texas Tech University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2003).
Williams is a partner and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Appellate practices. He has experience in complex matters involving trade secrets, contract disputes, business torts and IP litigation. Williams has represented creditors on promissory notes, guarantees, unpaid accounts and the foreclosure of secured properties. He is also experienced in handling internet defamation issues and employee non-subscriber defense. Notably, Williams has briefed appellate matters before Texas courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Texas, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court (at certiorari). A four-time “Texas Rising Star,” in 2017 he was selected, based on his district’s city councilman’s recommendation, and served on Dallas’ first ever Citizens Bond Task Force Economic Development and Housing Subcommittee, helping shape a billion-dollar ballot initiative aimed at supporting key infrastructure projects. Williams is also a city official, serving as District 14’s commissioner on the City of Dallas’s Community Development Commission. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2008) and Tulane University (B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2005).