Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP has elevated Alana K. Ackels, Sonja J. McGill and Jason P. Steed to partner, effective January 1.
“We congratulate Alana, Sonja and Jason on this next step in their careers and the evolution of their roles here at Bell Nunnally. Each is an essential member of our team, brings significant insight to clients’ business matters and embodies our collegial, client-first culture,” Said Jim Skochdopole, managing partner of Bell Nunnally.
Ackels practices in the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits and Litigation areas. Licensed in Texas and California, Ackels has extensive experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts and arbitration. She routinely represents clients in complex commercial disputes; employment claims involving discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; wage and hour claims; trade secret litigation; and non-compete matters. Ackels also advises employers on navigating the multitude of state and federal laws governing the employer-employee relationship.
Active in the community, Ackels is a Founders Circle member of yCPD (Community Partners of Dallas) – a community of men and women dedicated to enriching the lives of abused and neglected children in the region. A Super Lawyer “Texas Rising Star” since 2015, she earned both her legal and undergraduate degrees at Southern Methodist University (J.D., cum laude, 2009; B.A., cum laude, 2006).
McGill is a member of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits and Litigation practices. She joined the firm after serving as in-house counsel for HMS Holdings, Inc. and J.C. Penney Corporation. A trial attorney with extensive experience in all phases of employment law and commercial litigation, as well as a veteran mediator and negotiator, McGill advises employers on and litigates disputes involving issues including recruiting, hiring, employee relations, discipline and terminations, internal investigations, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, labor relations, EEO compliance, compliance unique to government contractors, contingent worker issues and immigration compliance management. She also regularly conducts employer trainings on hot-button labor and employment issues and compliance concerns and advises on HR policy formulation.
McGill is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (J.D., 1998; MPA, 1998) and Princeton University (B.A., 1993). Active in her communities, she is a board member for the REAL School Gardens, a fellow for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity, and the Texas Bar Foundation, and immediate past president of the Princeton Alumni Association of Dallas/Fort Worth.
Steed is a member of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice and has substantial experience representing clients in both state and federal appellate courts across the nation, including the Texas Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to acting as lead counsel in appeals, as a former English professor, he also frequently assists clients and co-counsel with brief writing – both on appeal and in pre- and post-trial motion practice.
Steed has published numerous articles and has given numerous presentations on the U.S. Supreme Court, appellate practice and legal writing. He maintains an active presence on Twitter, under the handle @5thCircAppeals, and he posts regularly to his professional blog forma legalis. A 2016 “Texas Rising Star,” Steed is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2009), the University of Nevada Las Vegas (Ph.D., 2004), the University of Idaho (M.F.A., 1999) and Brigham Young University (B.A., 1995).