Brian’s diverse experiences from twenty-five years practicing law provide a unique background for his work as a true general counsel.He began his career as an Assistant Attorney General and state prosecutor, before working in the commercial litigation department of an Am Law100 firm. From there, Brian served as the Chief Legal Officer of a NASDAQ-listed entertainment company, and started Kaleo Legal in 2008. Brian started Kaleo Legal to offer an innovative, lean approach to the practice of law. Although Brian has been named as a “Best Lawyer in America” from 2018-2023 for Commercial Litigation, he devotes an equal part of his practice to handling corporate and commercial transactional work for our clients on a fractional in-house counsel basis.
Years of Experience: 25
Awards & Honors: Best Lawyers Commercial Litigation 2018-2023
Bar Admissions: Virginia
As an experienced attorney specializing in corporate and securities law, Tina has broad experience advising public and private company clients on a broad range of regulatory and transactional matters. After graduating from law school at the University of Virginia, Tina practiced as an in-house corporate and securities attorney at Norfolk Southern Corporation, a Fortune 500 NYSE company, until becoming one of the founding members of Kaleo Legal. In addition to advising public companies, Tina assists individual founders, startups and growing companies on debt and equity financings, and on a variety of strategic corporate transactions. She also routinely advises investors and investor groups on potential investment portfolio opportunities. Tina is the Vice Chair of 757 Angels, a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Venture, and just finished her term as Chairman of the Board of the d’Art Center. Tina is recognized in Virginia for Corporate/M&A law by Chambers and Partners.
- Tina has served as advisor for boards of directors of public companies, including as special advisor to the audit committee, and as counsel to directors in their roles as board members and committee chairmen of public companies.
- Tina has experience with all areas of compliance and corporate governance, including drafting and implementing policies and education programs, and conducting investigations and reviews.
- Tina has extensive financing experience including seed, angel and follow on rounds of private placements.
- Tina has acquired particular expertise in facilitating corporate structure and strategy decisions, and in counseling growing companies on financing and growth decisions.
- Tina has experience structuring and drafting executive compensation programs.
Years of Experience: 20
Past Work Experience: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Awards & Honors: UVA Z Society Shannon Award, Order of the Coif, Raven Society, Chambers USA; Inside Business Women in Business Achievement Award
Bar Admissions: Virginia
Billy serves as the fractional General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for several companies, and he has a great deal of experience assisting software providers with their commercial needs, including drafting and negotiating licensing agreements, partner agreements, and services agreements of all kinds. As an extension of the in-house department, Billy supports software sales teams in all aspects of their legal needs, and is an integral part of their achieving sales and revenue quotas on a quarterly and annual basis.
He focuses his practice on intellectual property law, including IP assessment, creation, and enforcement; dispute resolution; and particularly the IP issues surrounding software creation, development, and implementation. In fact, he has extensive experience with drafting and negotiating commercial contracts of all kinds. And he has assisted in the acquisition and sale of technology companies for larger-scale clients, especially in the software industry.
Billy also maintains an active litigation practice at Kaleo Legal, mostly in the federal courts of the Eastern District of Virginia. As a full-time litigator for much of his career, Billy has handled IP cases involving a variety of technologies, including software, business methods, telecommunications technology, mechanical devices, chemical compositions, and electrical technology. He has litigated cases around the country, including in popular patent litigation jurisdictions such as the Central and Northern Districts of California, the Eastern District of Texas, and the District of Delaware. Billy has particular experience litigating patent, intellectual property, and other cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, also known as the “Rocket Docket,” as both lead and local counsel. He is extremely well versed in addressing the e-discovery issues that accompany complex litigation. Billy is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
After graduating from law school at UVA, Billy spent one year practicing at a large firm in Washington, DC, before clerking for The Honorable Alvin A. Schall, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Before joining Kaleo Legal, he served as the co-chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation practice at Williams Mullen. Throughout his practice, Billy has represented domestic and international companies of all sizes and types, including startups, mid-sized companies, and Fortune 500 companies, in various industry sectors such as software, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, and transportation.
Billy is listed in Virginia Super Lawyers, and has been regularly named as Virginia Legal Elite for Intellectual Property by Virginia Business. He has been ranked in Chambers USA since 2014 for Intellectual Property, has been named to Best Lawyers in America since 2015, and has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.
Billy maintains membership in the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Division and the Federal Circuit Bar Association, in addition to sitting on the committee of the Law Practice Management Division of the Virginia Bar Association. He currently serves on the Board of the Directors of the Norfolk Forum and is a member of the Greater Norfolk Corporation. He spent ten years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Opera, including as a member of the Executive Committee. In 2010, Inside Business named Billy to its list of the Hampton Roads “Top 40 Under 40.”
He earned his undergraduate degrees from Washington & Lee University in 1998, a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of arts in medieval and renaissance studies, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2002.
Years of Experience: 18
Past Work Experience: Hunton & Williams, Clerk – US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Williams Mullen
Professional Affiliations: ABA, VBA, VSB, DC Bar, FCBA, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, FBA
Awards & Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell, Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, VA Legal Elite, VA Superlawyers, Top 40 Under 40, Inside Business Entrepreneurial Excellence
Bar Admissions: Virginia, District of Columbia
Will Dickinson focuses his practice on building clients’ intellectual property portfolios, providing brand protection and negotiating technology transactions. This includes Will’s fractional general-counsel practice, which focuses on licensing negotiations for fast-paced software sales companies, managing clients’ large trademark portfolios, and augmenting the commercial and intellectual property capabilities of a client’s in-house legal department.
Will has experience in:
- Trademark and copyright prosecution
- Trademark portfolio management and counseling
- Software, IT, and intellectual property licensing
- Intellectual property litigation
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board litigation
- Domain-name (UDRP) arbitration
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) counseling and registration
- Commercial contracting
- Commercial dispute resolution
Throughout his career, Will has helped clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies with large portfolios, to startups and mid-sized businesses with important intellectual property assets, to state agencies with mission-critical IT systems.
Will has been named among Virginia’s “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business magazine, a “Rising Star” by Virginia Super Lawyers, and a Richmond Times Dispatch Readers’ Choice Lawyer. Prior to joining Kaleo Legal, Will practiced at Williams Mullen, an Am Law 200 law firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
Will received his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest Law Review. He earned his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, with a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Will serves on the Sports Backers President’s Council, on the Wake Forest University School of Law Rose Council, and as a mentor at Startup Virginia. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Virginia Bar Association, Richmond Bar Association, and the Greater Richmond Intellectual Property Law Association.
John Swingle focuses his practice on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets; IP assessment, acquisition, licensing, and enforcement. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2007, John spent three years in California as an associate in one of the country’s largest IP law firms. More recently, John worked as an associate in Williams Mullen’s Intellectual Property Section.
John has experience in:
- Patent prosecution, including drafting and filing provisional and non-provisional patent applications
- Trademark prosecution
- Drafting and negotiating intellectual property licenses
- Client counseling regarding a wide variety of intellectual property matters, including infringement, invalidity, and commercialization issues; IP portfolio assessment and strategy; and freedom-to-operate searching and analyses
- Preparation of formal opinion letters
- Representing plaintiffs and defendants in connection with intellectual property litigation
He earned his undergraduate degrees from Duke University in 2003, a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science. He earned his juris doctor from Harvard Law School in 2007.
John is admitted to practice law in the states of California, Virginia, and Florida. He is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Years of Experience: 13
Past Work Experience: Knobbe Martens, Williams Mullen
Bar Admissions: Virginia, Florida, California (inactive status)
Shep is not your traditional litigator. He is a true trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience trying and winning big cases before juries in Hampton Roads and around the country. Shep started his career as an Assistant and then Deputy Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia Beach where he was in court every day, trying thousands of cases. Ultimately, Shep supervised the presentation of all violent crime in Virginia Beach, trying many rape, robbery and murder trials himself. Shep then joined Kaufman and Canoles in Norfolk, Virginia, spending 10 years there as an associate and equity partner in the litigation section. Shep focused on product liability, toxic tort commercial litigation, civil rights litigation, including Section 1983 cases and municipal matters, and personal injury and traumatic brain injury cases. His representations included the defense of police officers in excessive force and wrongful death cases, the defense of hotels and businesses in premises liability cases, and the defense of a video producer in unauthorized use of name and image cases.
Shep then joined McGuireWoods where he continued his product liability and civil rights practice, focusing on the defense of asbestos related mesothelioma and lung cancer cases. For the last 10 years, Shep has served as national coordinating counsel for an American automobile manufacturer, managing the scientific defense of thousands of asbestos-related claims. Shep serves as Daubert/Frye counsel in asbestos litigation and as lead trial counsel throughout the country, obtaining numerous defense verdicts, including in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Arkansas. Shep joined our firm in 2018.
Ryan focuses his practice on state and federal court litigation in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Ryan developed his practice at two AmLaw 100 law firms. At Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, Ryan defended a company involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill against class action claims by businesses allegedly injured by the spill. Additionally, he maintained an active pro bono practice, including co-drafting an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association.
After moving to Norfolk, Ryan joined McGuireWoods’ commercial litigation department, where he represented clients in a wide variety of industries – from Fortune 100 financial institutions to local entrepreneurs – at all levels of the Virginia state and federal court system. For every case, Ryan focused on developing an assertive and effective litigation strategy in line with each client’s business goals, and he continues to do so as a member of Kaleo Legal.
Ryan graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Dillard Fellow for Legal Research & Writing. Prior to attending law school, Ryan earned his B.A. in art history from the College of William & Mary and his M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware. In the course of his art history studies, Ryan held internships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, Italy.
Ryan is a member of the American Bar Association and the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the courts of Virginia and the District of Columbia; US District Courts for the Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, and the District of Columbia; the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Years of Experience: 10
Past Work Experience: McGuireWoods LLP, Arnold & Porter LLP
Professional Affiliations: American Bar Association, Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
Awards & Honors: Dillard Fellow for Legal Research & Writing
Bar Admissions: Virginia, District of Columbia
Mike’s practice is focused on start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Following his graduation with honors from the Duke Law School Masters of Law program in Law and Entrepreneurship he has been providing outside counsel services for a wide range of early stage and high-growth clients in the greater Richmond area. He advises and assists business clients with corporate and intellectual property law issues as well as startup companies raising capital through private equity offerings, from pre-seed startup capital to later stage venture capital offerings. In addition he serves as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Richmond where he teaches courses in business and intellectual property law, including Advising the Entrepreneur and Drafting Intellectual Property Transactions.
He is committed to helping clients build their innovative ideas into successful businesses. Mike also serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs across the entrepreneurial ecosystem, volunteering with Startup Virginia, Lighthouse Labs to provide support for the startup community.
Mike received his B.A. from Middlebury College, followed by a Master’s degree from Norwich University before attending the Richmond University School of Law, graduating with honors and awards for excellence in the studies of Intellectual Property.
Prior to joining Kaleo in February 2020, Brad Embree served as Senior Counsel at Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE; NSC), where he was responsible for a wide variety of commercial contracts critical to business operations, procurement, and IT infrastructure. Prior to joining Norfolk Southern, for seven years Brad was Corporate Counsel at PRA Group (NASDAQ: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring nonperforming loans. At PRA, Brad specialized in review, analysis and negotiation of PRA’s core portfolio acquisitions and purchase and sale agreements. Previously, he worked as an attorney at Vandeventer Black LLP. Brad graduated cum laude from the Distinguished Majors Program at the University of Virginia, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law. At Tulane, he served as managing editor of the Environmental Law Journal and as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of New Orleans Criminal District Court.
Brad has consistently been named as a Corporate Counsel “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine, as well as one of the “Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia” for Corporate Law. Prior to law school, Brad lived in Los Angeles, where he co-authored “Going Corporate”, a book published by St.Martin’s Press and reviewed favorably in USA Today, New York Post and the Chicago Tribune. Since returning home to Virginia, he has volunteered countless hours to various community organizations, including serving as chairman of the United Way Workplace Giving Campaign.
Years of Experience: 13
Past Work Experience: Vandeventer Black, PRA Group (Nasdaq: PRAA), Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC)
Professional Affiliations: Va. Bar Association, Virginia State Bar, Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
Awards & Honors: VA Legal Elite, Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
Bar Admissions: Virginia
Kristine has a broad background in commercial transactions, regulations and litigation. Prior to joining Kaleo Legal, she was with Swimways Corp. and its parent company, Spin Master, Ltd., a global innovative toy and entertainment company. Kristine was responsible for reviewing, drafting and negotiating all retail and distributor agreements for Spin Master worldwide. Her ability to analyze complex contracts and regulations led to a significant reduction in fines and penalties assessed by retailers and licensors, and minimized corporate legal liability. In addition, she was the primary support for Spin Master’s Outdoor GBU in the areas of IP, commercial agreements, licensing compliance, and M&A. Previously, after graduating from Hamline University School of Law, she started a general practice firm in Minnesota where she practiced commercial and family law, until she joined the firm of Gray Plant Mooty as a contract attorney focusing on legal malpractice defense in the area of complex commercial litigation.
Alexandra Gabriel joined Kaleo Legal in November 2020 and focuses her practice on intellectual property and employment matters. As intellectual property counsel, Alex works with companies to maximize, protect, and enforce their intellectual property through portfolio development, trademark and copyright prosecution, licensing, and litigation. As employment counsel, Alex assists clients with navigating federal and state statutes and regulations, such as Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the National Labor Relations Act, and she serves as litigation counsel for clients facing employment-related claims. Alex helps businesses protect their proprietary information and trade secrets through the use of internal policies, confidentiality and restrictive covenant agreements, and litigation. She is well versed in litigation, transactional matters, and client counseling, and she serves as fractional IP and employment counsel for several companies.
Alex earned her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University and her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to joining Kaleo Legal, Alex clerked for the Circuit Court for the City of Virginia Beach and practiced at Williams Mullen, an Am Law 200 law firm. She was recognized by Best Lawyers as among the “Ones to Watch” for 2021.
David advises employers on all aspects of employment law and represents employers before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. David has over twenty years of experience defending employers in litigation matters, including cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, and other state and federal laws, including all federal and Virginia laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. David also has extensive experience in cases arising under non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements. In addition to his litigation practice, David provides advice and counseling to employers on matters related to hiring and firing, discipline and discharge, drafting employment agreements and non-competition agreements, and drafting and implementing personnel policies. David has particular expertise with commission compensation structures, government contractor compliance issues, wage and hour audits, and workplace policies and procedures.
Jennifer Burnett’s practice focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, including commercial leasing, commercial real estate development, and the purchase and sale of commercial real estate, and general business and commercial law and related transactions, including contract negotiations, entity formation, corporate governance, financings, commercial loans, credit facilities, and capital raising. She advises and assists a diverse client base on a wide range of matters within her practice areas, and particularly enjoys being an integral part of her client’s team, providing them with trusted legal and business counsel through each life cycle of their business. Jennifer has considerable expertise in mergers and acquisitions deal strategy and related contract drafting and negotiations, in drafting and negotiating complex commercial leases, and in navigating her clients through the purchase and sale of businesses, interests related thereto, and commercial real estate.
After graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2008, she began her career as an attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP (now Womble Bond Dickinson), practicing in their Greensboro, NC office. Before joining Kaleo Legal in November 2021, Jennifer was a Shareholder with the firm of Clement & Wheatley, located in Danville, VA. Prior to law school, Jennifer was a Corporate & Securities paralegal for 10 years, working in the in-house legal departments of Burlington Industries, Inc. and VF Corporation, and with the law firm of Womble Carlyle. She graduated *magna cum laude* from Meredith College in 1994.
North Carolina Bar Association: Member; Member of Business Law Section and Real Property Law Section
Virginia Bar Association: Member; Member of Business Law Section and Real Property Law Section
Virginia Museum of Natural History: Member, Board of Trustees (Governor-appointed position) since July 1, 2015 – Term Expires June 30, 2025; Chair, Board of Trustees – July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Verena is a litigation paralegal with many years of experience in product liability cases, focusing on the defense of asbestos-related mesothelioma and lung cancer cases. She works primarily with national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for an American automobile manufacturer, supporting the scientific defense of asbestos-related claims nationwide.
Prior to joining Kaleo in 2018, she was an environmental and toxic torts litigation paralegal at McGuireWoods, providing discovery and trial preparation assistance on lead paint, benzene, and mesothelioma cases. She moved to McGuireWoods after several years as an analyst at BrownGreer PLC, where she reviewed opt-out cases for benefit eligibility under the terms of a multi-billion dollar diet drug class action settlement agreement.
Outside of work, Verena is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, and enjoys travelling, photography, and volunteering in her local community. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Richmond.
Greg joined Kaleo in June 2022 and focuses his practice on commercial transactions, corporate law, and technology transactions. As commercial counsel, Greg works with companies of all sizes to achieve the right balance of risk mitigation and business imperatives in their interactions with customers and vendors alike. Greg specializes in technology transactions, including SaaS, PaaS, IaaS agreements, software licensing, and cloud-connected devices. Additionally, Greg assists smaller to mid-size companies by acting as fractional general counsel. In this part of his practice, Greg provides counsel to clients on a variety of topics, including all manner of commercial agreements; corporate formation, governance, and operations; strategic counseling; and managing outside counsel.
Prior to joining Kaleo, Greg had almost 20 years of legal experience helping individuals and companies of all sizes with their transactional needs. While at Capital One, Greg negotiated complex transactions across business units, including technology, HR, brand, bank, and credit card, all with an eye on mitigating financial, legal, regulatory, and reputational risk. During his time at CarLotz, Inc., Greg served as the point person for commercial contracts, while also advising leaders and retail units on corporate real estate, HR and customer dispute matters. Greg’s career also included advising small and medium-sized companies on corporate formation matters, commercial real estate transactions, and mergers and acquisitions.
Undergraduate Education: Washington & Lee University
Law School: University of Richmond School of Law
Sheetal is a dynamic business executive and attorney with a diverse background and a passion for startups and emerging business growth. He has a broad skillset across operations, strategy, management, marketing, business development, and risk mitigation. He also has in-depth experience in transactions, corporate finance, and contracting functions in addition to exceptional team leadership capabilities to drive core revenue growth and scalability. He has proven excellence in driving all aspects of a business as an entrepreneur, strategist, investor, versatile executive, and in-house counsel.
Sheetal resides in Houston, TX, with his wife and two sons and their two Italian greyhounds, Josephine and Maddy.
Juris Doctor (J.D.), Emory University School of Law – Atlanta, Georgia
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Government, Cum Laude, The University of Texas – Austin, Texas
Member, State Bar of Texas (2004)
State Bar of New York (2010)
Texas Super Lawyer “Rising Star,” General Litigation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)