James Potts joins Cozen O’Connor’s business department today, bringing with him nearly 15 years of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and restructuring, and governance and regulatory compliance experience. Potts will co-chair one of the firm’s strategic business units that provides commercial, transactional and regulatory services to the firm’s financial, insurance and brokerage clients. He will manage the unit from Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office, along with the unit’s co-chair and longtime firm member, Fran Semaya, who works in the firm’s New York City office.
“Cozen O’Connor has a highly skilled group of business attorneys providing counsel to major corporations in key industries, including insurance, on issues ranging from mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency, to complex reinsurance and insurance arrangements, to corporate governance, financial reporting, and insurance and securities regulatory compliance matters,” says Potts. “It is exciting to join a team which includes a former state insurance commissioner, as well as lawyers who have extensive in-house counsel, product development and regulatory affairs experience.”
“I look forward to working alongside a seasoned group of lawyers who are respected in the industry,” he adds.
Prior to joining Cozen, Potts was a partner in the corporate law practice at both Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP and Duane Morris LLP.
Also joining Potts as a member of the business department is Garland Pezzuolo, who practiced law at Cozen O’Connor for seven years in the 1990’s. Pezzuolo left Cozen for 11 years to serve in executive and in-house counsel positions at publicly-traded insurance companies including United America Indemnity Group, Inc. and Penn-America Group, Inc.
“I’m thrilled to return to Cozen O’Connor, which is a dynamic, entrepreneurial firm with a progressive client-driven service model that meets the needs of today’s insurance industry and its companies’ in-house counsel,” says Pezzuolo.
According to Michael Heller, chair of Cozen O’Connor’s business department, the firm is very excited to have Potts and Pezzuolo, with their specialized talents and experience on board. “They will be integral members of our rapidly growing commercial and business practice. Also, their vast experience representing organizations across the industry, ranging from property and casualty insurance companies, to HMOs and risk retention groups as well as insurance producers, brings our insurance and corporate regulatory strategic business unit great value.”