January 1, 2022
Irvine, CA (January 1, 2022) – Rutan & Tucker LLP has elected Sarah Kruszona, Jacqueline Maar, Kimberly Nayagam, Briana Richmond, Travis Van Ligten, and Ashley Vernick to the firm’s partnership effective January 1, 2022.
“Each of our new Rutan partners exemplifies the lawyering skills, character, and leadership abilities essential to superior client service and excellence in the practice of law,” says firm Managing Partner Mark B. Frazier. “By adding these six new partners, we strengthen our capability to fulfill our clients’ needs, pursue opportunities and overcome challenges in 2022 and beyond.”
Sarah Kruszona advises clients in all aspects of the acquisition and disposition process, from negotiating letters of intent and purchase agreements through diligence and closing, and works with all product types, including raw land, industrial, retail, office, multi-family housing and mixed-use developments. Her practice also includes representing borrowers and real estate investors and owners in a variety of real estate financing transactions, including acquisition, construction and permanent real estate secured loans. She also provides strategic counsel to her clients on other general real estate matters, such as drafting and negotiating easement agreements and side letter agreements, and advising on the structuring and documentation of entity formation. Sarah is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Jacqueline Maar’s practice primarily focuses on joint venture and low-income housing tax credit transactions and other tax and corporate matters. She has experience in domestic and international tax planning and structuring, corporate financings, mergers and acquisitions, and other general corporate and tax representation. During law school, Jacqueline served as Production Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and held a judicial externship with the Honorable Margaret M. Morrow in the Central District of California.
Kimberly Nayagam practices in the firm’s employment department and she represents employers in employment litigation matters in state and federal court and before various administrative agencies, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Kimberly is a tenacious advocate and is committed to assisting employers with the difficult task of navigating California’s complex employment law environment. Kimberly’s litigation practice includes defending employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination cases. Kimberly also represents employers in wage and hour and PAGA litigation, including defense of both individual and class action claims. She is a graduate of University of California, Davis, School of Law and Wake Forest University.
Briana Richmond has developed a diverse practice that touches on a wide variety of industries, including complex business disputes involving trade secret theft, fraud, breach of contract, business interference, business dissolution, defamation claims, as well as disputes involving commercial landlord-tenant contracts, commercial construction contracts, and residential construction defects, among other things. Since joining Rutan, Briana has had the opportunity to take several cases to trial, all of which ended with judgments in her clients’ favor. While she is well-versed in aggressively litigating cases when such an approach is appropriate, Briana also actively seeks to balance litigation demands with clients’ overall business concerns, including with respect to cost control and maintaining business relationships. She is a graduate of University of California, Davis School of Law and University of California, Santa Barbara.
Travis Van Ligten specializes in a wide range of litigation and transactional matters relating to both public and private clients, and is a member of both the Government & Regulatory Law and Land Use sections. Through his practice, he advises his clients on a wide range of environmental, land use and other entitlement issues. Travis has had the privilege of representing both private clients and government agencies before various regulatory agencies, including local agencies in connection with entitlement applications, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the California Public Utilities Commission. Travis earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2014.
Ashley Vernick is sought after for general business consulting and litigation representation. Ashley guides corporate clients through general business matters, including reviewing, strengthening, and negotiating contracts; identifying potential liabilities and coverage positions; properly handling investigations (both internal and external); and improving corporate policies and procedures. Given her extensive litigation experience, Ashley focuses on early matter assessment and resolution while providing the strongest representation when litigation is necessary. Ashley’s matters cover a range of practice areas, with a focus on complex commercial litigation. She handles matters involving employment, insurance, contract, securities, environmental, and business tort claims. She is a graduate of University of Chicago Law School and University of California, Los Angeles. She is a native Spanish speaker.