Messner Reeves LLP Expands Phoenix Footprint with the Addition of High-Profile Team

PHOENIX — Messner Reeves LLP, a full-service business and litigation law firm with offices across the nation, has expanded its Arizona presence with the acquisition of an employment law practice group from Gammage & Burnham in Phoenix. Led by Partners Julie A. Pace, David A. Selden and Heidi Nunn-Gilman, this team has been highly sought-after for its work in the legal industry.    

This expansion includes five attorneys, three paralegals and three legal assistants for a total of 11 staff, signifying yet another expansion in the growth of Messner Reeves. This team has represented a multitude of nationally recognized clients, government agencies and corporate entities, and will join the firm’s existing Phoenix practitioners at their new office location. This marks Messner Reeves’ second expansion in Phoenix as it opened its doors in Arizona last year spearheaded by its renowned intellectual property team. 

“This acquisition marks an intentional, methodical and strategic plan to grow our range of services and level of expertise in the Arizona market,” said Messner Reeves CEO Caleb Meyer. “Building on the reputation and momentum of our existing Phoenix office, our new team members offer exceptional legal experience and extensive client relationships that further solidifies Messner Reeves on a national platform.” 

The new partners, Pace, Selden and Nunn-Gilman, will continue to serve their existing clients and will be charged with growing the firm’s litigation practice. Their specialty lies in employment, OSHA, immigration, commercial, government relations, real estate, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, healthcare and construction, among others.

The added practice group has nearly 100 years of combined experience defending claims of sexual harassment, employment discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, and wrongful discharge and charges filed at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Arizona Civil Rights Division (ACRD) and other agencies. 

Messner Reeves will benefit from the expanded background in counseling, investigating, training and handling a full array of employee grievances, arbitration, negotiations, hearings and litigation in both union and non-union settings in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals in Arizona as well as other states. The team has provided expert counsel on restrictive covenant disputes and corporate torts along with developing creative resolutions to corporate disputes among principals.

Pace serves as an outside general counsel for the business and corporate needs of a multitude of local, regional and national clients. She has assisted with company succession planning including leading private equity transactions and implementing stock incentive options. In 2008, Arizona Business Magazine named her one of the 10 most influential lawyers in Arizona. Pace works with numerous trade associations and is known for her national experience with OSHA, I-9 management and E-Verify matters.

“Julie is an accomplished lawyer, known for her creative, practical solutions to the most complex legal challenges,” said Messner Reeves President, Jim Smith. “The caliber of her counsel, range of expertise, published and presented work illustrates her impressive background and integrates naturally with the core values of Messner Reeves.” 

Apart from her legal accomplishments, Pace is an elected council member of the Town of Paradise Valley and was unanimously elected by her peers for a term as vice mayor. As a fourth-generation Arizonan, she is active in a variety of business, professional and civic organizations and has received several awards for her dedication and service. Pace has also volunteered for and assisted non-profit organizations for more than 30 years.

Pace graduated from Arizona State University School of Law in 1992 after obtaining her undergraduate business degree in 1983. 

Selden is known for having drafted most of the employment laws that have been enacted in Arizona during the last 25 years. This includes the landmark 1996 Employment Protection Act that defines the law of wrongful termination in Arizona, as well as 10 other pieces of legislation dealing with the classification of employees and independent contractors, drug testing, constructive discharges and other subjects.   

He also serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Phoenix Symphony and has been the director of government relations for the Arizona State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). In addition to practicing law, he has also served multiple terms as a special federal employee to evaluate grant applications for a federal agency.

Selden graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982, receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees from George Washington University in 1973 and 1976, respectively.

Nunn-Gilman’s practice focuses on human resource counseling and employment litigation. She has extensive experience creating employment handbooks, policies and procedures. Nunn-Gilman also develops I-9 audits and immigration compliance training programs for multi-state national corporations and has created employee handbooks for numerous employers in multiple states. Outside of the office, Nunn-Gilman has volunteered more than 100 hours to Wills for Heroes.

Nunn-Gilman obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana. She graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2005.

Pace, Selden and Nunn-Gilman have also represented a variety of governmental bodies, including several agencies of the Arizona state government, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, seven municipalities and the Federal Reserve System. 

“Joining Messner Reeves is a perfect match,” said Pace. “The entrepreneurial spirit, national reach and collaborative foundation of the firm is remarkable. Beyond that, the breadth and depth of the talent pool dedicated to responsive service and creative results offers incalculable benefits for clients.”

As a firm dedicated to utilizing best practices across its financial structure, marketing and operational systems, Messner Reeves is recognized for its business model and internal efficiencies which enable the attorneys to do what they do best—practice law.

Messner Reeves has offices in Orange County, Silicon Valley, Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, New England, New York City and Cheyenne in addition to three Colorado locations: Denver, Greenwood Village and Colorado Springs.  

About Messner Reeves LLP

With offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Utah and Wyoming, Messner Reeves provides the full range of legal services to a diverse group of clients—from individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies—delivering exceptional legal counsel with quick response and professional integrity. The attorneys at Messner Reeves represent the highest standards in the legal profession. For more information, visit messner.com.

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