News & Insights

Cox Smith Attorneys Earn 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” Recognition from Best Lawyers

October 25, 2012

Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated (“Cox Smith”) today announced that shareholders Kerry T. Benedict (Banking and Finance Law), Ben F. Foster, Jr. (Labor Law – Management), Dan Harkins (Litigation – Intellectual Property), Howard Newton (Litigation – Trusts & Estates), Joshua Sutin (Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, and Harry W. Wolff Jr. (Trusts and Estates Law) were named 2013 San Antonio “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective specialties by The Best Lawyers in America®.

Kerry Benedict is the head of the firm's Financial Services industry team.  Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, his practice is devoted to all aspects of commercial real estate law where he represents real estate developers, sellers, buyers, lenders, landlords and tenants in complex real estate transactions. Kerry also assists business clients in a wide range of general legal and business issues, including coordination and consultation on employment issues, litigation projects, business law, intellectual property concerns, and energy related projects.

Ben Foster has more than four decades of experience assisting clients with problems related to labor unions and organizing activities. He began his career as a lawyer with the National Labor Relations Board and has continued advising clients on numerous union-related issues, including the avoidance of union interference; handling secondary boycotts and corporate campaigns; and both the litigation and the processing of matters before the National Labor Relations Board, the federal administrative agency overseeing most of these issues. He does extensive work in arbitration of employment-related matters and provides Alternate Dispute Resolution policies for clients wishing to avoid the expense and time involved in courtroom litigation. He also advises clients on wage and hour issues and assists clients through investigations by the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Administration.  

As leader of the firm's Intellectual Property (IP) Litigation Practice Group, Dan Harkins has been involved in numerous copyright, trademark and patent infringement litigation matters, with a recent emphasis on related technology and commercial litigation issues. He has also handled appeals to the Fifth and Federal Circuits and for more than 25 years, has defended, evaluated and resolved myriad intellectual property disputes. Dan also has experience assisting clients in protecting their intellectual property assets, including patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, and domain names. Recognized nationally for his litigation experience, Dan frequently speaks on intellectual property developments.    

Board-certified in civil trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Howard Newton advises business organizations, public entities and individuals on a wide variety of civil disputes in state and federal courts. With more than three decades of courtroom experience, he is a highly regarded litigator who is recognized by peers and clients for his ability to understand complex business and litigation issues and achieve the most effective and efficient results for his clients.

Leader of the firm's Employee Benefits/ERISA practice group, Joshua Sutin assists clients with the difficult tax and employee benefit issues and challenges facing businesses today including employee benefit plans, tax-exempt organizations and business tax planning. He helps clients understand the legal conundrums commonly encountered via the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA, while helping them develop practical strategies to resolve their business issues. Joshua regularly counsels clients regarding their pension, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), health and welfare plans, including representation relating to tax qualification of plans, fiduciary duty issues, Department of Labor and IRS audits, and IRS and Department of Labor Delinquent voluntary compliance programs. He also provides guidance to tax-exempt clients on all issues from creating a tax-exempt organization to dissolving one, including private foundation status; reporting and disclosure; unrelated business income tax; and nonprofit corporate law compliance
Harry Wolff
is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is leader of the firm's Estate Planning/Wealth Transfer practice group.  He works with clients on estate planning and probate issues; transfer tax controversies; and nonprofit governance issues.

Best Lawyers® began designating “Lawyers of the Year” in the U.S. in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year.

Last month, Cox Smith announced that 53 of its attorneys were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.).