August 14, 2022


Let'S Talk Law

They’ve Acquired Upcoming: The 40 Beneath 40 – Nicolle Kownacki of White & Situation

Remember to explain two of your most significant, new wins in observe.
My crew just lately won a significant victory at the US Supreme Court docket vacating a US$350 million judgment towards our customer the Republic of the Sudan in a situation under the “terrorism exception” to sovereign immunity. The 8-1 feeling founded clear precedent for serving procedure on overseas states in US litigation and paved the way for an historic bilateral claims-settlement arrangement, executed very last year among Sudan and the United States.

In May well 2021, I obtained the comprehensive dismissal of a match in opposition to my customer, INTERPOL, in the Japanese District of New York. The plaintiff had sued INTERPOL in excess of an allegedly poor crimson recognize issued against him from the United Arab Emirates. The court’s final decision was the initial at any time to uphold INTERPOL’s immunity in the United States.

What is the most vital lesson you learned as a to start with-12 months lawyer and how does it inform your follow these days?
As a 1st-yr affiliate, I learned the great importance of trusting my judgment to make selections and knowledgeable suggestions, even when I may perhaps be intimidated by working for seasoned attorneys who know a lot far more than me. As I figured out, in some circumstances the additional senior attorneys do not normally have the “right” responses, and they certainly are relying on their junior workforce to dig in, very own the concerns, and make educated assessments and tips with self-assurance. Understanding to belief my judgment as I think critically has been important to discovering that “right” remedy, and has assisted me establish my very own self-confidence as a law firm. Trusting my judgment has aided me create a rapport and have confidence in with my team users and clients—something that most likely will develop into even extra important as I progress in my profession. In my practice currently, I also see the relevance of supporting young attorneys in creating that self-assurance and trusting their judgment to make an educated recommendation. I glimpse for prospects to motivate and aid that advancement so that the groups I operate with are as sturdy as achievable.

How do you outline accomplishment in your observe?
Results in my observe signifies routinely acquiring the chance to litigate complicated and novel difficulties at the forefront of authorized debates regarding global law—issues, these types of as the evolving scope of overseas sovereign immunity or new developments in anti-terrorism regulations, that usually make their way to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom or to the front pages of newspapers in several countries afflicted by our legislation. The opportunity to litigate these kinds of troubles will come simply because shoppers believe in me to tackle these delicate and challenging matters, but also simply because we acquire imaginative legal arguments that convey these troubles to mild. Of system, even increased achievement signifies becoming on the successful side of these troubles and eventually serving to to condition the affect of U.S. regulation on foreign nations. In small, achievements in my observe suggests practising, and influencing, the chopping-edge global legislation that inspired me to go to regulation faculty.

What are you most very pleased of as a attorney?
I am most happy of our Supreme Court docket gain on behalf of the Republic of Sudan. Next decades of complicated litigation for our consumer, the associate questioned me to consider the lead on a petition for Supreme Courtroom critique. I jumped at the opportunity, and it was remarkable to see my possess words in the remaining printed and sure Supreme Court docket brief. Our group of just about all girls also experienced an chance to current our posture to the Solicitor General’s Business office, and we obtained the U.S. Government’s assist. The Supreme Courtroom granted review, and, as I ongoing foremost the do the job on our deserves briefs, some others in the company commenced turning to me for their Supreme Courtroom function as very well. Immediately after weeks of preparations and moot courts, I sat at the argument—8.5 months pregnant—right behind the senior associate arguing our case. (I was only partly fearful my son may possibly arrive early to encounter the pleasure of a actual SCOTUS argument, way too.) We created it by way of, and a couple months afterwards received an 8-1 final decision in our favor. My Supreme Courtroom function has only grown from there, and I am now a dependable useful resource in the business for these kinds of cases.

Who is your finest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?
I am lucky to say: my biggest mentor has been the senior lover I work with, Carolyn Lamm. She is a fierce advocate and a pioneer in her fields of worldwide arbitration and foreign sovereign litigation, with an amazing file of accomplishment. Most impressively, she is the trustworthy advisor of many foreign governments that are her faithful clients—including a number of you may perhaps not expect would count on a girl advocate for their most sensitive disputes—and she is generally the only woman in those prime-brass meetings. She has taught me the significance of actually recognizing the customers of the crew that you construct all-around you, knowing particularly their numerous strengths and offering them each the best opportunities to hire these strengths for the common aim. She has demonstrated, in how she artfully assembles her own diverse groups, that a cookie-cutter mould of major-legislation associates will not generate the very best final results.

Just for fun, inform us your two preferred tracks on your summer season new music playlist.
Wheels on the Bus – If I have to pay attention to it for the thousandth time to continue to keep my 2-calendar year-outdated son happy and singing, then that is what I ought to do.

Raffi’s Greatest Hits – Have you read “Down By the Bay”? It is endlessly entertaining.