Heyl Royster

Heyl Royster Announces New Partner & Shareholder Elevations

Heyl Royster is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2023, Joseph Guyette and Brian Smith were promoted to shareholders, and effective immediately Katie Anderson, Karl Bayer, Emily Galligan, Bob Gates, Brett Mares, Michael Ward and Brittany Warren are promoted to partnership. We are proud of the individual accomplishments of these attorneys. As a group, they demonstrate the firm’s commitment to providing exceptional legal representation across a number of practice areas throughout the firm’s growing regional practice.

Joe works out of the firm’s Champaign office where he handles high-exposure cases from pre-suit investigation through trial and appeal and is licensed in Illinois and Indiana. In addition to his extensive work in Illinois, he leads the firm’s practice throughout Indiana. His broad practice includes defending workers’ compensation, trucking, premises liability, and motor vehicle claims. As a Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional, he regularly counsels clients regarding the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and strategies for resolving claims while limiting potential Medicare liability.
Brian works out of our Champaign office and Chairs the firm’s Employment & Labor Practice, working with employers throughout Illinois. He provides guidance and training to employers on best practices and how to navigate the ever-changing employment landscape. Brian has extensive experience defending employers, including educational institutions, in federal and state courts and administrative proceedings before the EEOC and IDHR. He represents employers on disciplinary actions, discrimination claims, terminations, wage-and-hour issues, restrictive covenants, employment agreements, BIPA claims, COVID-19-related discrimination claims, and various leave issues. When complaints are filed, Brian is there to defend employers through administrative proceedings and lawsuits. He teams with his clients to guide them through the process, understand their goals, and assess the best way to achieve them early.
Katie serves as Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group. In that capacity, she regularly counsels multiple medical providers on the vast Health Law landscape. She is also extensively involved in the firm’s Medical Malpractice Defense work. Before joining Heyl Royster, Katie practiced at a firm in Decatur, IL, where she became a partner in 2012. Her practice included medical malpractice defense of healthcare entities and health professionals, creditor bankruptcy work, and civil litigation defense. In 2016, Katie became General Counsel for a community hospital in Central Illinois, where she managed litigation, risk, compliance, regulatory, insurance, and medical staff matters. Her vast experience as both inside and outside counsel to the health industry enhances the firm’s practice in these areas.
Karl joined Heyl Royster’s Chicago office as Of Counsel in 2020. Working solely in litigation since 1996, Karl has tried over 100 jury trials, countless arbitrations, and numerous mediations. As an appointed Special Assistant to the State of Illinois Attorney General, he handles defense and commercial litigation files in Cook County and other collar counties. Karl continues the longstanding line of Heyl Royster partners with extensive courtroom and trial experience.
Emily focuses her practice on employment law and medical negligence/healthcare law. She defends employers in claims alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation and further counsels clients in best employment practices. In addition, she has an extensive practice representing hospitals, medical entities, and physicians in medical negligence action. She has unique relationship skills which cause her clients to rely on her heavily for advice and counsel.
An experienced leader and counselor-at-law, Bob concentrates his practice as the outside General Counsel for businesses, institutions, families, and local governments of every size. Bob’s professional experience is informed by unique visibility across multiple industries and sectors. With specialized experience in general corporate and business matters (including not-for-profit institutions), banking, energy, commercial transactions, healthcare, construction, real estate, employment, and local government law, Bob is retained by clients to drive solutions to strategic goals while serving as the trusted key advisor to executives, Boards of Directors, and individuals facing a wide variety of issues.
Brett’s practice focuses on casualty litigation, construction defects, creditor’s rights and insurance coverage. Practicing from Heyl Royster’s Chicago office, he has over a decade of experience representing insurance companies and those they protect in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Both in pre-trial management and at trial, Brett has gained a reputation for developing defenses juries understand and respect. His clients play a meaningful role in their defense instead of watching from the sidelines, resulting in a team approach to litigation removing many advantages plaintiffs typically enjoy.
Michael joined the firm’s Edwardsville office in 2015 and focuses his practice on the defense of premises owners and various manufacturers against claims involving toxic exposures and product liability actions. Throughout his career he has lead teams of individuals in all phases of litigation across numerous jurisdictions, including state and federal courts in Illinois and Missouri, while helping to expand and oversee litigation strategy. Michael is an approved mediator for The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois for its mandatory mediation program.
From the firm’s Edwardsville office, Brittany represents clients throughout Illinois and Missouri, focusing on casualty/tort, insurance services, product liability, and trucking defense. She handles all aspects of litigation, including claim investigation, preparing pleadings and motions, discovery, and appearing in court to argue complex motions and other matters. Brittany has experience arbitrating UM/UIM claims, defending her clients in mediations, and has first chair trial experience. She is known for her strong work ethic, attention to detail, accessibility to clients and effective communication.


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