Phelps Dunbar Elects 4 to Partner

January 05, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – Phelps Dunbar LLP is pleased to announce that it has elected Elise Batsel of the Tampa office, Todd Butler of the Jackson office, Nathan Huntwork of the New Orleans office and Brad Kline of the Baton Rouge office to partnership, effective January 1, 2017.

Elise Batsel

Ms. Batsel has practiced law with Phelps Dunbar’s Tampa office since June 2015 and practices in the areas of land use, zoning and commercial real estate. She represents developers and lenders in all areas including real estate acquisitions, dispositions, financings and leasing transactions.

Ms. Batsel has represented national and local developers before various governmental bodies and helped them obtain entitlements in more than 40 counties and municipalities throughout the state of Florida. Ms. Batsel’s land use practice includes assisting clients with issues related to zoning, permitting and governmental affairs. She has successfully obtained entitlements for the owners and developers of multi-family commercial, industrial, hotel and mixed-use projects.

In the lending arena, her experience involves the representation of banks, finance companies and other institutional lenders in a variety of transactional specialties, including commercial/syndicated loans and construction and permanent financings. Notably, Ms. Batsel has represented institutional lenders with Shari’ah-compliant finance and investment transactions.

She earned her J.D., with honors, from the University of Florida, Levin College of Law, in 1997 and her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado in 1993.

Todd Butler

Mr. Butler has practiced law with Phelps Dunbar’s Jackson office since 2009. He represents clients in trial, appellate and agency matters, with an emphasis in employment, civil rights and constitutional law. In addition to his practice, Mr. Butler teaches courses as an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law and serves as chairman of the Mississippi Bar’s Appellate Practice Committee. 

Mr. Butler received the Mississippi Business Journal’s Leadership in Law Award in 2013 and has been acknowledged by his legal peers throughout the state as a Mid-South Super Lawyers – Rising Star, which recognizes the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state who are younger than 40 or have been in practice for 10 or fewer years.

Mr. Butler earned his law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2008, where he graduated third in his class and served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from Mississippi State University in 2005 and served as Student Association President. Prior to joining Phelps Dunbar, Mr. Butler clerked for Judge Leslie H. Southwick on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 

Nathan Huntwork

Mr. Huntwork has practiced law with Phelps Dunbar’s New Orleans office since earning his law degree in 2008. He practices in the area of business and finance with a focus on energy and utility regulation. Mr. Huntwork has represented electric public utilities in a broad range of regulatory proceedings before the Louisiana Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including for mergers and acquisitions, rate cases, power plant acquisition and construction, fuel adjustment clause audits and issues related to electric transmission and wholesale sales. He recently represented an electric utility before the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a $4.7 billion merger transaction. In addition, Mr. Huntwork represents intrastate liquids pipelines before the Louisiana Public Service Commission in their rate and tariff filings, as well as intrastate natural gas pipelines before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

Mr. Huntwork has been recognized by his legal peers throughout the state of Louisiana as a Louisiana Super Lawyers – Rising Star, which recognizes the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state who are younger than 40 or have been in practice for 10 or fewer years.

He earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2008, where he was managing editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, and his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in German literature from Tulane University in 2005.   

Brad Kline

Mr. Kline has practiced law with Phelps Dunbar’s Baton Rouge office since earning his law degree in 2009 and practices in the area of business law. He focuses in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate transactions, contracts, finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, agricultural cooperative law and public utilities regulation. Mr. Kline’s practice includes representing banking and lending institutions in financing transactions; drafting and negotiating contracts, purchase agreements, leases and servitude agreements; representing franchisees; representing buyers and sellers in the acquisition and sale of small and large businesses, commercial real estate, hotels and multifamily apartment complexes; representing public utilities; representing agriculture and marketing cooperatives and trade associations; entity and joint venture formation; and general counseling of both established and emerging businesses.

He is a member of the Louisiana State and Baton Rouge Bar Associations and has been recognized as a Louisiana Super Lawyers – Rising Star, which recognizes the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state who are younger than 40 or have been in practice for 10 or fewer years.

He earned his J.D./D.C.L. from the Louisiana State University Law Center in 2009, where he served as senior editor of the Louisiana Law Review, and his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University in 2006.

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With offices positioned along the Gulf Coast from Houston to Tampa, Phelps Dunbar is a regional law firm of more than 260 attorneys uniquely equipped to serve clients in the major commercial centers of the burgeoning “Third Coast” of the United States. Locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Tupelo and Gulfport, Mississippi; Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Raleigh, North Carolina; and London enable Phelps Dunbar to serve clients not only along the Third Coast, but also the South, nationwide and abroad.