PHILADELPHIA – June 1, 2020 – Cozen O’Connor today introduced Pennsylvania business attorney Katayun Jaffari — who for nearly three decades has helped corporate boards and executive management teams execute multibillion-dollar securities and M&A transactions — as chair of its Corporate Governance & Securities Group. Jaffari, whose clients range from life sciences and energy enterprises, to technology and fintech providers across the United States, comes to the firm from Ballard Spahr LLP. She joins the firm as a shareholder and will reside in Cozen O’Connor’s Philadelphia office.
Armed with an M.B.A and a B.B.A in finance, Jaffari brings to the firm substantial experience counseling major public and private enterprises on matters related to raising capital, including public offerings, stock-for-stock mergers, private placements of common stock, and convertible note offerings. Often serving as the client’s outside corporate counsel, she also advises on critical governance issues, including SEC/NYSE/NASDAQ securities compliance, enterprise structure and culture, fiduciary duties, risk oversight, investigations, conflicts of interest, executive transitions, and shareholder relationship matters, including shareholder activism and initiatives.
“With 25-plus years of working closely with global business leaders, Kathy will not only advance our governance and securities practice, but help us grow other related practice areas as well,” said Michael J. Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Regulatory measures are growing more complex by the day and Kathy is often in the position to advise corporate clients facing other legal challenges, such as litigation, regulatory, labor, and/or employment issues. As a full-service firm with the resources to address such matters, she’s an important addition and I’m pleased to welcome her to the firm.”
“Kathy listens to her clients intently, thinks strategically, and then identifies and implements what are often creative solutions,” said Ira C. Gubernick, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Corporate Practice Group. “As a trusted legal and business adviser to executives in major global industries, she understands their pressures and is subsequently viewed as a problem solver. Kathy brings leadership and experience that strengthens our corporate governance and public securities practice, and we are thrilled she’s joining our firm.”
Jaffari’s track record includes serving as outside corporate counsel to a NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing a tender offer for the company’s securities and then overseeing its subsequent sale to a Japanese pharmaceutical company for more than $4 billion in cash.
Jaffari has earned national and local acclaim for her leadership in, and contributions to, the governance and securities fields, including general corporate areas, and the advancement of women executives. In the governance and securities space, Jaffari serves as vice chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section, as well as co-chair of the Governance and Sustainability Joint Subcommittee of the Federal Regulation of Securities and the Corporate Governance Committees of the ABA.
Locally, she has served as the chair of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, as well as the chair of the PBA’s Business Law Section. She also has been recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a Woman of Distinction. With respect to the advancement of women, Jaffari is a national thought leader and has made contributions to leading organizations around the country advancing women executives and attorneys including the Forum of Executive Women and DirectWomen. She is also the chair of the Diversity in the Boardroom Taskforce for the Corporate Governance Committee of the ABA’s Business Law Section.
Outside the office, Jaffari serves as an adjunct professor in the Legal Studies Department at Temple University’s Fox School of Business & Management and has been honored as a Law Scholar by the school. She is currently serving as the chair of The School Mindfulness Project, which provides students and teachers in Philadelphia’s underserved schools with greater physical and emotional well-being, paving the way for compassionate classrooms, and creating space for academic success. Jaffari currently serves on the Leadership Council, and has also served as president, of the Philadelphia region’s Support Center for Child Advocates, one of the country’s most successful volunteer models serving abused and neglected children. To date, the organization has trained more than 3,500 attorneys who regularly contribute pro bono assistance and advocacy services — valued at more than $4 million annually — for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia County.
“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to lead a group of impressive lawyers in a practice area for which I am tremendously passionate,” Jaffari said. “There’s an entrepreneurial drive and spirit here, as well as a commitment to diversity, which is important not only to me, but my clients. They will be well served by the energy and enthusiasm that exists here and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Jaffari earned her J.D. at George Washington University; her M.B.A., with honors, at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management; and her B.B.A, summa cum laude, in finance and legal studies at Temple as an undergraduate.