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Baker Donelson Expands Insurance Regulatory Practice with Addition of Lee Harrell and Melissa Hull

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(Jackson, MS/March 12, 2009) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, is pleased to announce that Lee Harrell and Melissa L. Hull have joined the Firm, expanding Baker Donelson's Insurance Regulatory Group. Mr. Harrell, who joins as of counsel, is based in the Firm’s Jackson office. Ms. Hull, also of counsel, is located in the Firm's Nashville office.

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Harrell worked for 16 years with the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID), serving as Deputy Commissioner and Special Counsel and overseeing all departmental legal, regulatory and administrative matters. He managed the Department’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the prosecution of Martin Frankel in one of the largest insurance company frauds ever discovered. Mr. Harrell earned his J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law and holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a member of the International Association of Insurance Receivers.

Before joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Hull was counsel for the South Central Region at Nationwide, where she was responsible for overseeing the region's governmental, legislative and legal affairs. Prior to that, Ms. Hull was Assistant Director, Marketing Regulation and Licensing, Ohio Department of Insurance, where her responsibilities included all aspects of market analysis, market conduct and licensing. Ms. Hull earned her J.D. from Capital University Law School. She also holds an M.P.A. from The Ohio State University and a B.A. from the University of Cincinnati. A member of the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals and the Insurance Regulatory Examiners Society, she previously served on the boards of both the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association.

Both Mr. Harrell and Ms. Hull have served on numerous committees at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), including the Anti-Fraud Task Force, the NAIC Market Conduct Annual Statement Working Group and the Market Analysis Working Group.

"Baker Donelson is delighted to add Lee and Melissa to our team," said Alan Moore, leader of the Firm's Insurance Regulatory Group. "Both are very knowledgeable about all lines of insurance and the laws and processes by which the insurance industry is regulated and operates. Lee and Melissa bring extraordinary experience and a unique perspective to our Group."

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