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Baker Donelson Expands Global Business and Immigration Teams with Addition of Two Houston Attorneys

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Baker Donelson has grown its Global Business and Immigration teams with the addition of two attorneys in the Firm's Houston office: Wilka V. Toppins and Brandy N. Williams.

Ms. Toppins, who joins the Firm as of counsel, is an international business attorney with more than 30 years of experience counseling clients in areas of corporate immigration, international and cross border transactions, general corporate and commercial matters, and labor and employment law. She represents domestic and international companies in legal interests in the U.S. and has represented hundreds of individual investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Her client base extends across the globe, including Mexico and Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She also supports foreign companies and entrepreneurs seeking inbound legal services as they establish business operations in the U.S.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Toppins worked for several prominent companies, including Exxon Company, where she handled litigation matters in federal and state courts, and SBC Communication Inc., where she focused on business transactions, mergers, and acquisitions. Most recently, she owned the Toppins Law Firm, P.C., which provided corporations, employers, families, and individuals worldwide with legal guidance on the U.S. immigration and citizenship processes.

"Joining a firm of Baker Donelson's scope and stature is a crucial next step in furthering my practice," said Ms. Toppins. "The Firm's significant platform, both in terms of geography and practice areas, will allow me to broaden the services I can offer my clients, while I am also able to bring my experience and background to serve Baker Donelson's global clients."

Ms. Toppins is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and serves as an adjunct professor in the Master of Law Program at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Her numerous recognitions include being named to the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce "Women in the Fast Lane," being named among Texas Executive Women's "Women on the Move," and being recognized among "Houston's Top 25 Women" by Rolling Out Magazine.

Joining as an associate, Ms. Williams counsels domestic and foreign clients on a wide range of business matters related to U.S. immigration laws. She represents businesses in matters concerning immigrant and non-immigrant benefits, including EB-5 petitions, visas such as EB-1 and EB-2, H-1B, L-1A and L-1B, P, R-1, labor certification, national interest waivers, and consular processing. Ms. Williams has experience representing clients in asylum, deportation, and removal proceedings before Immigration Court. She has also handled employment-based and family-based appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Her extensive corporate experience includes serving as a legal and corporate consultant for newly formed corporations and advising on the formation and organization of corporate structures. Ms. Williams is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Brad Chambers, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Houston office, said, "As the global economy continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we anticipate a significant surge in international business activity. Wilka and Brandy join an extremely strong Global Business Team, one that was early to recognize the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains and employees overseas. Wilka and Brandy bring experience that further enhances our global and immigration capabilities and ensures we are poised to help our clients in Houston and beyond achieve success in the post-pandemic economy."

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Johanna Burkett
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