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January 25, 2023 News

Berger Montague Kicks Off 2023 By Appointing Three New Shareholders: William Ellerbe, Hans Lodge, and Michaela Wallin

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National plaintiffs’ litigation firm announces elite 2023 shareholder class encompassing multiple practice areas.

Berger Montague, the national plaintiffs’ law firm, is proud to welcome three new shareholder attorneys to its ranks: William Ellerbe, Hans Lodge, and Michaela Wallin.

To earn a shareholder position, Berger Montague lawyers must demonstrate consistent records of excellence and proven dedication to clients and the firm at large. That is just what each of Berger Montague’s newest shareholders has shown in their years with the firm. The new shareholders represent a broad array of practice areas and skills, and Berger Montague is pleased that the promotions, all from within, reflect the firm’s internal mentoring processes and dedication to creating opportunities for all of its lawyers.

William H. Ellerbe practices in the firm’s Whistleblower, Qui Tam & False Claims Act department. He represents whistleblowers throughout the country who have uncovered fraud against federal and state governments, and has helped recover tens of millions of dollars from fraudsters, including one of the largest recoveries ever against a public entity for a claim brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. He also devotes significant time to representing clients in the firm’s commercial litigation practice. Prior to joining Berger Montague, Mr. Ellerbe clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and worked as a white collar and commercial litigation associate at two large corporate defense firms. Mr. Ellerbe is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Michigan Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude. “I am thrilled to become a shareholder at Berger Montague and look forward to continuing to serve the brave clients that we represent in important litigation at this firm for years to come,” shared Mr. Ellerbe.

Hans Lodge has dedicated his career to representing clients in the firm’s Consumer Protection and Credit Reporting and Background Checks departments. He represents individuals nationwide who have been denied credit, employment, or housing because of inaccurate credit reports, employment background check reports, or tenant screening reports. Mr. Lodge brings claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) for victims of inaccurate credit reporting against consumer reporting agencies including the national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Most of Mr. Lodge’s credit reporting clients have either been inaccurately reported as deceased and without a credit score or had personal identification information and credit accounts that do not belong to them mixed into their credit reports, causing significant harm to their credit scores, and preventing them from obtaining credit for major life purchases, such as a car or home. Mr. Lodge also brings claims for victims of inaccurate employment background check reports and tenant screening reports. Mr. Lodge has consistently been recognized for his dedicated and skilled work on behalf of victims of inaccurate credit reporting and background checks, having been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in each year from 2018 through 2021, and having obtained some of the largest individual FCRA settlements in history. Mr. Lodge is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and Marquette University Law School. “I am honored and privileged to be promoted to shareholder at Berger Montague and to join such an esteemed group of talented and skilled attorneys,” Mr. Lodge stated. “I look forward to continuing to advocate for the rights of consumers nationwide who fall victim to inaccurate background checks and credit reporting.”

Michaela Wallin practices in the firm’s Antitrust and Employment Law departments. She litigates complex cases on behalf of consumers and workers against some of the largest and most powerful companies in the country. Ms. Wallin has helped achieve notable recoveries in class actions alleging anticompetitive conduct in a variety of industries, including conspiracies to suppress workers’ wages, to fix the price of commodities, and to keep less expensive generic pharmaceuticals off the market. She also prosecutes wage-and-hour and unpaid overtime violations arising under federal and state law. Ms. Wallin additionally has engaged in high-stakes pro bono litigation such as a successful case against the I.R.S. and U.S. Treasury Department on behalf of individuals who did not receive coronavirus relief payments for their dependent children. Her work has earned her recognition among her peers, including being named one of Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch in America for 2023.” Ms. Wallin is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where she was phi beta kappa and graduated magna cum laude, and of Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. “I am honored to join the team of shareholders at Berger Montague and take on responsibilities as a leader on behalf of the firm in my new role,” shared Ms. Wallin.

Mr. Ellerbe, Mr. Lodge, and Ms. Wallin join an elite group of Berger Montague shareholders, and the firm is proud to welcome them to this role. With these additions, the firm is well-positioned to continue its legacy of successfully resolving complex, consequential litigation on behalf of consumers, workers, shareholders, businesses, governmental entities, and taxpayers.

“We are thrilled that Will, Hans, and Michaela are becoming part of a group of some of the smartest, most aggressive, and skilled litigators any firm has ever assembled,” remarked Berger Montague’s Chairman, Eric L. Cramer. “We know they will assist the firm for decades to come and we look forward to watching them accomplish great things. Berger Montague is focused on continuing its growth and attracting, retaining, and promoting the most talented lawyers in the country. We have done everything we can to make the firm the most attractive for lawyers looking for a change, including those who have dreamed of what it would be like to work at a plaintiff-side firm. If you are a thoughtful, successful, and entrepreneurial attorney who thrives on seeking justice, then we strongly encourage you to send us a resume, and we will consider it regardless of location. If you can add value to the firm, work well in teams, and be entrepreneurial, especially through creative and diligent advocacy on behalf of our clients, then we want you,” added Mr. Cramer.

Berger Montague PC is a national law firm headquartered in Philadelphia with additional offices in Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The firm litigates complex civil cases and class actions in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Berger Montague has played lead roles in major cases for over 53 years and has recovered more than $36 billion for its clients and the classes they have represented.


Caroline Cornell

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Melania Stepanenko

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