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Susan A. Apel

Partner
+1.412.355.8903
Fax +1.412.355.6501
Ms. Apel, a partner at the firm’s Pittsburgh office, is a practical and creative transactional and commercial lawyer. She advises clients with respect to mergers & acquisitions, domestic and international joint ventures, and commercial and corporate governance matters.

Her experience is across a wide array of industries. She has worked for a variety of private and public clients, from start ups to large multinational corporations, but with an emphasis on global middle market enterprises.

Ms. Apel left the firm in 2005 for approximately nine years to serve as the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Ellwood Group, Inc. The nine years that Ms. Apel spent leading a legal department broadened her legal knowledge and abilities but, more importantly, made her into a more pragmatic, problem-solving attorney. She encourages and assists clients to weigh the costs and benefits of legal and commercial risk taking. The best path forward is not always the “risk free” one. Her approach is to never lose sight of the business motives and concerns underlying legal matters.

Professional Background

From 2005 - August 2014, Ms. Apel served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to Ellwood Group, Inc., a large privately held company that is a global leader in the manufacture of steel ingots and open and closed die forgings. In this position, Ms. Apel was responsible for a wide array of legal matters, most notably acquisition-related activities, commercial matters, credit agreements, real estate, intellectual property, litigation and corporate governance matters. Ms. Apel also served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Ellwood Group beginning in 2008. She has extensive knowledge of the forging and steel industry and about legal issues particular to the industry.

Prior to and following her time at Ellwood Group, Ms. Apel has been a partner in the Pittsburgh office of K&L Gates. She focuses her practice on transactional work, including mergers & acquisitions, international and domestic joint ventures, financings, corporate governance and bankruptcy/restructurings. In particular, with respect to the latter, she works with clients seeking to acquire troubled businesses out of bankruptcy.

After law school, Ms. Apel clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dimmick in federal district court in Seattle, WA, and spent several years working for a large Washington, D.C. law firm before returning to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to join K&L Gates.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • 2014 President of the Western PA Chapter of the American Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) – Board member, 2008 August 2014 -- also served as past Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Programs, and President Elect of ACC
  • Board of Directors, Bridgeway Capital (Pittsburgh PA); also member of Loan Committee, Succession Planning Committee, and Executive Committee (Treasurer) – 2009 to present. Bridgeway Capital is a non-profit certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to ignite growth to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all
  • Board of Directors, Ellwood Group, Inc. (Ellwood City, PA); also a member of the Executive Committee of the Board -- 2008 - August 2014
  • Board of Directors and legal advisor, Allegheny Youth Development – 2000 - 2005 (a non-profit that helps at-risk boys through after-school programs)
  • Kenyon College Parent’s Advisory Council 2014 - 2016 term
  • Law Council member, Manufacturer’s Alliance (MAPI) – 2006 to August 2014
  • Official, Allegheny Mountain Swimming – licensed 2011 (stroke and turn judge)
  • Fox Chapel Crew Club (High School) – Board Secretary
  • American Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, including the Women in the Law division

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Role of the Board of Directors in Evaluating and Managing Risk,” NAEM (National Association for Environmental Management) conference, Austin, Texas, October 23, 2014
  • “Who’s on First? Managing and Surviving Diligence in a Complex Deal,” MAPI Law Council Meeting, October 2014
  • ACBA Business Development Summit for Women Attorneys, August 2014
  • Ms. Apel has made regular presentations to boards of directors and client officers and employees on a wide range of topics such as proposed acquisitions, commercial matters, compliance with anti-bribery laws, intellectual property, antitrust and employment-law related matters