News: Press Release

Offit Kurman Names New Department Chairs and Practice Group Leader

BALTIMORE, MD – (December 14, 2023) – Offit Kurman announces that it has named Principals Sarah M. Sawyer and Umar A. Sheikh as Department Chairs and Principal Deborah H. Petito as National Practice Group Leader for the Labor & Employment Group.

In their roles as Department Chairs, Sawyer and Sheikh each oversee the Practice Group Leaders and revenue generation of multiple practice groups, with Sawyer overseeing the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Immigration, Intellectual Property and Labor and Employment practices and Sheikh overseeing the firm’s Business Law & Transactions, Construction and Mass Toxic Tort, Real Estate, Creditor’s Rights, Reorganization and Bankruptcy and Distressed Real Estate practices. As Practice Group Leader, Petito is tasked with providing leadership, management and strategic development of the Labor and Employment practice group, a group that includes attorneys throughout the firm’s national footprint.

“Sarah and Umar have demonstrated an outstanding level of leadership and insight on how to think strategically. In ascending to the role of Department Chair, they will put their well-developed business management skills to good use, and we are excited to leverage their talent in this role,” said Tim Lynch, President of Offit Kurman.

Sawyer, based in Maryland, focuses her practice on providing clients with general business and employment advice. She has been actively involved in various firm initiatives, including serving on the firm’s DEI committee, contributing to strategic planning and leading the Mentorship Committee. Prior to assuming her role as Department Chair, she served as the Practice Group Leader for the Labor and Employment Group.

In his legal practice and working from the New York office, Sheikh concentrates on real estate, corporate, tax and transactional matters. He is the former Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Real Estate Law and Transactions practice. He is a member of the DEI Steering Committee, serves on the Mentorship Committee and has participated in the firm’s strategic planning.

“Debbie is as experienced as they come, and her expertise is only surpassed by her leadership. She was the natural choice to take over the role of Practice Group Leader from Sarah Sawyer, and we look forward to seeing her thrive,” said Lynch.

With more than 35 years of experience and a leader of the firm’s Los Angeles office, Petito has handled all types of employment counseling and litigation matters and acts as an outside employment counsel to several companies in various industries, providing advice on an ongoing basis.



Offit Kurman, a full-service AmLaw 200 law firm with offices throughout the East Coast and in Southern California, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. Founded in 1987, the firm’s 280+ attorneys counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice. Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration.