Four Snell & Wilmer Partners Named In AzBusiness Magazine's Top 100 Lawyers Publication


PHOENIX – Snell & Wilmer is pleased to announce that four partners were selected for inclusion in AzBusiness Magazine’s annual “Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona” list for 2024. As shared by the publication, recognized individuals were selected from a pool of the state’s most talented and successful attorneys. Selections were made based on each lawyer’s professional success, as well as the impact on their firm, and on the communities they serve. The selected partners include: 

Michael M. Donahey – Donahey is the managing partner of the firm’s Phoenix office and is a senior corporate and securities partner with over 30 years of legal and business experience. His practice is concentrated in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, SEC reporting and compliance, condemnation, corporate governance, and venture capital. He is experienced with representing industries including water and wastewater utilities, homebuilding and construction, transportation, defense, high technology products and services, medical and dental products, consumer products, life insurance, education services, software, and food products. Donahey is widely and regularly recognized as a leading attorney by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business®, Arizona Finest Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America®, for which he has earned the distinction of Phoenix Lawyer of the Year in several categories. 

James P. Melendres – Melendres is one of the practice group leaders for the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice firm-wide and chairs the Investigations, Government Enforcement and White Collar Protection Practice as well as the Cybersecurity, Data Protection, and Privacy practice. He regularly conducts internal investigations for companies, boards, and non-profit organizations. Melendres also advises companies on responding to sophisticated cyber-attacks and data breaches. He has been named a National Law Journal General Litigation Trailblazer, an American Bar Foundation Fellow, and one of The Best Lawyers in America® for White Collar Criminal Defense®. Melendres appeared on CBS, CNBC and MSNBC and been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, among other publications.

Patricia Lee Refo – Refo is the former President of the American Bar Association and is recognized nationally and internationally in complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, with extensive experience in professional malpractice defense, class actions, trade secret litigation, financial institutions litigation and commercial and business torts. The National Law Journal named her one of 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America. She is a sought after speaker and author on litigation, civil procedure and evidence, access to justice, and innovations in the legal system.  She was a member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence by appointment of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and  was a member of the Advisory Committee on the Arizona Rules of Evidence. She serves on the Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation.  A graduate of the University of Michigan with high honors and high distinction and a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, she was awarded the Medal of Honor by the World Jurist Association, the Walter E. Craig Award by the Arizona Bar Foundation, the Jury System Impact Award by the ABA, the President’s Award by the State Bar of Arizona, and is a member of the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame.

Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier – McNeil Staudenmaier is both nationally and internationally recognized in the areas of Native American Law, Gaming Law, and Business Litigation. She represents tribes, tribal entities, and businesses that engage in economic development ventures and other commercial transactions with Native Americans. She is the Secretary of the ABA Business Law Section (ascending to Chair in 2026) and Co-Chair of the Business Law Today Editorial Board. She is a past recipient of the Business Law Section’s prestigious Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award, which is presented annually to a woman who has cut through barriers to attain high accomplishment in business law. She was recognized among The Top 25 Attorneys of Arizona by Attorney Intel and Top 10 Most Influential Native American Lawyers in Arizona. McNeil Staudenmaier is an inductee to the Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame; named to the inaugural class of Arizona Capitol Times’ Women Achievers of Arizona; honored as a Finalist for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s ATHENA Awards; and recipient of the University of Iowa College of Law’s Alumni Service Award.

About Snell & Wilmer
Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm with more than 500 attorneys practicing in 16 locations throughout the United States and in Mexico, including Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; Boise, Idaho; Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Portland, Oregon; Dallas, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Seattle, Washington; and Los Cabos, Mexico. The firm represents clients ranging from large, publicly traded corporations to small businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit