West Coast Leadership



Sonya Kwon



Sonya Kwon is a Director in Navigant Consulting’s Disputes and Investigations practice. In this capacity, she manages the Complex Data and Statistics group that specializes in the application of financial, statistical, economic, and complex data intensive analyses to a variety of legal and regulatory issues. The group also provides data collection, database design and development, and data mining services.  Sonya has led many project teams on some of the largest class action disputes through various phases of litigation. This includes extensive experience in the cost-effective and total quality management of large dataset capture and analysis for Fortune 100 companies. Sonya pioneered the development of data quality assessment techniques and developed numerous relational database design, data quality management, economic modeling and computer programming courses for fellow employees and clients. She has also served as a named expert on various complex litigation matters.


Prior to joining Navigant Consulting, Sonya worked with other management consulting firms, including Deloitte & Touche and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s in business administration from University of California, Los Angeles. She is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles.



Eve Wagner



Eve Wagner is a founding partner of Sauer & Wagner LLP, which was established in 1997. For more than 20 years, Eve has been engaged in the practice of law in Los Angeles as a civil litigation attorney. She has extensive experience in federal and state courts and has handled numerous matters in alternative dispute resolution forums, including arbitrations and mediations. Eve’s mediation style emphasizes common sense, communication skills and the ability to solve difficult problems with practical solutions. She provides both private mediation and mediation services through the Los Angeles Superior Court’s ADR program. She has also served as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum, NAM (National Arbitration & Mediation) and the Los Angeles Superior Court.


Eve has significant experience in all facets of civil litigation. She has handled a broad range of employment litigation matters, including sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, defamation, wage and hour and other related claims. Her intellectual property/entertainment litigation experience has involved a broad range of matters, including claims for copyright and trademark infringement, right of publicity violations, unfair competition, trade libel, defamation, and other related claims which frequently arise in the music and motion picture industries, as well as the toy and clothing industries.  


Prior to forming Sauer & Wagner LLP, Eve held the position of equity partner of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. She also served as Law Clerk to the Hon. William P. Gray, U.S. District Court. Eve is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles Bar County Association. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 1986 after graduating with a doctorate degree in law from the University of Southern California.



Susan Page White, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


Susan Page White is a litigation partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP in Los Angeles, where she specializes in representing policyholders in complex insurance coverage matters, including bad faith matters.  Her clients span a range of industries including energy, telecommunications, software and internet technology, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.  She handles disputes on behalf of her clients in connection with all types of insurance coverage, including directors and officers liabilities; employment discrimination, and harassment claims; fiduciary and employee benefit liabilities; errors and omissions claims; personal and advertising liabilities; crime and fidelity losses; entertainment industry liabilities; products liability; and environmental and pollution disputes. 


She also provides advice to senior management and executives on how to mitigate risks and maximize insurance protections and recoveries with respect to policy procurement, negotiations, reviews, and renewals.  Ms. White has experience handling and resolving a wide range of insurance coverage matters for her clients in numerous jurisdictions through mediation, arbitration and litigation.  Specializing in insurance recovery since 1990, she has been at the forefront of developments in insurance coverage.  She also has been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in the area of Insurance Coverage for 2011.



Ronie Schmelz 


Ronie Schmelz represents clients in broad-based commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on consumer class action defense.  She also regularly counsels clients on litigation-avoidance strategies and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, including regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and other regulatory agencies; California Proposition 65; and advertising, labeling, and claim substantiation.  Ronie has deep industry knowledge of and particular expertise in representing domestic and international companies in the cosmetics, personal care, and consumer product industries.  Ronie regularly defends consumer product companies in litigation asserting false advertising, unfair competition, and consumer protection claims, including claims asserted under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws. She also represents companies in inquiries and investigations brought by local, state, and federal governmental agencies.  In addition to her general commercial litigation practice, Ronie has extensive experience representing clients in insurance coverage matters, as well as reinsurers and cedents in reinsurance disputes.  Ronie is active in several trade and professional organizations serving the personal care product and insurance industries, and is regularly sought out to speak at industry conferences.  She spent the first 25 years of her career practicing in the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP, where she represented clients in complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions, real estate, health care, re/insurance disputes, and governmental investigations. 



Gail Zirkelbach 


Gail Zirkelbach is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Government Contracts Group and resident in the Los Angeles office. She also serves as a member of the firm's Government Contracts Group Steering Committee. Gail's practice focuses on internal investigations, defense of fraud actions, and counseling aerospace and technology companies and operators of DOE laboratories in all government contracts and compliance areas at the Federal, State, and Local levels.  A leading government contracts attorney for more than 20 years, Gail concentrates her work on the defense of qui tam actions under the False Claims Act, conducting internal investigations, in the U.S. and abroad, and assisting clients with the development and implementation of compliance programs. She litigates at both the federal and state levels and at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her knowledge of both government contracts law and litigation strategy and technique enable her to conduct investigations and litigation effectively and efficiently. She has negotiated successful settlements involving complex legal issues with both governmental and private entities. Gail also assists clients with defective pricing and termination cases and bid protests, and counsels clients on intellectual property, cost accounting, cybersecurity, export, and compliance issues.



Niloo Rezai

Niloo Rezai is Senior Vice President at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) based in Culver City.  Her responsibilities span from operational to strategic. She is responsible for SPE’s Global Key Financials systems supported by teams in Culver City, Poland and India, providing support and services to over 3000 users across all lines of business. This includes operations of center of excellence for SAP, Ariba, Trintech, Oversight and Concur systems.


Niloo also leads SPE’s Finance Optimization team implementing Finance and Procurement Transformation programs throughout SPE. Amongst her key initiatives were implementations of SPEs Global Shared services in Poland and the Philippines, Implementation of Enterprise Consolidation and Planning, Treasury Cash Management, Outsourcing International payroll, Rollout of SPE’s Global Anti Bribery program and implementation of SPE’s Continuous Improvement programs in our shared service centers. 



Jessica Thomas 


Jessica Thomas is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s Los Angeles office.  She focuses her practice on complex litigation, including employment, healthcare-related cases, breach of contract cases, and class action lawsuits. Jessica has represented clients in Federal Court, California State Court, and administrative proceedings in a wide range of matters, including: acting as lead trial counsel in a breach contract matter, and successfully obtaining damages in Los Angeles Superior Court; managing various employment-related matters, including developing case strategies for opposing class certification in a wage and hour action with $80 million of potential exposure; counseling employers on a wide variety of issues, including employee contracts, non-compete clauses, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, compliance with California wage and hour statutes, employee discipline, investigations, and workplace harassment prevention; in a purported class action alleging various state law statutory violations, with a putative class of over 10,000, defeating the matter in its entirety prior to class certification.



Wendy Weiss


Wendy Weiss is a Managing Director in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Disputes, Compliance and Investigations practice.  Wendy is the former Chief of the Civil Fraud Section for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. She brings to Navigant 27 years of Department of Justice experience, 19 of which were primarily devoted to the civil prosecution of healthcare fraud and False Claims Act enforcement. Wendy's primary focus is assisting and strategizing with law firms and their healthcare industry clients in performing internal investigations in response to federal, state, and regulatory investigations. She builds and manages teams of experts to address allegations raised in False Claims Act, qui tam, healthcare, and white collar actions.