DALLAS, TX—Bell Nunnally Partner R. Heath Cheek has been named a lawyer “On the Rise” and Partner Tammy S. Wood a “Best Mentor” by Texas Lawyer as part of its “Texas Legal Awards 2020” (TXLA). The entire roster of honorees, numbering fewer than 75 across the state of Texas, were highlighted at a virtual ceremony on September 17.
TXLA features “attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Texas.” Cheek is one of 30 attorneys under the age of 40 selected to the “On the Rise” list on the basis of “wield[ing] influence in their practice areas in Texas and beyond.”
Wood is one of five selected for the “Best Mentor” award, recognizing lawyers who have helped less-experienced colleagues become better lawyers.
Cheek’s practice focuses on commercial litigation. He represents everyone from Fortune 500 companies, startup businesses and high-net-worth individuals, in complex and high-stakes litigation involving securities, real estate, labor and employment, intellectual property and trade secrets, high-net-worth trusts and estates, internal investigations and general commercial litigation. Cases have involved amounts in controversy ranging up to $1.2 billion.
Recently named Chairman of the firm’s Marketing and Business Development Committee, Cheek has helped position Bell Nunnally as one of the rare firms that is growing its business in a time of marked decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic – a development central to his “On the Rise” nomination.
Wood, Bell Nunnally’s Litigation Chair, serves clients across a diverse range of industries – including telecommunications, manufacturing, insurance, health care, energy, SaaS, advertising, retail, food service, security services, trucking, construction, real estate and high technology. These clients rely on Wood to be their advocate in litigation, arbitrations and other business-critical matters.
As detailed in her nomination, Wood’s life story includes near homelessness, parental abandonment and financial struggles. Her parents, who were born in Puerto Rico and later moved to Texas, separated while she was in high school, leaving her reliant on various family members across the area for basic necessities, such as housing.
In 1986, Wood was interviewed by the board members, including Carolyn Clark, of Educational Opportunities (EdOp) – a Dallas-based volunteer organization dedicated to assisting youth who have the academic ability but not the financial means to attend college.