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Nexsen Pruet Welcomes New Hires Across the Carolinas

Addition of six attorneys and advisors boosts firm’s strengths in targeted practice areas

November 28, 2018

Nexsen Pruet, one of the Carolinas’ largest law firms, is pleased to announce the addition of six young professionals – four associate attorneys, one staff attorney and one governmental affairs advisor – across four of the firm’s North and South Carolina offices.

We couldn’t be happier to welcome such a dynamic group of professionals to Nexsen Pruet,” said Peter Santos, Member and Manager of Professionals. “This group brings a unique blend of backgrounds, experiences and awareness to the work they do for the firm’s clients. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious and we are proud to count them among our ranks.


The new hires and their focus areas are:

  • Hamilton B. Barber, based in Charleston, South Carolina, is an Associate with the Health Care group.

Hamilton served in the United States Air Force as an Imagery Analyst before working his way to Imagery Mission Supervisor. He was the lead analyst for 25 Air Force Special Operations Command missions and over 200 intelligence-gathering missions where he inspected and interpreted near real-time images and full motion video collected by manned and unmanned assets. After leaving the Air Force in 2008, he continued providing support for U.S. Special Operations Command objectives until deciding to pursue higher education. Hamilton continues to serve in the United States Air National Guard as a Dari and Persian-Farsi Cryptologic Language Analyst.

Hamilton was a clerk with the firm in 2016 and 2017.

  • Maressa M. Cuenca, an Associate with the Employment & Labor Law group, is based in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Before joining Nexsen Pruet, Maressa gained valuable experience while clerking for the Honorable Robin B. Stilwell in South Carolina's Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court. Maressa assisted the court in criminal and civil trials.

Maressa comes to the firm with diverse experience in various national and international legal contexts including researching domestic violence diversion programs for the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii and researching the Nepalese criminal defense system after the 2015 earthquake while working for the International Legal Foundation in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Before attending law school, Maressa – a native Spanish speaker – worked for six years as a Paralegal, Legal Assistant, Interpreter and intern at a Greenville, S.C. law firm.

  • Julia Gallagher, an Associate with the Construction practice group, is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Before joining Nexsen Pruet, Julia worked at a boutique eminent domain law firm in Austin, Texas while completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas. After graduation, she worked as an immigration assistant at a global law firm in Houston, Texas.

Julia clerked with Nexsen Pruet in 2017.

  • Sam P. Johnson, a Governmental Affairs Advisor, is based in Columbia, South Carolina. 

For more than half a decade, Sam was a member of Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin’s core leadership team. In working closely with Columbia's 36th – and current – mayor, Sam was instrumental in coordinating community engagement efforts, economic development projects and community outreach programs.

Along with the government relations work he does for Nexsen Pruet’s Public Policy & Governmental Affairs clients, Sam is a Project Specialist for Nexsen Pruet’s communications subsidiary, NP Strategy.

Sam clerked with Nexsen Pruet in 2016 and 2017.

  • Brian T. Lewis, a Staff Attorney with the Corporate & Tax practice group, is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Before joining Nexsen Pruet, Brian was in private practice in Charlotte, N.C., concentrating on civil litigation matters. He worked in all phases of litigation including conducting discovery, drafting and responding to pleadings, motions and memoranda, as well as gaining valuable trial experience.

Brian also worked as Legislative Counsel for the Uniform Law Commission (ULC, also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws) in Chicago, Illinois. While at the ULC, he developed and implemented legislative enactment strategy, acted as a lobbyist and worked with state legislators and over 350 state government appointed commissioners from across the country to enact uniform law legislation.

  • Shannon L. Vogan, an Associate with the Health Care practice group, is based in Columbia, South Carolina.

Shannon helps to support physicians and hospitals in a number of matters, building a range of legal strategies to help navigate the increasingly complex field of health care.

Shannon earned her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina Honors College. During law school, Shannon was an Articles Editor for the South Carolina Law Review, was elected Chair of the Honor Council and was a member of the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court.

Shannon clerked with Nexsen Pruet in 2016 and 2017.


Nexsen Pruet is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas, with more than 190 attorneys and offices in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1945, Nexsen Pruet provides a broad range of legal services to the business community and represents companies and other entities in local, state, national and international venues.

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