profile headshot of Ellen M. Hames

Specialties

I am a member attorney at BrownWinick Law Firm and Co-Chair the firm's Corporate M&A practice group. My practice focuses on business transactional law, with an emphasis on M&A transactions, corporate governance, and environmental law. I enjoy the opportunity to assist clients with starting and expanding businesses, including everything from forming businesses, raising capital, acquiring new divisions, to buying and selling businesses.  I also enjoy assisting clients with more of the day-to-day business legal matters, including review and negotiation of contracts and assisting clients with understanding federal, state, or local environmental permitting regulations to ensure compliance. This allows clients to be able to focus on running their business.

My Approach

I give you practical advice and documents to guide you through any matter, whether you're facing negotiation of a contract, forming an entity and preparing appropriate governing documents, selling or buying a business, or assisting with review of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment when purchasing property. I communicate with clients, my colleagues and industry experts to provide sound guidance so that you may make complete and informed decisions.

More About Me

I grew up in Tokyo, Japan, so while I am Midwestern at heart, I view the world with a global mindset.  I graduated in 2008 from the University of Iowa (go Hawks!) with a B.A. in International Studies emphasizing in natural resources and the environment, and a minor in Japanese. In December 2015, I received a J.D., with high honors, from Drake University Law School. While at Drake University Law School I was a member of the Drake Law Review and served as Judicial Extern for Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht.  I was admitted to the Iowa bar in April 2016, and have been selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers since 2019. I have also been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers® - Ones to Watch in the area of Business Organizations, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, and Environmental Law. I currently serve on the Iowa State Bar Association's Environment & Natural Resources Section Council, and am a member of the Polk County Bar Association and Polk County Women Attorneys. 

I also enjoy being involved in my local community. I currently serve as an active member of and am on the Board of the Ankeny Economic Development Corporation, and am a graduate of the Ankeny Leadership Institute Class of 2017-2018.

My Specialties

Business and Corporate

  • Mergers & Acquisition Transactions
  • Growth Capital/Start-Up
  • Corporate Governance
  • Contract Negotiation 

Environmental

  • Federal and State Regulations
  • CERCLA
  • Clean Air Act
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Environmental compliance

The EPA's Rule Withdrawal Impact on Environmental Due Diligence

07-12-2022 Since our last post, “New ASTM Standard for Commercial Real Estate Phase I Environmental Site Assessments”, the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) withdrew its direct final rule to adopt the new ASTM E1527-21 standard for the EPA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” rules. The “All Appropriate Inquiry” rules provide a framework under which a...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Successfully Represent New Fashion Pork and BWT Holdings before the Iowa Supreme Court

06-30-2022 In a major development for the agricultural industry in Iowa, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a nuisance case and reversed a previous Supreme Court decision on constitutional grounds. BrownWinick attorneys James White, Jen Lindberg, and Jim Pray successfully represented New Fashion Pork and BWT Holdings before the Iowa Supreme...
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New ASTM Standard for Commercial Real Estate Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

05-17-2022 On November 1, 2021, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) International released its revised standards for conducting an environmental site assessment of a parcel of commercial real estate. The new standard updates the previous standard released in 2013. Now referred to as ASTM E1527-21, the ASTM standard is widely used to satisfy...
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U.S. Supreme Court to Take on WOTUS Definition

03-7-2022 The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear an appeal on a Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) case in the case of Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A decision from the Supreme Court will hopefully clarify the scope of WOTUS, which, though it is only a definitional gap, has far reaching impacts for what types of waters can be...
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Federal Bank Regulators Issue New Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program Facility

04-10-2020 Type of Action: Interim Final Rule Issued By: Department of Treasury Office of Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”). Date issued: April 9, 2020 To provide a bit of background – on April 7, 2020 the Board authorized Federal Reserve...
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Interim Final Rule Issued for Paycheck Protection Program April 3, 2020

04-3-2020   On April 3, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration issued an Interim Final Rule regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, accessible here: https://content.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/PPP--IFRN%20FINAL.pdf (the “Rules”).  These Rules implement the Paycheck Protection Program sections (sections 1102 and 1106) of the Coronavirus Aid,...
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Shareholder Meetings Amidst COVID-19

03-27-2020   UPDATE: On March 31, 2020, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation allowing physical meetings of shareholders, policyholders, members, etc. to be held by means of remote communication to the extent that the attendees are provided a reasonable opportunity to participate, communicate, read or hear the proceedings, and vote on matters...
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Do I Need to Buy a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Before I Buy Real Property?

11-22-2019 Purchasing contaminated real property can potentially bring significant liability upon a buyer. Conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (a “Phase I”) early in the due diligence process can provide a purchaser with a defense to such liability if done right. A Phase I is a relatively minor upfront cost to avoid potentially costly issues...
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Regulatory Trim - The Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth

05-3-2017 On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (the “Executive Order”).  This Executive Order emphasizes the nation’s interest in promoting clean energy development and in ensuring safe, affordable, and clean electricity that is able to be produced from coal, natural...
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BrownWinick Promotes Four Attorneys to Members

01-3-2022   BrownWinick recently admitted four attorneys as members. We would like to congratulate Ellen Hames, James White, Katie McKain, and Jennifer Lindberg on this achievement. Admission as members speaks to the hard work, skills and character of these individuals.” said Chris Sackett, Managing Member at BrownWinick. “Each of these attorneys brings a...
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BrownWinick Law Firm Attorneys Featured in 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

08-20-2021 BrownWinick is excited to announce the following attorneys were selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers directory for 2021. Seven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown - Tax Michael Dee – Business Litigation Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate James...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Featured in 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

07-11-2019 Eleven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown – Tax Elizabeth Coonan – Employment and Labor Michael Dee – Business Litigation Alice Helle – Employee Benefits Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate Ann Holden Kendell – Employment and Labor James Pray – Environmental Brian...
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Assistant

Jill Hoover

515-242-2458

Undergraduate

University of Iowa

B.A., International Studies, 2008

Legal

Drake University Law School

J.D., with high honors, 2015

Admitted

Iowa, 2016

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section Council Member
  • American Bar Association Member; Sections on: Business Law; Environment, Energy and Resources; Young Lawyers Division
  • Polk County Women Attorneys Member
  • Ankeny Leadership Institute Class of 2017-2018 (graduate)
  • Ankeny Economic Development Corporation  Board Member