Emily Costin, partner in Alston & Bird’s Compensation, Benefits & ERISA Litigation Group, and Russell Hilton, partner in the firm’s Health Care Group, have been named 2018 “Rising Stars” by Law360. The annual award honors top legal talent under the age of 40.
In honoring Costin, Law360 noted her success in defending corporate clients in complex employee benefits litigation, including being part of an Alston & Bird team that helped the ABA Players’ Retirement Plan prevail against claims by retired basketball player Artis Gilmore that he is owed seven years' worth of pension benefits related to his time in the National Basketball Association. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Klindt granted the defendants summary judgment in the case in 2017, ruling in favor of the plan administrators’ 2014 decision that denied Gilmore’s claim for the additional benefits.
Hilton was recognized for his extensive corporate work in the health care industry, where he has overseen numerous large-scale hospital transactions throughout his career, including a $710 million deal earlier this year that merged the nonprofit Memorial Health, based in Savannah, GA, with HCA Healthcare. He was also part of an Alston & Bird team representing Tenet Healthcare Corporation in its divestiture of 14 hospitals in five transactions totaling more than $1 billion over the past few years.
Costin and Hilton were selected from among more than 1,200 nominations by Law360’s editorial staff based on their career accomplishments and respective practice areas.