Pro Bono Client Granted Asylum after Initial Filing by McAndrews Team


McAndrews, Held & Malloy announced today that the U.S. Asylum Office and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has granted asylum to one of the firm’s pro bono clients. The client was referred to McAndrews by the National Immigrant Justice Center, with which the firm has an established pro bono relationship.

In November 2014, McAndrews filed a request for asylum with the U.S. Asylum Office on behalf of pro bono client, “S.” In her home country, S. was regularly beaten by family members and threatened with death due to her purported failure to comply with her country’s social norms. After being raped by a family member and refusing an arranged marriage, S. was fearful that she would be killed for “dishonoring” her family. The police in her home country would not protect her from the family members, and returned her to them when she attempted to report the physical abuse. At one point, S. was even jailed as a punishment for reporting abuse. Fearing for her life, S. eventually escaped from her family and, after spending months in hiding, fled to the United States to seek legal assistance.

The McAndrews pro bono team, led by Sandra Frantzen and including attorneys Jesse Dyer and Kate Ramlose, filed for asylum for S. The asylum claim was based on S. belonging to the group of women allegedly disobeying repressive or moral social norms, consequently facing a high risk of honor killing. After months of waiting and a lengthy vetting process, the U.S. Asylum Office granted S.’s asylum request in August 2016.

At McAndrews, Ms. Frantzen practices a broad range of intellectual property law focusing on patent, trademark and copyright litigation, and client counseling within the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology and chemical industries. She has served as lead trial counsel for clients at both start-up and Fortune 500 companies, with cases ranging from small to those involving damages in the hundreds of millions. Ms. Frantzen currently serves as the Vice President of the Arab American Bar Association of Illinois, and has been recognized in the Law Bulletin’s list of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40.”

Mr. Dyer focuses on patent and trademark litigation from both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s perspective. He has also provided extensive pro-bono legal assistance to women seeking asylum in the United States through the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Ms. Ramlose primarily practices intellectual property litigation and transactions, with experience in pre-suit investigation and assessment, motion practice and discovery, as well as due diligence. She currently serves as a member of the Associate Steering Committee for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law.

McAndrews attorneys from each of the firm’s practice areas regularly participate in pro bono matters, both large and small. The firm is committed to providing pro bono services to people in need in the community.

About McAndrews, Held & Malloy

McAndrews, Held & Malloy boasts one of the most highly regarded teams of intellectual property attorneys, agents and technology specialists in the United States. Founded in 1988, the firm offers deep bench strength in matters relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition. McAndrews attorneys have underlying scientific-based degrees and extensive prior experience in technology and IP-focused professions, and they routinely handle cases that involve innovative and cutting-edge technologies in specialized industries. While best known for their record of litigation successes, the firm also offers services in IP procurement, patent interferences, trademark oppositions and cancellations, IP/technology opinions and investigations, global portfolio management, development and licensing, M&A support, due diligence, design rights and joint ventures. Clients include multi-national corporations, Fortune 500 companies, startups and world-renowned universities. For more information, visit