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    August 26, 2008  
A GC's New Field;
Gibson Dunn;
Dickstein Shapiro

Come network with three of the region's top General Counsels at our next Bisnow Lunch & Schmooze: Blackboard GC Matt Small, XM Radio GC Joe Titlebaum, and Corporate Executive Board GC Pamela Auerbach. Tues., Sept 16, Il Mulino. Sign up!


Chantilly-based government IT star Apptis installed a new GC last week, in the form of Paul Mamalian, formerly GC at Choice Hotels. We tracked him down yesterday to find out how a GC can go so effortlessly from hotels to tech.


At Choice Hotels, Paul oversaw legal operations for the franchisor's 5,500 hotels worldwide, including Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn brands (and presumably racked up millions of Choice Privileges points). The new gig brings him back to his roots in IT, where he cut his teeth doing financing and transactional work for tech firms while at Reed Smith and Pillsbury. Apptis hasn't had in-house legal since 2007, so Paul will be rebuilding the department. The company did nearly $800 million in revenue last year; it's held by private equity (NY's New Mountain Capital).


The appointment caps an idyllic-sounding summer for Paul. After stepping down from Choice, he hit the Outer Banks with his wife and kids, and only had to check his Blackberry "for messages from recruiters." Back to reality, he'll help Apptis grow its work for agencies like DHS, FAA and FDIC, and develop new offerings, like the "cloud computing" service it just rolled out for Federal agencies. Paul says the service lets government buy computing capacity from companies with excess space.

Stephanie at Summer Camp

We couldn't resist this pic of Gibson Dunn's former DC co-managing partner Stephanie Tsacoumis and a group of summer associates. (OK, they're DC-area Girl Scouts.) They all spent a week at Aquia Creek in Virginia at "Camp CEO," which connects girls with CEOs and business leaders, and, as we see here, lets them gussy up their mentors for a fashion competition. The camp drew 40 Girl Scouts and nearly as many execs, also including Betsy Lewis, a labor and employment specialist with Cooley. This year, Gibson helped the Girl Scouts with a national realignment project, streamlining 312 local councils to 109. The firm did it pro bono, but maybe Stephanie got a "s'more" or two out of the deal.

Dickstein DJ

Lew Paper of Dickstein Shapiro is headed out to Austin next month for the 18th installment of a program he puts on at the National Association of Broadcasters' annual radio conference. It started back in '91, when Lew thought recession-battling industry types might want to hear about the economic outlook for radio stations. The mood was gloomy, but the CEO of a tiny outfit called Clear Channel said it was a buying opportunity. Back then, Lew's "Broadcast Financing" discussion was a small affair set up in a hotel near the conference. Now he packs in standing-room-only crowds of 400 and is a formal part of the NAB show, typically the kick-off session.


Lew says the annual event has given Dickstein a high profile for transactional work in the radio industry. Back in March he represented lender Wachovia in Clear Channel's $1.1 billion sale of 56 TV stations to Newport Television, a private equity firm. Lew was too diplomatic to tell us his favorite radio station, but admits to favoring rock and country—a perfect combo for a trip to Austin.

Special Counsel
Goulston & Storrs
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Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email