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    April 14, 2008  


Join us for lunch with three of America's top General Counsels: Freddie Mac's Bob Bostrom, the Washington Post's Veronica Dillon, and American Capital Strategies' Sam Flax (largest publicly-held private equity firm in the US; Sam and his team were named WMACCA's law department of the year).  Wed, May 28, at Il Mulino in DC. Sign up here. Thanks to great sponsor Studley.


On Saturday night, the just-opened Newseum showed off its $100 million view of Pennsylvania Avenue for a smartly dressed throng from Nixon Peabody, the firm that represented the Freedom Forum on its Penn Quarter real-estate splurge back in 2000. Eight years and one museum later, with what now seems like a bargain basement price (people think the land’s appreciated about three fold), everyone seemed in a mood to celebrate.


Partner Ed Rogers worked the deal for Freedom Forum CEO Charles Overby, right. The $100M price tag was just for the land (the former site of DC’s Department of Employment Services), which Ed tells us included $25 million for an affordable housing trust fund, and a promise to maintain nighttime hours, in order to draw crowds off the Mall and into Penn Quarter. The Newseum development now includes 135 apartments and of course celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s first foray into DC, “The Source,” which was named with journalistic lingo by one of Charles’ museum colleagues who also came originally from Gannett.


Nixon Peabody’s incoming Chairman, Dick Langan, made the trip down from NY. He plays the thorn between Studley’s Lois Zambo and real estate practice head Tina Wilcox. Dick let us in on some of his master plans: adding “critical mass” in Washington; focusing on work in the alternative energy area; and plowing ahead in Shanghai. (The firm announced the opening of its China office just last month.) Big into the green movement, Nixon Peabody assured us that 95% of the food on offer at its Newseum party was organic. We tried everything twice just to be sure.


DC Managing Partner Laurin Mills (right) with affordable housing guru Monica Sussman and Office Administrator Richard Gibson. Monica was just back from a trip to New Orleans, where she spoke on HUD issues and toured the 9th Ward. (Next stop Phoenix, for spas and golfing.) Laurin tells us the firm’s connection to the Newseum only makes sense given its long representation of Gannett; the firm handled the journalism giant’s IPO way back in ‘67. That was in the days you received your news on unwieldy sheets of something called “paper.”


Ahh, yes, here we are in the Official Bisnow Wing of the Newseum. (Strangely, it is not labeled as such, although we’ve seen that Curb Your Enthusiasm episode that explains why “anonymous” is so much better anyway.) Here we found fellow cutting-edge journo Lauren Vance—a “Multimedia Producer” for WUSA9— between next-generation lawyers Adam Roth and Arian June, now clerking for District of D.C. Judge Royce Lamberth.  (“Soon-to-be-Chief Judge Lamberth,” Arian appended.) The future of news and the future of law, all in one picture.

John Ford is Bisnow's Managing Editor. Story tips to: john@bisnow.com.

Andrews Kurth
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