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    November 25, 2008  
Bryan Cave;
DuPont GC;
Wiley Rein


Consolidation marches on in the legal market: The latest merger announcement comes from Bryan Cave, taking on more than 200 lawyers from Powell Goldstein and boosting its headcount in DC from 70 to 115 (lobbying pros included). We talked to one of the architects of the deal, DC Managing Partner Rodney Page.


Actually, "construction worker" might be a better metaphor for Rodney's role than "architect," as you see from the Bryan Cave hard hat. He got it while touring the NY office, but keeps it around to remind him that as head of the firm-wide strategic management team (and, hence, point man on mergers) his job is to "build the firm." Rodney tells us that conversations started in July, when Bryan Cave had preliminary talks going with several firms. The rest fizzled naturally, but Powell Goldstein made a fit, giving Bryan Cave a desired presence in the southeast—new offices in Atlanta (150 lawyers) and Charlotte (10)—and Dallas (14), where Bryan Cave had been actively hunting for a way in.


In DC, the now 1200-attorney firm adds two major groups: a healthcare practice and a group of 12 in the burgeoning field of maximizing tax credits (for affordable housing and alternative energy providers). Before the partnership vote in October (done electronically), Rodney and Bryan Cave Chairman Don Lents from the St. Louis office did a roadshow Q&A session for nine domestic offices. The official date of the merger is January 1, leaving time to combine email and accounting, and keeping finances separate until sometime '09. Of course, that doesn't mean they have to wait to drink eggnog together—the firms are having a joint holiday party in the District.

DuPont GC to Dickstein

Stacey Mobley started at DuPont as its first African American attorney and left 36 years later as General Counsel to a 200-lawyer legal department. That was earlier this year, when he says his plans for early retirement didn't go far beyond the golf course. But Bernie Nash of Dickstein Shapiro wasn't buying it—over a meal, he told Stacey he'd get bored in a couple of weeks, and it wasn't long before the two were talking about making room for Stacey to hang his hat at Dickstein. He joined earlier this month as senior counsel, advising clients on high-level strategy and expecting to work most closely with Bernie's State Attorneys General practice.


Can you tell they're old friends? The two met on the Hill, while Stacey was in DuPont's Federal Affairs office and Bernie was counsel to a Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, then worked together years later when Bernie's State AG team took on a bellwether lead paint case (eventually dismissed) brought by the Rhode Island AG against DuPont. At Dickstein, Stacey will serve on the firm's diversity committee and plans to stay involved with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (the MCCA's Thomas Sager award for firms supporting diversity is named after Stacey's former assistant GC, now taking the reigns at DuPont). He'll also watch over the Howard Law scholarship established in his name by his former employer—and if he's lucky, get a round of golf or two in anyway.

10 Years for Center

The Asian-Pacific-American Legal Resource Center last week celebrated 10 years of service to low-income Asian Americans with limited English. The Human Rights Campaign's Equality Center was the scene for an awards ceremony honoring the likes of co-founder John Yang of Wiley Rein, center, who has pledged to match up to $75,000 in donations to the center over three years. (Note to auto industry, you're not eligible for this.) With him: co-founder Chan Park, Assistant U.S. Attorney in Maryland, and current APALRC Board Chairman Theodore Chuang, Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

John Ford, Bisnow's Legal Editor, is somehow keeping hope alive that his 0-11 Detroit Lions can beat the 10-1 Tennessee Titans on Thanksgiving Day. Send story ideas and/or condolences on a Lions loss to john@bisnow.com.

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