If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  .  Events 
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More...
To ensure delivery, please add newsletter@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Legal Bisnow
Real Estate  •  Legal  •  Fed Tech  •  Association/Non-Profit  •  The Scene  •  Dining  •  Residential
National | Atlanta | Austin | Baltimore | Boston | Charlotte | Chicago | Dallas-Fort Worth | Houston | Los Angeles | New Jersey | New York | South Florida | Washington
    June 30, 2011  

Freddie Mac:

Coming Back?

Is your practice the bee's knees? We want to meet you. Send event invites, news bites, and factoids to legal reporter Roksana Slavinsky


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had their share of hardships. (That $160 billion bailout, for one.) Now, lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to eliminate the mortgage finance titans, including a bipartisan bill from Reps. Gary Peters and John Campbell. We asked associate GC Andrea Bridgeman, a 23-year Freddie vet (in fact, her anniversary was Monday). She's not worrying yet.

Freddie Mac Andrea Bridgeman

Andrea says in the three years since Fannie and Freddie went into conservatorship, she’s run out of fingers (and toes) on which to count proposals to wind down or overhaul the companies. Not to mention, the two are so large and complex, each with different systems, requirements, and customer expectations, that even if an overhaul plan were approved today, implementation could take years. In short, she’s not spending her days worrying about a pink slip. What she is focusing on: single-family mortgage purchases, operations, and securitization. She tells us despite her degree in classical studies and archeology, law comes naturally (Cicero, anyone?): her lawyer relatives go back three generations and her 87-year-old father still practices. He’s proud that Andrea’s work with local bars like 1,800-member WMACCA and pro bono work with the Legal Services of Northern Virginia, CARE, and Paralegal Advocacy Volunteers for the Elderly recently won her the VA State Bar's Local Bar Leader of the Year. (Above, Andrea shows off the aforementioned fingers, plus a shish kebab, at a LSNV fundraiser.)

Kane Comp Mini LEGAL
Freddie Mac Andrea Bridgeman

Andrea is no stranger to unique work experiences (one of which is her annual Santa snapshot in Tysons with six other longtime Freddie attorneys): she started her legal career with Danzansky, Dickey, Tydings, Quint & Gordon, the firm acquired (and subsequently chewed up) by Finley, Kumble, as detailed in Kim Eisler’s Shark Tank. After transitioning gradually from securities work to real estate during the Wild West tax era of the ‘80s, she joined Freddie six years later. (Hence, she wouldn’t advise any associates to follow her path to moving in-house.) Since those days, IHC positions have become much more desirable and therefore difficult to acquire—the economy hasn’t helped. As someone who handles housing-related work daily, Andrea believes the economy has also made consumers wary of committing to large payments (though a mammoth rental market) despite historically low interest rates and an increased number of fixed-rate loans. (Could a deus ex machina fix be what these Freddie lawyers asked for from Santa?)

What's in Your Office?
Capital Hilton

That was the question of the hour at Bisnow’s "Office of the Future" event this morning. Nearly 600 business and legal types packed the Capital Hilton to hear answers from the pros, including GSA commish Bob Peck, Fried Frank tax chair Alan Kaden, Vornado/Charles E. Smith boss Mitchell Schear, and Sterne, Kessler managing partner Mike Ray. Here's a quick overview (with more coverage tomorrow). Our hoped-for Jetsonian technology didn’t materialize, but panelists expressed a move toward firm's open offices, movable furniture (as Bob said of one GSA office’s decorating motto, “casters are our friends!”), and flexibility in hours, location, and layout.

GSA's Bob Peck; Fried Frank's Alan Kaden

We snapped Bob and Alan cracking a smile while Alan discussed cutting file space by 75 percent during Fried Frank’s recent big move to 801 17th St: “We’re much more efficient, though we kept at least three shredding companies in business for a year and a half.” How to facilitate employees embracing such consequential changes? Bob advocates a tough love philosophy: Just do it. The Yale Law and Penn grad is applying the approach GSA’s HQ renovation; the 94-year-old building is transitioning from holding about 2,300 employees to 6,000. (And in his spare time, we ask he investigate trademark implications Nike might bring regarding his slogan.)

The Big 4-0!
Akin Gump co-founder Robert Strauss and senior executive partner Alan Feld

Akin Gump recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its DC office (and didn’t even buy a red sports car). Among the over 200 past and present Akin Gump personnel who attended was 92-year-old co-founder Robert Strauss, and senior executive partner Alan Feld, who flew in from Dallas. The firm began in ’45 when Robert, a former FBI agent, and his colleague Richard Gump set up a small practice in post-war Dallas. When Robert moved to DC to head the Democratic National Committee in ‘71, he brought the firm with him, opening its second office. The firm now has 14 offices around the world. (Not bad for a former G-Man.)

: Firm chairman R. Bruce McLean, former Washington, D.C. managing partner Larry Hoffman, Larry’s wife Michele Hoffman, Larry’s son Matt Hoffman and his wife Ellen Lurie Hoffman, and Washington, D.C. partner-in-charge Anthony Pierce

Firm chairman R. Bruce McLean, former DC managing partner Larry Hoffman, Larry’s wife Michele and son Matt, Matt's wife Ellen Lurie Hoffman, and DC partner-in-charge Tony Pierce. Larry joined the DC office when it opened in ’71. While heading the office, he also served as chair of the firm’s national labor and employment practice. In honor of his years of service to the firm, the firm dedicated a conference room in his name.

The Great American Novelist-Attorney
James Barney, Finnegan

Attorneys who publish books are on the rise. The latest: Finnegan partner James Barney, who left a career working on nuclear submarines in the Navy to attend Yale Law. (One benefit of having lived on a sub for five weeks at a time: cubicles seem positively roomy.) He tells us The Genesis Key was inspired by a Bible passage about nephilum, the long-living offspring of angels and human women. (Bonus points to anyone who can pinpoint which verses.) The book's protagonist, Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury, discovers a secret for which her archaeologist parents may have been murdered at an ancient excavation site in Iraq. We can’t reveal the ending, but we assure you it’s a good one. Where did James find the time? Writing and editing took three years, he says, usually for an hour and a half at night or four to five hours a day during vacations and plane rides.

James Barney, Finnegan

James tells us scientific/religious thrillers get his pen moving. He is working on the second book of his two-part deal with HarperCollins, which meshes Einstein’s theory of relativity and religion. Though James has an active patent lit practice (including four recent ITC cases, in one of which he repped Toyota), he tells us very little of his patent work ends up in his writing. Like the protagonist in The Genesis Key, he's an avid sailor; he took his family around the Caribbean this winter. (Sounds lovely, as long as he doesn't mean in a submarine.)

Happy Anniversary to CLC
Irv Nathan, Tony Herman, Judith Sandalow

The Children’s Law Center turned 15 recently. Melanie Stern and Covington first-chair litigator Tony Herman played host for the evening’s festivities, chips and salsa, fajitas, margaritas, and all. Here’s Tony enjoying the party with DC AG Irv Nathan and CLC exec. director Judith Sandalow.

Aimee Imundo, Judith Sandalow, Katia Garrett

Judith, who came on board when CLC was a wee tyke of four, led the nonprofit’s growth from three staffers to 75 plus 300 pro bono attorneys. Even the Supreme Court has taken note: Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be speaking at a CLC event in October. It’s not the first time Judith and Justice Sotomayor have crossed paths; they've been recognized by AmLaw as two of DC’s Most Influential Women Lawyers, along with ladies like Justice Ginsburg, Justice Kagan, Jamie Gorelick, Marianna Dyson, Mary Ellen Powers, and Charlene Barshefsky. Here Judith is flanked by GE senior counsel Aimee Imundo (who won her own award as one of "100 Women in Antitrust" by Global Competition Review) and DC Bar Foundation exec. director Katia Garrett.


What would you like to see in this newsletter? Send story pitches and events to legal reporter Roksana Slavinsky at roksana@bisnow.com.

Monday (Fireworks) LDC
Cardinal (Cook) LEGAL
Bisnow Entrepreneur LDC
Nemacolin Golf LEGAL
Bisnow Events2
Arent Fox Sports LDC
Microsoft (Share)
Reznick Insights LDC
Bisnow Which2 MLDC


This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. © 2010, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1817 M St., NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

Legal Bisnow Sent Using iContact