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    January 7, 2008  


Fueling Growth with a Margarita Machine


We wondered if Steve Baskin, DC managing partner of Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton, might be dragging when we visited him at his 14th St. offices the day after New Year's.? Luckily, he's a responsible parent who spent New Year's Eve with his wife and two of their four boys at a calm dinner party near his Great Falls home-well, as calm as a dinner can be when you bring 2 and 6 year olds.??


"There is no room for second place"-that's one of Vince Lombardi's gems on a poster Steve keeps in his office.? He himself has coached the baseball teams of his 14-year-old twin boys, and his six-year-old's T-ball squad.? He even does sports at work, representing an NFL player (whose identity he won't reveal), who he successfully kept from being asked to appear at a Congressional investigation into steroid use.


How many attorneys does Kilpatrick have?
About 500 worldwide and 35 here.

Where do you have offices?
Atlanta, New York, Augusta, Stockholm, London, and Research Triangle locations Raleigh, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem.


In addition to his IP litigation expertise, Steve has been getting into internal investigations for corporate clients; he also has a trial scheduled for the end of the month in a retaliatory discharge case for new client Howard University.


What are Kilpatrick's strengths in D.C.?
IP ltigation, employee benefits, and antitrust.? Connie Robinson is the head of the firm's antitrust team-she spent 27 years in DOJ's Antitrust Division.? She was the Director of Operations and Director of Civil Enforcement before coming here.? We also have a growing Native American practice, representing tribes on real estate, trusts, and other issues.

When did you come to Kilpatrick Stockton and how long have you running the office?
I've been here seven and a half years.? I was with Jones Day in Cleveland, but I grew up in Northern Virginia and wanted to come back.? Thanks to a good headhunter, this opportunity came along.? I've been the Managing Partner since September.

What have you focused on in that role?
The major issue has been developing a strategic plan for DC.? The firm as a whole did strategic planning last year-a report came out in the summer.? We decided to produce something specifically for D.C. that would supplement that.

How did you go about developing the plan?
We came up with a draft document with thoughts about where the office should be going, about four or five pages. ?Then we brought in a consultant, who spent time interviewing all the partners. She refined the plan and produced a polished product.

Who is the consultant?
Susan Duncan of Rainmaking Oasis.? A few of our partners, like Connie Robinson, had used her before for individual consulting for their specific practices.

What topics does the plan address?
It's really four different documents.? The first is a growth plan, which addresses the immediate growth potential of the practice groups currently in DC, and also looks at new practices we think would have synergies, such as life sciences/biotech, FDA/health care, and international trade.? The other documents deal mainly with how to execute on our growth, integration, and retention goals.? We're establishing a small DC Growth Committee at the firm as part of the implementation.? Other aspects of the plan include a self-awareness document-an honest look at what our strengths are, and what we need to work on.

Did you set specific benchmarks for your growth?
Yes, we set ambitious but we don't think unrealistic targets of trying to double in size for 2008, leading into 2009, and sustain on average thirty percent annual growth thereafter.

And what else are you doing?
When I was first asked to do the job I said-I thought humorously-that that we would get a margarita machine for our Friday happy hours, which take place in the office.? That initial comment sort of took on a life of its own, and now we have one! ?

Andrews Kurth
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