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    August 13, 2008  
Latham & Watkins;
Arent Fox;
Saul Ewing;

A big shout-out to great Bisnow sponsors Arent Fox, Andrews Kurth, Arnold & Porter, and Katten Muchin for being named to the 2008 Working Mother magazine 50 Best Law Firms for Mothers. Congrats!


Well, it wasn’t the 13-year IBM antitrust case, but it was a long two years for the high-energy Latham team working on the XM/Sirius merger, so as of its approval July 28, they started re-learning the art of relaxation, as they demonstrated for us yesterday at their 555 11th St. offices.


Gary Epstein, center, Jim Barker, left, and Brian Murray filed XM’s merger application with the FCC in March of last year, drawing some 16,000 comments and heated opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters. After 17 months, the XM team won the 3-2 vote, convincing just enough Commissioners that the transaction benefits the public interest. Sirius was represented by Wiley Rein, and Gary tells us that in three months, the combined satellite services will start offering new packages to consumers. Existing service isn’t affected, which is good news for Jim, who takes his satellite radio seriously—the ability to get Howard Stern on Sirius was a huge factor in deciding to get a BMW (and you thought people choose it for 0-60 acceleration). Gary and Jim won the engagement partly based on their experience in a previous case, where they gained approval for DirecTV’s purchase by News Corp.

Arent Fox Named a Top Firm for Women

Arent Fox litigation chair Barbara Wahl no doubt has her eyes closed in this picture not because of inartful Bisnow photography, but we like to think because she’s trying to restrain tears of joy. Attorneys didn’t know quite what to expect when DC Managing Partner Bill Charyk, right, sent around an email yesterday asking them to convene for an announcement, but the champagne on offer tipped them off it was good news. Bill and Barbara told the crowd that Arent Fox had been selected by Working Mother magazine as one of the nation’s 50 best firms for women. Not an easy test to pass, as the firm was among hundreds to complete the mag’s grueling 108-page form with essay questions that gave Barbara flashbacks to the days of college applications. She heads up the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, launched last year to mentor, train, and promote the retention of Arent’s women lawyers.


Some of Arent’s impressive numbers: Since 2006, 44 percent of lawyers promoted to partner have been women, and it offers an 18-week maternity leave package. Litigation partner Savalle Sims may be taking advantage of that soon, looking radiant in this pic with associate Sarah Bruno. Sarah herself has a 20-month old at home and works an 80% schedule; Savalle, expecting her third, works full time but let us in on her secret weapon: a great au pair.


Lest we forget the guys, we snapped this shot of Arent Counsel and former Senator John Culver (D-Iowa) and IP guru Tony Lupo. Tony has a seven- and four-year-old, but claims he’s not the best at maintaining the kind of work-life balance afforded by family-friendly Arent benefits like six weeks of paternity leave. He’s headed off to Buenos Aires this summer, so don’t feel too sorry.  As for John’s son Chet, he turned out okay: He’s now the Governor of Iowa.


It may look like Saul Ewing DC co-managing partner Ira Shepard, American Univ. General Counsel Mary Kennard, SE's Anessa Abrams, and AU Associate GC Hisham Khalid are standing on the Legg Mason tennis court last night holding up another routine Andy Roddick victory, but actually they are just avid fans with great front row seats. Ira’s entertaining clients all week: AU’s one, and tonight he brings the GC of CACI and the new head of compliance for AIG. As for Hisham, who’s been litigating for AU for 13 years, he tells us the highlights of his summer so far have been the annual National Association of College and University Attorneys schmoozarama at the NY Marriott Marquis and his personal pilgrimage to the Montreal jazz fest where he got to see one of his favorites, Al Green. C’mon, we thought the highlight was being in this picture with such glamorous friends!   

Special Counsel
Goulston & Storrs
Tower Oaks
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