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    September 9, 2008  
 
 
K&L Gates;
AU Law;
Gibson Dunn;
Jon Stewart;
Venable

Free-of-charge to our readers! Announcing Bisnow's Fall Happy Hour co-hosted by the Capitol Riverfront BID and JPI. Come check out the views of the Capitol and the ballpark, have a drink, and network on the rooftop of the just-opened Jefferson at Capitol Yards luxury apartments. Tues., Sept 16, 6-8pm. One-block from the Navy Yard metro (Half St & I St SE), free parking. Sign up now!

 

When Chuck Miller stepped down as Administrative Partner (a/k/a managing partner) of K&L Gates earlier this year, he'd earned a breather. Two years ago he oversaw Kilpatrick & Lockhart's move to its mod new space at 1601 K from Dupont and, just six months later, found himself welcoming Preston Gates's 70 DC-based lawyers into the fold.  

 

DC was a focal point for the merge of the combined 22 offices on three continents, with the capital being the two firms' biggest overlap city. (K&L Gates now has 210 in D.C. and 1,700 worldwide.) Chuck tells us he and his Preston Gates counterpart, Jonathan Blank, "met early and often" on big issues like compensation and partnership track for associates, and both served on the 35-member Management Committee. They instituted weekly breakfasts on each floor of the new office to help new colleagues get to know each other. And they helped find a way to offer a job in the combined firm to every last staff member.

 
Capitol Riverfront
 

As for the move, K&L's new digs had 80 extra offices just in case—so the physical consolidation worked seamlessly. Their lease at 1601 K gives them the first nine floors, with options on the 10th and 11th. Revenue doubled during Chuck's time at the helm ('02-'08), and today he remains focused on the top line as head of the firm's Financial Services group (investment management, broker-dealer, depository institutions, and mortgage banking). The last was the subject of a partners' lunch just yesterday, in which DC's Larry Platt broke down the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae takeover. K&L was much larger than Preston, but only one original name emains: the Gates, of course, is Bill Gates' dad, long a partner at the smaller firm, and no longer active, but let's just say still key in terms of name recognition.


Prepare for Re-entry!
 

Christine Haight Farley (left), Associate Dean at AU Law School, says when she goes to the pool in the summer, nine out of 10 women she bumps into are lawyers—many thinking about getting back in the game after taking time off. So when Dean Claudio Grossman pushed the idea of a "Lawyer Re-entry Program," Christine jumped on board. She pulled in professional coach Linda Mercurio, right, as Executive Director, and they were off and running—the six-day program, held on Fridays and Saturdays this fall, begins October 24th. (What's with the Al Franken book, you may ask? Not on the syllabus, just the subject of a Bill O'Reilly lawsuit that Christine discusses in one of her classes).

 

Between phone, calls Linda told us that participants (limited to 25, with spots costing $2,500) will be getting resume help, an update on the latest technology used in practice, and tips on dealing with workplace culture shock (billables! not a sippy cup in sight!). They'll also get three one-on-one sessions with Linda, who knows about transition—she's a former Coopers & Lybrand tax lawyer who, back in 2000, ran for Congress in New Jersey's 5th District


KILBERG CONVENTION!
 

Gibson Dunn labor law guru Bill Kilberg, second from left, stands proudly with wife Bobbie Kilberg, well known around here as Northern Virginia Technology Council president—but that's not why they took this picture last week at the Republican Convention in St. Paul. Bobbie, an aide to Reagan and Bush 41 (she actually coined the terms "Bush 41" and "Bush 43") was, for the sixth straight GOP convention, volunteer backstage manager. That means she scheduled and organized everyone who passed through from the wings to the stage including stars McCain and Palin, and  was even assigned two personal Secret Service. With Bill and Bobbie above, son Andrew, left, a Princeton junior, who served as personal aide to convention chair Mike Duncan, and  son-in-law Scott Schermerhorn and daughter Sarah, who came as just plain guests.

 

Here's another DC lawyer, and we don't mean comedian Jon Stewart. It's Bobbie's daughter Cameron with Stewart in a rare moment where he's not ripping Bill O'Reilly. Cameron, who is working on the McCain legal team and will join Patton Boggs after the election, worked as an assistant for her mom.


Association Guy
 

We would have to consider Jeff Tenenbaum of Venable a top contender for our best-dressed list—but then, unless watching Project Runway qualifies us, we probably shouldn't play fashion critic. In any case, we liked the story behind Jeff's practice, which started with a day job in the American Society of Association Executives' legal department while he took night classes at Catholic Law. Now, Jeff's non-profit group at Venable advises innumerable associations on everything from tax (the meat and potatoes of most such practices) to political giving, contract review, and by-law amendments. The one-stop shop approach took hold, and now up to 13 attorneys, the group calls itself the largest in the nation—they've even pulled in George Constantine, who succeeded Jeff when he left ASAE way back when.

Does your office have fashionistas we should know about? Send those or other stories to john@bisnow.com.

 
 
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