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    September 5, 2008  
 
 
Milbank Tweed;
WilmerHale;
Pillsbury

Come network with three of the region's top General Counsels at our next Bisnow Lunch & Schmooze: Blackboard GC Matt Small, XM Radio GC Joe Titlebaum, and Corporate Executive Board GC Pamela Auerbach. Tues., Sept 16, Il Mulino. Sign up!

 

Meet Glenn Gerstell, Managing Partner of Milbank Tweed’s DC office—or, as we’ve decided to call him, the Cal Ripken of lawyers. Sure, others may have more years of consecutive service with a single shop, but it’s rare to find a managing partner who actually started with his firm as a summer associate.

 

Not that he hasn’t had a variety of field positions—he started in NY, then helped open a Singapore satellite before taking charge of Hong Kong just weeks before the Tiananmen Square protests. A dicey time, but business boomed when the Asian economy picked up and Milbank did a string of lease financings for Asian airlines buying up Boeing 747-400s (the ones with the upstairs). Glenn came to the now-50-lawyer DC office in ’96, but as head of the firm’s global communications practice keeps an international client list.

 
Capitol Riverfront
 

This month he helped Brazilian telecom Oi (Portuguese for “hello,” but you knew that) secure $550 million in loan facilities, and in another matter represents ProtoStar, which this summer launched its first satellite to provide TV feeds to homes across Asia Pacific. With such global work, maybe it’s no surprise Glenn has a thing for antique maps, like this one from the 1600s. Presumably he doesn’t consult it for travel purposes, since we noticed California appears as an island off the West Coast.


Energy’s “Sleeper Issue”
 

Everyone’s talking about energy independence these days—especially at political conventions—but Sheila Harvey of Pillsbury says there’s a “sleeper issue” lingering under talk of carbon-free power. You need water to make it happen (nuclear plants and solar sources, for instance, use a lot), and apparently there’s a  shortage of the stuff. Sheila tells us Atlanta came within three weeks of being out of water last summer, while the states of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama are tangled in legal battles over rights to river systems. A jack-of-all-trades in the energy field, Sheila doesn’t have a dog in those fights, but instead is doing something that sounds more immediately productive: advising desalination plants.


Most Generous Firm?
 

Sally Struthers, take note—WilmerHale attorneys are a generous lot, as we learned this week. First, we heard they raised the most dough in DC ($60,000) for the Legal Aid Society’s 2008 Generous Associates campaign, which brought in $780,000. Of course, charity starts at home, and yesterday over lunch, partner Brent Gurney told us the firm continues its sabbatical program, in which partners with seven years on the job can take three months paid leave to teach, write those novels, or, in Brent’s case, travel to Turkey, Greece, and Sicily with the family. Nice as the firm may be, Brent tells us it does nothing to prevent your kids from arguing in the backseat.

 
 
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