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Legal Bisnow
    January 16, 2012  

Nobody Doesn't

Like Tara Lee


Tara Lee in the US, Satpal Gobindpuri (Asia-Pac), and Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry (EMEA). It reads like a mini-UN, but it's actually the leaders of DLA Piper's new cross-border litigation practice. It's 300 attorneys in 75 offices across 35 countries (yet a small sample of DLA's 4,200 lawyers around the globe).

Tara Lee, DLA Piper

Yesterday, we spoke with Tara, who also heads the firm’s NoVa office. (She’s also a former JAG who graduated from the US Naval Academy. And perhaps an even greater testament to her endurance capabilities: she keeps up with her four sons.) The practice focuses on multi-jurisdictional work and local cases that originated abroad. Multi-jurisdictional cases could bring the next big wave of work, she says. There are enforcement actions working together across jurisdictions to a much greater degree. In return, clients are more becoming more aware and conducting their own investigations.

Kane (OfficeShred2) MLDC
Claudia Salomon and Matthew Saunders, global co-chairs of DLA Piper’s International Arbitration Group

Global co-chairs of DLA Piper’s international arbitration group Claudia Salomon and Matthew Saunders, at the group's internal launch. The new practice group is modeled off of the success of the cross-border arbitration group. While global arbitration is popular, a survey of the firm’s US litigation partners showed a demand for a global litigation group. By some counts, the firm has the world’s largest litigation group.  

Tara Lee, DLA Piper

Tara takes the “cross-border” portion of her title seriously. (Or maybe she just enjoys the travel: she tells us plane and train rides mean uninterrupted stretches of time to read court documents and put together litigation strategies.) Her upcoming trips include Switzerland, Somalia, and Istanbul, and London and Paris are regular stops. Above, she’s being interviewed by CNBC Africa recently in Johannesburg about the firm’s cross-border work in Africa. In a current matter, she’s representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo in several vulture fund cases.  

Tara Lee, DLA Piper, with her family at an Army/Navy game

When she is at home, Tara splits time between DLA Piper’s NoVa and DC offices. And, of course, she makes time for team spirit, like at this Army/Navy game. The rivalry gets a little personal: her husband Mike Denning went to West Point.

Bulking Up On Energy
Sherry Quirk

Mergers, mergers, everywhere. The latest is the combination of Schiff Hardin and Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux, making a 400 attorney firm. BGM is a DC-based law firm focused on energy regulatory issues. Schiff Hardin DC coordinating partner and energy and public utilities chair Sherry Quirk tells us when Schiff Hardin wanted to grow its energy law group, it reached out to BGM, whose lawyers she knew through her FERC work. Sherry started her energy law career early (working for an energy firm during law school) but picked up on related concepts even earlier, from her electrical engineer father. Her other passion is biking, and she manages to combine to two by cycling to and from work on the Capital Crescent Trail.

901 K

In DC, Sherry tells us BGM is moving into Schiff Hardin’s office at 901 K, above. Space is a little tight with the new group, and the firm is expanding into the floor above it over the next several months. She expects the office to only get busier with the increased regulation of greenhouse gases, retirement of coal plants and new plants being built, and the development of renewable energy (and challenges posed by integrating renewable resources into the grid). They plan for this to be “just one step in building out,” and are interested in bringing in more laterals, whether individuals or groups. This week, the firm is celebrating the union at an annual meeting (and dinner/dance) in Chicago.

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