What's your biggest practice area in D.C.?
Litigation, which is about a third of our attorneys.? Other major practices include government contracts, IP, environmental and regulatory, and public policy, which includes a growing political and election law practice.
And litigation specialties?
They're mostly related to government contracts.? We do products liability cases related to military products and have a major Safety Act practice, which gives tort protections to private sector makers of homeland security products.? Another group does toxic tort cases that can come out of operations performed for the government.? We also support our growing IP litigation work out of the litigation department.
Any other interesting practice initiatives?
DC is home to our Business Strategy Group.? This group looks for future trends in the economy and government activity and develops new services that allow our clients to take advantage of those trends.? Examples of such services are biodefense initiatives, public health preparedness, military base closures and realignment, and infrastructure privatization.?
What's been your focus as DC managing partner?
Well, in addition to helping to shape our strategic growth here, I'm spending a lot of time on the expansion and renovation of our space, including the construction ?of a conference center on the second floor, which opened last spring.? We have one conference room that fits 125 people and has two rear-projection screens built into a glass wall.? We're proud of the way it turned out.
What kind of events do you have?
Client seminars, ABA meetings.? We also have an Ambassador Roundtable series, where every few months we bring in an ambassador to give a short talk and mix with clients and friends of the firm.? The ambassadors love it because it gives them an opportunity to talk to people casually.
How'd you make that happen?? Where'd the idea come from?
Gordon Giffin, one of our partners, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Canada, so he has contacts in the diplomatic world. ?The actual idea, though, came from Scotty Greenwood, a Managing Director here who served with Gordon in Canada.
What's your own practice, and how much time do you spend on it?
I spend less than 20% of my time in the office managing partner role.? My practice is mostly government contracts litigation and counseling on organizational conflicts of interest and ethics issues confronting government contractors.? Pro bono work is also very important to me.? I'm a past president of the D.C. Legal Aid Society and some of my most memorable cases have been in the pro bono arena.
Any hidden talents we should know about?
I play the piano recreationally.? I always wanted to have a great piano, and now we have a music room in our house with a very nice grand piano.? I particularly enjoy playing with my college-age son, who is the true musician in our family.