Archive for May 2007

Ballard Spahr Continues Growth in Phoenix

May 18, 2007

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll added five labor and employment attorneys to its Phoenix office at the end of April and two public finance partners this week.

Partners Julie A. Pace and David A. Selden, of counsel Eva Shih Herrera and associates Jodi Hill and Heidi Nunn-Gilman joined the firm from labor and employment boutique Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart.

More recently, public finance partners William Hicks and Nancy Lashnits joined the firm from Snell & Wilmer.

The firm’s Phoenix office, which opened in August 2006, now has 18 attorneys.

Ballard began its office with two lawyers from Fennemore Craig, former managing partner Steve Savage and Karen McConnell.

“We are attempting to build the very best firm in Phoenix that we possibly can build,” Ballard Spahr Chairman Arthur Makadon said. “We hope our Phoenix office will be the cornerstone for our other mountain offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas.  We appreciate that the task is difficult: Adding high-quality lawyers in all the major practice areas is a grueling business and we have come a long way in ten months. Nonetheless, we still have a long way to go.”

~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

DLA Piper Names Global CMO

May 18, 2007

As part of its new brand positioning campaign, DLA Piper has named Jolene M. Overbeck the firm’s global chief marketing officer.

She will oversee the firm’s marketing and business development efforts worldwide and will help launch its branding campaign.

DLA Piper already revamped its Web site and plans to unveil a new ad campaign soon.

Overbeck joined DLA Piper 10 months ago from law firm consultancy Zeughauser Group and was just recently put into the global CMO role – a first for the firm.

She had previously served as the CMO for Latham & Watkins for more than 12 years and at Shearman & Sterling.

— Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

Morgan Lewis Makes BTI’s “Power Elite”

May 10, 2007

The BTI Consulting Group has released its “Client Relationship Scorecard” for 2007 and named 20 firms in its “Power Elite.”

Morgan Lewis & Bockius was the only Philadelphia-based firm to make the cut.

The firms in the “Power Elite” pass four tests with their clients, the report said. The firms have an established, primary relationship with the firms; enjoy go-to status; receive “enthusiastic” recommendations to peers; and have “superior” levels of client satisfaction.

BTI based the list on interviews with 427 corporate counsel, according to a BTI press release.

The “Power Elite” follows:

1. Jones Day
2. Sidley Austin
3. Kirkland & Ellis
4. Latham & Watkins
5. Davis Polk
6. Skadden
7. Debevoise
8. Morgan Lewis
9. Baker Botts
10. Gibson Dunn
11. Foley & Lardner
12. Wilmer Hale
13. Baker & McKenzie
14. Alston & Bird
15. Fulbright & Jaworski
16. Hunton & Williams
17. Shearman & Sterling
18. Chadbourne & Parke
19. McDermott
20. Jenner & Block

— Stephanie Lovett, Staff Reporter

Philly Bar Gives Thumbs Down to Several Judicial Candidates

May 8, 2007

With mere days left before the May primary, the Philadelphia Bar Association has announced a slate of “not recommended” city judicial candidates.

Elvin P. Ross III, an associate at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, was given the thumbs down on his candidacy for a common pleas seat. The bar’s judicial elections commission doesn’t list its reasons for rating a candidate “not recommended,” but experience was likely a factor in Ross’ case — the 1994 Penn grad only received his JD (from Texas Southern University) four years ago.

Gerard Shotzbarger, a solo general practitioner with Center City offices, also received the bar’s lowest rating on his common pleas bid. Shotzbarger might not need the bar association’s blessing — he drew the No. 2 spot on this month’s Democratic ballot.

The third candidate listed as “not recommended” for a common pleas seat was Center City small-firm practitioner Christian Clemente, whose 2005 bid for the same court was also pooh-poohed by the bar.

The fourth “not recommended” candidate is Rosa Ryan. The only “Rosa Ryan” registered to practice in Pennsylvania is listed by the state court system as practicing out of a West Chester office. According to campaign finance reports, Ryan’s campaign has a -$170 balance.

On the Municipal Court side, the bar has deemed “not recommended” Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, daughter of former heavyweight champ Joe Frazier — and quite a contender herself, judging by her own track record in the ring. Frazier-Lyde used to do legal work for the Laborers’ District Council. She practices out of offices in North Philadelphia.
Robert M. Kline was the other Municipal Court candidate rated “not recommended” The only attorney by that name registered with the state is listed as practicing out of a King of Prussia office. Kline has the bottom spot on this month’s Democratic ballot.

— Asher Hawkins, staff reporter

Management Change in Fox Rothschild’s Pittsburgh Office

May 7, 2007

With the celebration of his 65th birthday and the four-and-a-half-year anniversary of his start as managing partner of Fox Rothschild’s Pittsburgh office coinciding this year, Ed Kabala has handed over his management duties to partner Jay D. Marinstein.

Kabala said the firm’s partnership agreement provides a five-year time limit for office managing partners as well as a requirement that partners 65 or older step down from the management role. It was in 2002 that Kabala merged his firm, Kabala & Geeseman, into Fox Rothschild to create a Pittsburgh office for the firm.

He said the firm’s transition program allows for leadership transitions when the senior attorneys are still around to help maintain the culture of the firm.

Marinstein has been prepped for his position for about a year, Kabala said.

Each office within Fox Rothschild of 15 or more attorneys has a representative on the firm’s board and then there are six at-large members who are elected by the firm as a whole, he said. Those six members make a suggestion to firm leadership as to who should take over as the next office managing partner.

The group interviewed all of the partners in the 25-attorney office who are interested in the position or who want to offer input. Kabala said the group’s recommendation is given considerable weight by firm leadership when making the official decision.

Fox Rothschild’s system is attractive for potential merger candidates – as he was – because it lets attorneys know they have a seat at the table in a relatively short amount of time, Kabala said. He also said younger attorneys appreciate the system for similar reasons.

Kabala said this is the first time in 30 years he has not been in a management position. He used to bill about 2,500 to 2,700 hours before taking over as office managing partner at Fox Rothschild, where he went down to almost 2,000. He isn’t planning on using his “extra time” for vacation. He said he has gotten a lot of business since April 1, when Marinstein officially took over.

~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter