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01/04/07

Steptoe & Johnson’s Chicago venture


Top litigation powerhouse Steptoe & Johnson entered the Chicago legal market with a bang. Announcing the opening of its new office in Chicago, the firm also listed the names of nine partners who will join the new office in various practice areas.

Steptoe raided rival firm Gardner Carton & Douglas’ Chicago office to add to nearly 20 personnel, both attorneys and staff. Steven Davidson and Paul Mickey, Steptoe partners in its DC-based office will synchronize the commencement of operations of the Chicago office. The nine partners whose practices will concentrate on commercial, insurance, and reinsurance litigation will enable the firm to better serve its clients conducting their business in Chicago and in the Mid-West. Christopher Barber and Stephen O’Donnell, two trial pundits in the financial services and insurance industries, will lead the Chicago group. The other seven partners are Richard Agin, Gary Garner, Nancy Hendrickson, Elissa Isaacs, Peter Meyer, Daryl Schumacher, and Jonathan Silverman.

Earlier the firm also strengthened its teams in the DC office as well as in Century City with more additions. Steptoe has designs to build up a national plan based on the new attorneys’ prowess in the commercial and insurance litigation practices. The new attorneys already command a huge presence in the practice area within the region and are looking for opportunities to widen their scope and range of operation.

The Chicago office is the eighth office for Steptoe and the second one to be opened during a span of seven months. Steptoe’s more than 450 attorneys counsel and represent clients on a wide variety of legal fields both nationally as well as globally.

Reed Smith and Richards Butler combine operations
Reed Smith and Richards Butler tied the knot on New Year, a union that catapults the two firms to become the 15th largest U.S. law firm globally and one that would command a workforce of more than 1,300 lawyers, spanning three continents.

The merger process was as seamless as had been envisaged by both the firm’s managements. Now both firms concentrating on the post-pact impact on individual business where both the firms will take advantage of a wider reach and broadened client base to expand their business. Also adding to the mirth of the celebration is the announcement by Richard Butler upgrading its personnel to various significant positions in the combined entity.

Roger Parker, former managing partner of Richards Butler and one of the two architects behind the merger, will join the new firm’s senior management team and serve as managing partner for Europe and the Middle East. Michael Pollack, Reed Smith’s Director of Strategic Planning and a member of the senior management team was the other architect behind the smooth transition and amalgamation of the firms’ diverse practice areas and he has also relocated to London. Richards Butler’s Paul F. Johnston and Richard Swinburn will join Reed Smith’s Ian B. Fagelson on the firm’s Executive Committee for the European offices. The new firm’s deputy department head’s for Business & Regulatory Department and litigation department will be Scott Pearman and Charles Hewetson, respectively.

The individual firm’s are drawing up plans to strengthen relations between among their London offices, which will operate in two different places in London under the common moniker Reed Smith Richards Butler.

Founded in 1877, Reed Smith more than 1,300 lawyers in 20 offices across continents represent leading international businesses from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises in legal areas including financial services, life sciences, healthcare, advertising and media, shipping, international trade and commodities, real estate, and education.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

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