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02/16/07

Gussack climbs to Pepper Hamilton's highest chair

Philadelphia-based law firm Pepper Hamilton elected litigator Nina Gussack as head of their 11-member executive committee. Gussack joined the firm in 1987 as partner and is the first woman to serve as Pepper Hamilton's chairwoman. She is also to her credit the first and only female top executive at a large Philadelphia law firm.

As the chairwoman, Gussack's responsibility includes major strategic initiatives at the firm such as mergers and acquisitions. At the helm of affairs, Gussack will juggle both her practice and management duties. She does big business for the firm and supervises more than 50 lawyers and a number of contract attorneys. Gussack mainly focuses on defending pharmaceutical and medical-device companies in product-liability matters.

Almost 60 percent of the firm's 460 lawyers work from its Philadelphia and Berwyn, PA, offices and only 17 percent of its lawyers outside Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Pepper Hamilton is trying to change these figures by forging mergers. The firm's gross revenue rose from $81 million to $259 million.

Davis Polk's Beijing office opens
With the Chinese government's green light, to Davis Polk & Wardwell opened its office in Beijing, which is the third location in Asia after the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices. The firm's third office in the region will develop its outreach to a wider client base. The move also signals the firm's burgeoning practice in China. Davis Polk's ties with China spans for more than 100 years. The firm's attorneys offer clients advise on large, complex and groundbreaking securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments, project financings and other global transactions involving Chinese companies. The new office will be head by the firm's partner Show-Mao Chen who has more than a decade's experience on transactions in China. The new Beijing office will be supported by more than 20 China Practice lawyers.

Davis Polk's 600 lawyers across continents advises companies and global financial institutions on such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, investment management, insolvency and restructuring, executive compensation, intellectual property and tax.

Pepper Hamilton LLP

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