In Unique Deal, Morgan Lewis Merges With Singapore’s Stamford Law


Having just absorbed the bulk of Bingham McCutchen, a first-of-its-kind merger now awaits Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which is poised to announce a union Monday with Singapore’s Stamford Law Corp.

The combination will make Morgan Lewis the largest global firm in Singapore and the only one with the capacity to practice local law across a range of practice areas. Stamford, an 80-lawyer firm based in Singapore’s Ocean Financial Centre, will adopt the name Morgan Lewis Stamford once the union becomes official on April 1.

The deal between Morgan Lewis and Stamford is somewhat akin to Mayer Brown JSM, the entity formed via the Am Law 100 firm’s 2008 merger with Hong Kong’s Johnson Stokes & Master.

Suet-Fern Lee, a senior director and founding member of Stamford, says that the merger between her firm and Morgan Lewis is a “trailblazing” transaction for Singapore’s legal services industry, pointing out that there are regulations against the pure acquisition of a Singapore firm, but that there are no such prohibitions against the “internationalization” of such a firm.

When asked why no other local firm has tried to do such a deal before, Lee has a simple answer: “We had not thought of it.” She notes that Stamford utilized existing rules and asked for no special treatment.

“I did not realize the possibility until I undertook a very meticulous study of the regulations,” adds Lee. ”Probably everyone including myself had not appreciated that this was an available option within the existing regime.”

Morgan Lewis Stamford will become Morgan Lewis’ headquarters in Asia and all of its partners and associates will have the same roles at the 2,000-lawyer combined entity, which will now have 29 offices around the world. Morgan Lewis, which also operates an office in Tokyo separate from the rest of its Asia practice, shuttered its previous offices in Singapore and nearby Jakarta back in 2000 in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, but firm leader Jami McKeon says that times have changed in the region, with Singapore now rivaling Hong Kong as a key financial services center.

“Singapore has increasingly become a destination for our clients in Asia,” says McKeon, who officially took over as chairwoman of Morgan Lewis on Oct. 1. “It has a strong commercial court system, a growing hub for international arbitration and a low cultural barrier of entry—everyone speaks English.”

McKeon says talks with Stamford began late last year, right around the same time Morgan Lewis was in negotiations to take on more than 750 lawyers and staff from Bingham McCutchen, as the latter began to unravel. Morgan Lewis did not work with a consultant, McKeon says, but was introduced by a third party she won’t name to Stamford’s Lee, who besides her role at the firm is considered a leading dealmaker in Southeast Asia. (Lee is the eldest daughter of a well-known economist and wife of Lee Hsien Yang, a high-profile Singaporean business executive with family ties to the country’s political elite.)

Lee says that Stamford had been approached at various times by global firms seeking out some type of local collaboration, perhaps because of its small size that would easily allow it to be folded into a larger suitor. She was aware of Morgan Lewis’ discussions with Bingham McCutchen, but says they were an incentive, not a deterrent, to proceeding in tie-up talks with the firm.

“We know that Morgan Lewis has a strong reputation for thorough integration,” Lee says. “We knew that if they did the deal with Bingham, it would be because it would make a lot of sense and would be accretive, both strategically and financially, for Morgan Lewis.”

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7 Reasons Too Much Coffee Is Killing Your Career


By: Jayson Demers

It seems like most people in the professional world have grown to not only love coffee, but depend on it. After all, caffeine’s effects on our focus and alertness have made us seemingly more productive. After a cup of coffee you feel bright, energized and motivated, so it’s got to be great for your career, right?

The truth is more blurry. While there are many benefits of moderate coffee intake, excessive coffee consumption could actually be harming your career. Here’s how:

1. Coffee can make you skip breakfast.

This isn’t true for everybody, but you definitely know who you are. You wake up late, scramble to get ready for work and say to yourself, “I don’t have time for breakfast. I’ll just grab a coffee on the go.”

Coffee is great for waking us up and giving us energy to start the day, but that energy is an illusion — without the high-quality calories needed to fuel your body and mind, you only think you’re more energetic. The truth is, skipping a nutritive breakfast can lower your focus even with caffeine in your system, and decrease your productivity as well.

2. It makes you OK with sleep deprivation.

How many times have you stayed up late to finish a project, not fearing the effects of sleep deprivation because you can wake yourself up with a cup of coffee in the morning? If you’re a working professional and a coffee drinker, chances are it’s happened more than once.

Knowing that coffee can help us feel more alert and focused in the short term makes us more comfortable with depriving ourselves of sleep for short-term gains. However, sleep deprivation can wreak total havoc on your career, causing you to lose focus, lose productivity and even develop long-term physical and mental health complications.

3. It fuels insomnia.

The cycle gets even worse when you consider the fact that drinking lots of caffeine throughout the day can actually encourage the onset of insomnia. Drinking too much caffeine or too close to bed time can make your body stay up far longer than under ordinary circumstances, even if you’re trying to get to sleep. This makes you extra tired the next day, which forces you to drink more coffee, fueling the cycle further. Pretty soon, you’ll be so sleep deprived that not even caffeine can snap you out of it, and your career will take a massive hit.

4. It’s taking all your money.

It’s true that money isn’t everything, but money is a big part of why we go to work in first place. If you end up blowing most of your salary on unnecessary, temporary items, it could defeat the primary function of your job and make you work longer for the same amount of money.

According to data from 2014, more than a third of all Americans drink gourmet coffee on a daily basis, with younger people willing to pay more than $3 for a good cup of coffee. Take $3, assuming seven or more cups of coffee a week, and that’s over a thousand dollars a year that you could be saving – at the very least.

5. It’s raising your blood pressure.

Caffeine naturally raises your blood pressure, which isn’t so bad in small doses. But in combination with a stressful lifestyle (like you’d find in a demanding job), that blood pressure can skyrocket, putting you at risk for a number of other health complications. The higher blood pressure and shallow breathing caused by excessive caffeine intake can even limit the amount of oxygen that flows to your brain, making it harder for you to complete even basic tasks and interfere with your responsibilities.

6. It makes you slack off.

The stimulant effects of coffee make it seem like it would help you work harder. However, a recent study seems to imply that excessive caffeine intake can actually make you slack off. In a comparative study involving rats, lazy rats showed no difference in productivity after a high intake of caffeine, but other, naturally hardworking rats actually performed worse after consuming caffeine.

If you’re a hard worker, consuming high amounts of caffeine could be making you perform less or perform worse, even if you don’t consciously realize it.

7. You’re building a tolerance.

Caffeine is a stimulant, and like with any stimulant, its effects can be addictive. Over time, as you drink more and more coffee on a regular basis, your body will become used to the effects of caffeine and build up a tolerance to them. That means you’ll need to consume even more caffeine to get the same effects, compounding all the other harmful effects.

What’s worse is that if you let your coffee addiction grow, ceasing your intake will result in difficult and painful withdrawal. If you don’t keep your habit in check, the end result is drinking six cups of coffee a day or trying to work through your withdrawal – and neither are good for your career.

If you keep your caffeine intake under control, you don’t have to worry about coffee ruining your career. A cup of coffee on most mornings can actually be good for you, but when you let your habit become an addiction, it can devastate your productivity, your motivation, and even your physical health. Moderation is the key.

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Law firms clash over laptops taken by departing lawyers

A battle over laptops taken by lawyers to a new law firm failed to reach a settlement during a three-hour session before a magistrate judge.
The suit by Pennsylvania insurance boutique Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein initially sought the return of laptops taken by 14 departing lawyers to Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. The suit seeks damages under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
After the suit was filed last May, Lewis Brisbois returned the laptops, but erased and preserved the information they held, the story says. Now both law firms have hired computer experts to determine what information was on the devices.
The departing lawyers had represented hacked companies, and Nelson Brown says sensitive information such as Social Security numbers may have been saved on the laptops. The firm also says the devices may have contained confidential client lists and legal strategies.
Lewis Brisbois contends the lawyers needed to use the laptops to complete client matters after Nelson Brown fired the chair of its data privacy practice.
Jana Lubert, general counsel at Lewis Brisbois, told the National Law Journal that the laptops weren’t stolen. “It is important to note that at no time before or after the lawyers left Nelson Levine, which occurred over a year ago, was the data itself ever viewed by anyone who was not privileged and authorized to see it,” Lubert said.
The suit isn’t the only legal dispute spurred by the lawyers’ leap to Lewis Brisbois. Seven of the 14 departing lawyers have filed a suit, claiming Nelson Brown never paid them promised bonuses.
Nelson Brown also sued another group of departing lawyers over contingency fees, but the suit was dismissed, according to the story. Nelson Brown “had a tough year,” shrinking from 75 to 25 lawyers, the story says.

Littler Expands to Guatemala


Littler Global member BDS Asesores, the leading labor and employment firm in Central America, has opened a new office in Guatemala City, Guatemala with the addition of a local and highly-regarded practitioner, Randolf Castellanos.

“We are excited to further expand our footprint in Central America and to add Randolf’s deep knowledge of the Guatemalan business and legal climate to Littler Global’s growing international platform,” said Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, co-managing directors of Littler, in a joint statement. “Leveraging the local experience of our Littler Global member firms to provide comprehensive services to multinational employers is a key element of our growth strategy. We look forward to working with Randolf, and to continuing to work with BDS Asesores, to serve our clients doing business throughout the region.”

With a career spanning nearly 30 years, Castellanos is recognized as a leading authority on labor law in Guatemala. He regularly advises domestic and foreign companies, as well as government institutions, on complex labor law and employment litigation matters.

According to Marco Durante, managing partner of BDS Asesores, “We have long admired Randolf’s impressive work on labor and employment matters in Guatemala and are honored to partner with him. Guatemala is an important market for employers in Central America and Randolf’s capabilities and strong ties to the region will be invaluable for our clients.”

Castellanos regularly speaks at government sessions in Guatemala, represents the country at international labor law events and serves as a professor at Rafael Landivar University. He is also a founding member and serves as vice president of the Guatemalan Association of Labor Law. Prior to joining BDS Asesores and Littler Global, he was a founding partner of the law firms Castellanos, Estrada & Associates and Castellanos & Associates.

Littler Global now has offices outside the U.S. in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The firm’s global capabilities also include U.S.-based lawyers with exceptional international experience, and who are licensed practitioners in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among other countries.

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7 Tips To Better Employee Retention

By: Steve Olenski

No matter the size or stage your business is currently at, having employees leave is just bad for business. As the Wall Street Journal notes, a high employee turnover rate can cost “twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement.” Not only are there financial repercussions, a high turnover rate can also lower the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and morale.

If you want to avoid this negativity, it’s best to retain your best employees. And, you can do that by following these seven tips.

Right Candidate

1. Hire Selectively

Before you can begin to retain employees, you have to make sure that you have the right employees to begin with.

The Wall Street Journal suggests you “Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers, and co-workers.”

You can also use tools like hiQ to gather data on prospective employees. This data can be used to predict which job seekers would fit best within your company. As an added bonus, hiQ also uses internal data from companies to helps retain employees.

2. Offer a Competitive Benefits Package Salary

If you want to keep top-notch talent, then you’re going to have to pay them well. Entrepreneur notes that salaries are based on the following:

  • Employee skill and experience
  • Supply and demand
  • Geographical location
  • Worker seniority

However, a high salary isn’t always the deciding factor when employees to seek employment elsewhere.

Many times they are looking for competitive benefits. As the Wall Street Journal points out, make sure you provide, “health insurance, life insurance, and a retirement-savings plan is essential in retaining employees.” Also offer additional perks such as flextime and the option of telecommuting that fit the needs of your employees.

work environment

3. Provide a Comfortable Work Environment and Culture

Have you ever walked into a room and felt either unsafe or uncomfortable? Image doing that every workday for eight or more hours a day.

Employees want to feel safe and comfortable at work. That’s why it’s important that your office is properly ventilated, well-lit, and at a comfortable temperature. Lois Goodell, principal and the director of interior design at CBT Architects, adds on that “Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics; careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness.”

You also need to have a culture that matches your industry, engages your employees, and motivates them. John Tabis, founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company, states in Fast Company that you accomplish this by making the culture personal and authentic. You then need to find a way to communicate your vision and always remember to put people first.

4. Offer Training

Entrepreneur recommends that “you should offer skills enhancement to all your workers.” Why? “New technology, new selling techniques, changes in employment laws, and the huge impact of the internet are all compelling reasons to keep permanent employees in the loop.”

Here are some ways to keep your employees trained:

  • Computerized training
  • DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles and pamphlets
  • Mentoring programs
  • Outside seminars and classes

Stay Interview5. Listen to Them

You can learn a lot when listening to employees. Maybe it’s a great new business plan that can be implemented, which makes them feel like they’re a part of the entire business process. Perhaps you heard they have a sick family member, so you want to send them a card or flowers or simply wish them condolences. You can always spare a few minutes to find out what’s going on with your employees in both their professional and personal lives.

Bonus tip: Conduct “stay” interviews so you can find out exactly why employees have remained with the company and what it would take for them to leave.

6. Quarterly Reviews

Quarterly reviews, or evaluations, are a major assist. These one-on-one meetings allow you to set goals and define how you want these goals to be achieved. However, this discussion should also include asking them what they need to accomplish these goals. Remember, this is should be a conversation and not a lecture.

7. Recognize Their Accomplishments

Finally, and perhaps most important, you have to recognize the accomplishments of employees. This could be a simple thank you or handwritten well-done note. If you want to raise the stakes, you could thank them by introducing them to new clients, sponsoring them at an industry event/conference, stock options, or awarding a prize.

However you decide to reward your employees, praising employees for completing performance goals is one of the most effective ways to make them feel appropriate, which will make them want to stay with you for the long haul.

DLA Piper Breaks Into Canada With Davis Merger

DLA A year after its bid to merge with now-defunct Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie fell through, DLA Piper has found a partner up north in Davis, a 260-lawyer midtier firm based in Vancouver. The combination, effective in April, marks the latest combination of a U.S.-based global firm with a Canadian one. The tie-up, which Davis partners voted overwhelmingly to approve Wednesday, and DLA Piper’s global and Americas boards approved the week before, will bring into the DLA Piper fold seven new offices besides the base in Vancouver, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Tokyo, Whitehorse and Yellowknife—the latter two in Canada’s mining-rich provinces in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, respectively. (At 60 and 62 degrees north, the two outposts may well be the most northerly of any Am Law 100 firm.) The merger should boost DLA Piper’s head count to around 4,460 lawyers globally and is the firm’s most audacious since May 2011, when it announced that it would formally integrate with DLA Phillips Fox, an alliance partner in Australia. The New Zealand unit of DLA Phillips Fox has now also joined its Australian counterpart and agreed to rebrand under the DLA Piper name, although sibling publication The Asian Lawyer notes the latter will remain financially independent. (DLA Piper itself was formed through a three-way merger of U.S. and U.K. firms in 2005.) Davis will adopt the name DLA Piper (Canada), joining the Swiss verein’s North American arm as its newest member firm. Founded in 1892, Davis focuses most heavily on energy, natural resources, infrastructure, transport and related corporate and finance areas. Calling the tie-up with the global firm a “one-of-a-kind opportunity,” Davis managing partner Robert Seidel said in a statement that the move was prompted by recognition that many of its clients’ interests are increasingly global. “This combination will allow us to provide seamless global services to them while continuing to work with our domestic clients in the manner they have become accustomed,” Seidel said. The Canadian firm had previously talked to at least one other global firm about a deal, though not a U.S. one, says Roger Meltzer, who a year ago this month was tapped to become the new global and Americas co-chairman at DLA Piper. Meltzer says that his firm had been looking to make a move into Canada since early 2012. Last year, after the failure of a three-week, night-and-day effort to open an office with 70 partners from dissolved midtier Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie, the firm’s global leadership “took a breath, took a step back,” says Meltzer, “and we decided we’ve got to be more disruptive, more aggressive about it, we’ve got to do something more surprising. Let’s see if there’s a firm out there that fits our size and scope without overbuying in what is already a crowded Canadian legal market.” The Heenan Blaikie experience “clarified our thinking,” he adds. As talks intensified, it became clearer that the culture, as well as metrics on partner performance and firm performance overall, were similar. Davis was also strongest in areas that were a primary focus for the global firm: mining, energy, venture capital and project finance. Meltzer was particularly impressed with the firm’s management, which has been able to maintain profitability and grow revenues despite a collapse in oil prices. For its part, DLA Piper will share some costs and will offer support in building up Davis’s undersized office in Toronto, Canada’s financial center, via lateral acquisitions, Meltzer says. The firms have also had a chance to “test drive” each other by exclusively referring cross-border work to one another for the past few months, he notes.

Beyond Biglaw: The Dean’s 4-Step Formula For Dealing With Mistakes

By: Gaston Kroub

Show me a lawyer who has not made a mistake in their career, and I will show you a lawyer who has never practiced a single day. Mistakes happen. Lawyers are human, and no matter how well-trained, or how high their billing rate, there will be times when someone screws up. Most of the time, those screwups turn out to be harmless. Other times, they land the unfortunate maker of the mistake in these pages, as an unwilling “news item” of interest.

MistakeAs with many other things related to law practice, younger lawyers are often not taught how to deal with the inevitable mistake when one happens. As a result, easily correctable situations are often made worse, with the “cover-up worse than the crime” an often-seen consequence. In fact, other than being told not to make mistakes, younger lawyers, whether at Biglaw or smaller firms, often receive no training at all with respect to this issue. Making things worse is the tendency of firms to turn partners into demigods, who must have never made a mistake on the way to their current position. And no firm would ever admit that one of its current partners is capable of error. While definitely not true, this aspect of firm “culture” often serves to inculcate in younger lawyers an irrational fear that if they make a single mistake — disaster. Bye-bye to their jobs, at least.

This is a silly state of affairs. And when younger lawyers think that the more senior lawyers they work for are infallible, they are much less likely to come forward to ask for help correcting a mistake. No one wants to be embarrassed and admit they created a problem. But when mistakes are not addressed quickly — ideally with the input of more experienced lawyers who are better positioned to understand the ramifications of both the mistake and the corrective measures necessary — they have a way of festering, making it worse for everyone.

making mistakes

The solution is a simple one: educate younger lawyers, and “remind” more senior ones, about what to do when a mistake happens, as part of trying to minimize the cultural barriers found in law firms that hamper having mistakes addressed quickly and with the input of everyone on the legal team. To start, we can learn from one of the great basketball coaches of all time, the recently deceased Dean Smith — who, despite coaching some of the best players of all-time, definitely saw his share of mistakes perpetrated by his team on the court.

We can use one of the boneheaded mistakes I made as a relatively senior associate as our example.

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6 Personality Traits That Can Make You a More Trusted Entrepreneur

As entrepreneurs, one of our greatest assets is our ability to be trusted.

No one does business with an untrustworthy person. Without trust, you can’t broker deals, close deals, sell stuff, or come out on top. Trust is the one thing you can’t live without.

Trust is hard to gain, though. Many people, especially successful businesspeople are inherently distrustful of others. This is one of the reasons why they’re successful. They have learned not to blindly trust people. By taking this approach toward most people, they have been able to protect themselves from stupid business deals and dangerous partnerships.

If you are an entrepreneur or business person involved in making and closing deals, one of the best things you can do is to build trust. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Authenticity — truly being trustworthy.

You can’t fake trust. You are either trustworthy or not. People who are emotionally intelligent and perceptive will be able to tell.

Being authentically trustworthy requires that you be honest in all your dealings — big and small. You must ensure that every area of your life has trustworthiness. That means keeping promises, maintaining relationships, following through on commitments, keeping your word, doing your taxes and following the little laws.

We all make genuine mistakes. You can’t be perfect. But trust isn’t about perfection, nor is it about some legalistic adherence to an arbitrary standard. It’s an approach to life that is characterized by the pursuit of trustworthiness.

Trust Falls

2. Confidence — insisting on your own way.

Ironic as it seems, someone who is trustworthy is someone who insists on his or her own way.

Why is this true? In any relationship, people will trust someone who knows what they are doing. If you behave in such a way that you know what you’re doing, it inspires trust in others.

Obviously, you don’t want to be rude about this. There’s a way to insist on your own way that doesn’t run roughshod over others. Be gentle but firm about the way that you know to be the best, and people will trust you.

3. Humility — asking for feedback.

Another way to create trust in others is to ask for their input.

When someone voices his or her viewpoint on an issue, the person is creating buy-in. The individual feels as if he or she is having a part in the project, thus voluntarily becoming invested in it. As long as someone feels like he or she is a valued part of the project, the person will trust your leadership of that project.

In order for this approach to be successful, you have to really listen and respond. People can tell if you’re merely getting token acceptance, and whether they are being valued and appreciated.

4. Calmness — refusing to panic in stressful situations

As long as you have a sense of calm resoluteness, people will trust you.

Stressful situations are some of the greatest opportunities to create trustworthiness. While everyone else is running around in a panic, you remain confident and unflustered. People gravitate to that kind of approach. They trust you.

Stressful times are going to happen, both in life and business. The calmer you are, the more you will be able to inspire the trust of those around you.


5. Experience — trying and failing

You gain trustworthiness by experience. In order to get experience, you have to make bold moves. Yes, you might fail; but even in failure, you earn trust.

Many successful entrepreneurs whom I know are young. I’ve met twenty-somethings who are worth millions of dollars, investing in VC, starting tech companies and disrupting industries. One of the ways that they’ve built their businesses is by experiencing ups and downs, and creating trust in that way.

Experience breeds trust, but you can’t experience anything unless you go for it. You may fail, and that’s OK, because you’ve gained valuable lessons, and you’ve built trust.

6. Honesty — always telling the truth

At its core, trustworthiness is about honesty. People will only trust you if they know you’re telling the truth.

I can’t think of a business situation where it is better to lie than to tell the truth. As cliche as it may be, honesty is the best policy.


In a business environment that is dripping with inauthenticity, artificiality and scam deals, you’ve got to be a person that people can trust.

Trustworthiness creates its own reputation. As you prove your ability to be trusted, other people will trust you. This creates a cascade of trusting relationships, which lead to profitable business deals. You simply can’t go wrong by being trustworthy.

There will be times when you’re tempted to cut corners or do some little under-the-table deals. Avoid it. It can take a lifetime to build trustworthiness, but it can come crumbling down with one wrong move.

What personality traits do you think are important for being a trusted person?

When an Employee Is On Call, Is That Working?

Waiting on Phone

Your employee is on call, but does that mean he or she is on the clock? Jennifer Palagi of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore takes on the issue in a recent post. She says that in some cases, wage-and-hour law requires on-call time to be paid at minimum wage (or more) if it is “controlled.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has come up with two predominant factors that must be assessed when determining if the time is compensable: 1) the degree to which the employee is free to engage in personal activities, and 2) the agreements between the parties.

Whether the employee is free during on-call hours depends on if there are restrictions to his or her movement, an on-premises living requirement and whether on-call responsibilities could be easily traded, among other elements. As for the agreement, this could be analyzed by a court to see whether the two parties characterize wait time as work or have decided that the person will be paid only for time spent performing an actual job, explains Palagi. She warns companies to structure on-call assignments effectively with an eye to these laws and also to have a clear on-call policy in place.

Schiff Hardin Makes Way for First Female Managing Partner


Marci Eisenstein has been elected managing partner of Schiff Hardin, making her the first female to serve in that role in the Chicago-based firm’s 150-year history.

“I am really honored to have that position,” Eisenstein tells The Am Law Daily.

Her new role is effective immediately, and she succeeds Ronald Safer, who served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade, according to Eisenstein. Safer will continue on as a member of Schiff Hardin’s executive committee while also co-leading the firm’s white-collar crime and corporate compliance group.

Eisenstein, who joined Schiff Hardin in 1979, has also served as a member of the executive committee for over 10 years. She says she expects to remain the co-leader of the firm’s insurance and class action groups, while acknowledging that she “will be spending considerably more time on day-to-day management.”

Eisenstein, 60, has spent years representing clients—many of which are insurers—in class actions nationwide. She was a lead trial lawyer for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in its defense against a 48-state class action seeking damages following changes the insurer made to auto claims. A long-awaited victory for Eisenstein arrived in August 2005, when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a 1999 award to policyholders topping $1 billion and dismissed the case with prejudice. The reversal was a big blow to San Francisco-based plaintiffs firm Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein at the time, The Am Law Daily reported.

As the new managing partner, Eisenstein says she will continue emphasizing Schiff Hardin’s core values, including diversity, transparency and collegiality, along with firm growth.

Schiff Hardin has been on an expansion path recently, completing mergers with Washington, D.C.-based Bruder, Gentile & Marcoux in January 2013 and New York-based Mazur Carp & Rubin in July of the same year. The Bruder Gentile merger marked a move by Schiff Hardin to double the depth of its energy practice, as The Am Law Daily previously reported.

Though Eisenstein is Schiff Hardin’s first female managing partner, the firm has been active in promoting women. In December 2014, The American Lawyer noted that at least two-thirds of Schiff Hardin’s new partner class was composed of women for the third year running. That compared to the average among Am Law 200 firms of 32.7 percent.

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