Arent Fox logo.JPGArent Foxrecently infamous for telling previously deferred associates to go away, permanently — will be under new management. Here’s the opening of the Arent Fox press release:

Arent Fox LLP today announced that the firm’s Executive Committee has unanimously approved the appointment of Mark M. Katz as chairman of the firm. He succeeds Marc L. Fleischaker, who stepped down after 14 years in that post. Mr. Katz’s appointment was effective March 1.

Let’s hope that Mr. Katz leads Arent Fox to better results in 2010 than the firm enjoyed in 2009.
In the Washington Post, Katz immediately sets about the hard, managing partner work of massaging the past.


In today’s Washington Post, Katz tells an interesting story about the year that was at Arent Fox:

Like many of its counterparts, Arent Fox has faced declining revenue as corporate clients cut back on legal work, particularly in commercial real estate and finance, Katz said Monday in an interview. Although the firm cut 13 associates and 15 staff members and is in the early stages of restructuring how it bills clients, Katz said Arent Fox wasn’t hurt as deeply by the recession because it decided to grow more cautiously during the boom.
“Some of the firms that grew very rapidly and worked on a mega-international platform seem to be running into difficulties,” he said. “We’ve grown on a patient pace, and that’s helped us.”

Well, I’m not sure that deferring an entire class for a year and then telling a number of them to go away completely constitutes a “patient pace.” It sounds more like a medium pace to me, but whatever.
On the bright side, it appears that Katz is much better at sticking to a set of talking points than another man he’s tangentially associated with:

Katz, who joined the firm in 1987, is married to Cynthia Hogan, counsel to Vice President Biden.

Dear lord, can you imagine if there was a Biglaw chairman or managing partner out there who talked like Joe Biden? We could all just sit back and wait for the lulz to roll in.
D.C. law firm Arent Fox names Mark M. Katz new chairman [Washington Post]
Earlier: Incoming Associates, Some of You Aren’t Going to Be Working at Arent Fox


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