Coffina was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania between 1997 and 2001. He then joined Montgomery McCracken before taking a nearly two-year hiatus from the firm to serve in the White House.
Coffina was hired in May 2007 by White House counsel Fred Fielding, shortly after Fielding's appointment. With the Democrats having just taken control of Congress in January 2007, Fielding was gearing up for increased oversight demands.
While some of the attorneys had a specific portfolio focused purely on things like ethics or security, Coffina had the political portfolio, which included, in large part, ensuring employees followed rules of the Hatch Act. He became rather busy answering questions about the act as 2008 came around and the election cycle really heated up.
Coffina was also the liaison to the Department of Energy and fielded a lot of questions about drilling and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Advising Bush on judicial selection fell under Coffina's umbrella as well. He was in charge of looking at potential appointees from the D.C. and 11th Circuits.
When President Obama took office, Coffina moved back to Montgomery McCracken. Since that time, he has focused on leading internal investigations and defending major pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers against allegations of improper marketing and False Claims Act violations.
WILLIAM A. DESTEFANO
DeStefano took over as chairman of the seven-lawyer practice.
DeStefano said he made the move not because he was unhappy at Buchanan Ingersoll, but because Stevens & Lee's cost structure and overhead, along with profits per equity partner of more than $1 million, were impressive. He said the firm is able to grow PPP to that level because of its smart cost structure, which he said offers more flexibility on the rates he can charge his clients something that is important to all clients in this competitive marketplace.
Stevens & Lee has fewer than 200 lawyers rather than the several hundred other firms have, DeStefano pointed out. All of the firm's back-office services are housed in a building the firm owns in Reading, where it is much cheaper to staff those services than if they were done in Center City Philadelphia, he said. And the annual overhead per lawyer at Stevens & Lee is around $130,000 per attorney, which he said is just more than half the overhead-per-lawyer at Buchanan Ingersoll.
ROBERT T. HORST
Robert T. Horst, a founding partner of Blue Bell, Pa.-based insurance law firm Nelson Levine de Luca & Horst, left the firm to join Bucks County firm Curtin & Heefner.