Richard Franklin, left, and George Karibjanian, right, of Franklin Karibjanian & Law in Washington, D.C.
Richard Franklin, left, and George Karibjanian, right, of Franklin Karibjanian & Law in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

Washington Wrap is a weekly roundup of Big Law hires and other Washington, D.C., legal industry news. Read the previous edition here. Send tips and lateral moves to Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@alm.com.

You might first notice the minor-key piano music that boutique law firm McArthur Franklin uses on its phone system’s hold line. Or the classical music it pipes into its downtown Washington, D.C., offices. Perhaps the brocade chairs, velvet couch and landscape oil paintings in the lobby strike you as different from most law firms. Or the conference room table that came from a dining room suite.

The combined aesthetic, reminiscent of visiting a funeral home or the mansion of a distant uncle, is all deliberate. Name partner Richard Franklin has chosen every piece of art and furnishing in this office to be comforting to his wealthy clients when they come to him to plan their trusts and estates.

“I was just going for something different than any law firm in town,” Franklin said this week. “This is an area where people are looking for guidance and opinions.”

The firm, founded by Virginia McArthur, who retired in 2015, will change its name to Franklin, Karibjanian & Law on Monday.

D.C.-based Richard Franklin, a former partner with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, is teaming up with Florida-based Lester Law, who last worked at a bank owned by Wells Fargo, and George Karibjanian, who left Proskauer Rose earlier this month to form the new partnership. Karibjanian and Law will both work part time out of the Washington offices. The firm also has one associate. Another lawyer, Molly Walls, has left the firm.

A large portion of the firm’s clients are partners at law firms, Franklin said.

While several large law firms keep their own trusts and estates practices in-house, as well as offer them to individuals among the firm’s clientele, boutiques are common in the practice area, which often commands lower rates than other practices and works on some contingency to be paid after a client dies.

Karibjanian described his firm as having a broad national base of clients, especially in south Florida, California and in the Northeast.

“Here we are in the back nine of our careers, and we’re parlaying everything we’ve done to date. Not many people get to do this,” Karibjanian said. He said the trio, all friends for about six years, wanted to do something “fun” and build an all-star group “like what Lebron [James], Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did with the Heat” in Miami.

Karibjanian’s sports references couldn’t be further from Franklin’s go-to metaphors. In describing his views on inheritance law, Franklin pointed to a photo his daughter took of the world-famous Duomo in Florence, Italy. While the cathedral’s dome is what draws the crowds, completing its foundation took decades of toil in the 13th century. That’s similar to how past generations of wealthy families spent their lives accumulating wealth so that their descendants could focus on finer things, he said.

He cited psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the writings of John Adams and humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers in describing the importance, to him, of the preservation of wealth from generation to generation. It’s highbrow stuff.

The week’s lateral moves:

• Former White House counsel Neil Eggleston rejoined Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in Washington. No word yet if he’ll earn more than the $5.1 million he reported when he left the firm in 2014.

April Doss, who joined Saul Ewing about a year ago from the National Security Agency and has chaired the firm’s cybersecurity and privacy practice, will serve as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee as it investigates whether Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election.

• The White House announced Friday that David Bernhardt is nominated to be deputy Secretary of the Interior. He is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a major law-and-lobbying firm in the West and in D.C., and chairs its natural resources department. He is a registered lobbyist for the Westlands Water District, which supplies agricultural water in California; Rosemont Copper Co. on mining plans; Active Network, a Texas-based software company; and Freeport LNG Expansion, a natural gas project in Texas.

While Bernhardt is based in Washington for the firm, the White House noted he hails from Rifle, Colorado, which has the “feel of the old West” and “is accented by a surprising variety of sculptures, from an elk at the entrance to a cowboy riding a trout.”

• Two big firms announced new offices: Covington & Burling, a Washington institution, will open in Johannesburg and Dubai after a lateral group pickup from Chadbourne & Parke. And Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is filling its Houston office with partners from Baker Botts.

• Dentons announced it had affiliated with international policy and national security consultancy Jones Group International and added its founder, James Jones, as a senior adviser at the firm. The Jones Group-Dentons connection will help clients build relationships with foreign governments and develop firm business, the law firm said. Dentons called the relationship “exclusive.” Jones is a former national security adviser to President Barack Obama and a retired U.S. Marine Corps general.

• Sullivan & Cromwell, which has attracted a raft of financial law specialists from the federal government in recent months, hired Adam Szubin, who served as acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department and acting secretary of the Treasury until recently.

• Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, an eight-term Republican from Florida, joined McDermott Will & Emery as a senior legislative adviser in D.C. The firm touted him as “an early supporter of President [Donald] Trump” in a press release. Former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran beefed up the firm’s lobbying practice two years ago.

• Crowell & Moring hired two pesticides lawyers from Dentons, Peter Gray and John Conner Jr., who has a multigenerational connection to both the practice area and his former firm, Sellers, Conner & Cuneo. Gray joins as a partner and Conner joins as senior counsel.

• Bracewell added lobbyist Christine Wyman to its Policy Resolution Group subsidiary as senior counsel. Though she’s not returning to a private practice role as a lawyer, she previously worked as an associate at Baker Botts. She joins Bracewell from the American Gas Association.

• D.C.-based Jonathan Rubin and San Diego-based Daniel Mogin have joined forces to open a plaintiffs-side antitrust boutique.

• And former SEC Chair Mary Jo White, who needs to sleep only four hours a night, is branding her services at Debevoise & Plimpton as a strategic crisis response practice.

In other D.C.-area industry news:

• U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided a tentative roadmap for what companies may expect from his Justice Department on compliance matters and the enforcement approach. Four former deputy attorneys general–including Jamie Gorelick, a Democrat with a very high-ranking Trump family client that she defended in a Washington Post op-ed this week–then offered their interpretations of Sessions’ approach.

Judge Merrick Garland, spotted! The judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit gave kudos to the firms that excelled in pro bono contributions this year at the court’s annual breakfast. Garland appeared at the breakfast Thursday morning, spoke briefly, and thanked the firms.

• Breaking: Every lawyer and politician in Washington appears to like and respect Rod Rosenstein, according to this profile by Cogan Schneier. This week Rosenstein was confirmed as deputy attorney general.

• U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sounds “not at all like someone who is even beginning to consider retirement,” my colleague Tony Mauro writes. She made an “exuberant” appearance at Georgetown University on Thursday.

• Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech about voter suppression and the myth of fraud at the ballot box, in the same week his former boss reappeared in the public eye.

• Supreme Court justices are busy people. The president of the United States is a busy person. So are they not having dinner together because of “scheduling conflicts”?

• A mortgage lending company is hoping the Justice Department will give it a leg up in a fight with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

• David Ruiz, my colleague in California, examined a trunk full of questions about the regulation of driverless cars.

• Have you heard of corporate monitorships, the growing specialty practice in Washington that not many firms are talking about? Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr landed its first such gig, with former DAG David Ogden and former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Ronald Machen on the case.

• My colleagues Chris Johnson and Rose Walker dig into what makes the years-ago merger of D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson and British firm Lovells, and its current form as Hogan Lovells, unique.

• I know this story is about taxes—and that’s not a sexy topic to begin with—but give this a read for insight into how much extra money law partners could pocket under the Trump tax proposal, why it could make equity partnership an even bigger brass ring and why some rainmakers hate the president’s idea.

• The 2017 Am Law 100 is out; don’t miss it! And relive the complete coverage firm-by-firm here.

• Please give a warm welcome to ALM’s newest reporter in Washington, D.C., Erin Mulvaney. She joins us from the Houston Chronicle and will cover all things labor and employment law. So far she’s written about Florida’s attempt to regulate independent contractors who work in the gig economy. Her email is emulvaney@alm.com, or find her on Twitter here.

Washington Wrap is a weekly roundup of Big Law hires and other Washington, D.C., legal industry news. Read the previous edition here. Send tips and lateral moves to Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@alm.com.

You might first notice the minor-key piano music that boutique law firm McArthur Franklin uses on its phone system’s hold line. Or the classical music it pipes into its downtown Washington, D.C., offices. Perhaps the brocade chairs, velvet couch and landscape oil paintings in the lobby strike you as different from most law firms. Or the conference room table that came from a dining room suite.

The combined aesthetic, reminiscent of visiting a funeral home or the mansion of a distant uncle, is all deliberate. Name partner Richard Franklin has chosen every piece of art and furnishing in this office to be comforting to his wealthy clients when they come to him to plan their trusts and estates.

“I was just going for something different than any law firm in town,” Franklin said this week. “This is an area where people are looking for guidance and opinions.”

The firm, founded by Virginia McArthur, who retired in 2015, will change its name to Franklin, Karibjanian & Law on Monday.

D.C.-based Richard Franklin, a former partner with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman , is teaming up with Florida-based Lester Law, who last worked at a bank owned by Wells Fargo , and George Karibjanian, who left Proskauer Rose earlier this month to form the new partnership. Karibjanian and Law will both work part time out of the Washington offices. The firm also has one associate. Another lawyer, Molly Walls, has left the firm.

A large portion of the firm’s clients are partners at law firms, Franklin said.

While several large law firms keep their own trusts and estates practices in-house, as well as offer them to individuals among the firm’s clientele, boutiques are common in the practice area, which often commands lower rates than other practices and works on some contingency to be paid after a client dies.

Karibjanian described his firm as having a broad national base of clients, especially in south Florida, California and in the Northeast.

“Here we are in the back nine of our careers, and we’re parlaying everything we’ve done to date. Not many people get to do this,” Karibjanian said. He said the trio, all friends for about six years, wanted to do something “fun” and build an all-star group “like what Lebron [James], Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did with the Heat” in Miami.

Karibjanian’s sports references couldn’t be further from Franklin’s go-to metaphors. In describing his views on inheritance law, Franklin pointed to a photo his daughter took of the world-famous Duomo in Florence, Italy. While the cathedral’s dome is what draws the crowds, completing its foundation took decades of toil in the 13th century. That’s similar to how past generations of wealthy families spent their lives accumulating wealth so that their descendants could focus on finer things, he said.

He cited psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the writings of John Adams and humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers in describing the importance, to him, of the preservation of wealth from generation to generation. It’s highbrow stuff.

The week’s lateral moves:

• Former White House counsel Neil Eggleston rejoined Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in Washington. No word yet if he’ll earn more than the $5.1 million he reported when he left the firm in 2014.

April Doss, who joined Saul Ewing about a year ago from the National Security Agency and has chaired the firm’s cybersecurity and privacy practice, will serve as special counsel to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee as it investigates whether Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election.

• The White House announced Friday that David Bernhardt is nominated to be deputy Secretary of the Interior. He is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck , a major law-and-lobbying firm in the West and in D.C., and chairs its natural resources department. He is a registered lobbyist for the Westlands Water District, which supplies agricultural water in California; Rosemont Copper Co. on mining plans; Active Network, a Texas-based software company; and Freeport LNG Expansion, a natural gas project in Texas.

While Bernhardt is based in Washington for the firm, the White House noted he hails from Rifle, Colorado, which has the “feel of the old West” and “is accented by a surprising variety of sculptures, from an elk at the entrance to a cowboy riding a trout.”

• Two big firms announced new offices: Covington & Burling , a Washington institution, will open in Johannesburg and Dubai after a lateral group pickup from Chadbourne & Parke . And Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher is filling its Houston office with partners from Baker Botts .

Dentons announced it had affiliated with international policy and national security consultancy Jones Group International and added its founder, James Jones, as a senior adviser at the firm. The Jones Group-Dentons connection will help clients build relationships with foreign governments and develop firm business, the law firm said. Dentons called the relationship “exclusive.” Jones is a former national security adviser to President Barack Obama and a retired U.S. Marine Corps general.

Sullivan & Cromwell , which has attracted a raft of financial law specialists from the federal government in recent months, hired Adam Szubin, who served as acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department and acting secretary of the Treasury until recently.

• Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, an eight-term Republican from Florida, joined McDermott Will & Emery as a senior legislative adviser in D.C. The firm touted him as “an early supporter of President [Donald] Trump” in a press release. Former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran beefed up the firm’s lobbying practice two years ago.

Crowell & Moring hired two pesticides lawyers from Dentons , Peter Gray and John Conner Jr., who has a multigenerational connection to both the practice area and his former firm, Sellers, Conner & Cuneo. Gray joins as a partner and Conner joins as senior counsel.

• Bracewell added lobbyist Christine Wyman to its Policy Resolution Group subsidiary as senior counsel. Though she’s not returning to a private practice role as a lawyer, she previously worked as an associate at Baker Botts . She joins Bracewell from the American Gas Association.

• D.C.-based Jonathan Rubin and San Diego-based Daniel Mogin have joined forces to open a plaintiffs-side antitrust boutique.

• And former SEC Chair Mary Jo White, who needs to sleep only four hours a night, is branding her services at Debevoise & Plimpton as a strategic crisis response practice.

In other D.C.-area industry news:

• U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions provided a tentative roadmap for what companies may expect from his Justice Department on compliance matters and the enforcement approach. Four former deputy attorneys general–including Jamie Gorelick, a Democrat with a very high-ranking Trump family client that she defended in a Washington Post op-ed this week–then offered their interpretations of Sessions’ approach.

Judge Merrick Garland, spotted! The judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit gave kudos to the firms that excelled in pro bono contributions this year at the court’s annual breakfast. Garland appeared at the breakfast Thursday morning, spoke briefly, and thanked the firms.

• Breaking: Every lawyer and politician in Washington appears to like and respect Rod Rosenstein, according to this profile by Cogan Schneier. This week Rosenstein was confirmed as deputy attorney general.

• U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sounds “not at all like someone who is even beginning to consider retirement,” my colleague Tony Mauro writes. She made an “exuberant” appearance at Georgetown University on Thursday.

• Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech about voter suppression and the myth of fraud at the ballot box, in the same week his former boss reappeared in the public eye.

• Supreme Court justices are busy people. The president of the United States is a busy person. So are they not having dinner together because of “scheduling conflicts”?

• A mortgage lending company is hoping the Justice Department will give it a leg up in a fight with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

• David Ruiz, my colleague in California, examined a trunk full of questions about the regulation of driverless cars.

• Have you heard of corporate monitorships, the growing specialty practice in Washington that not many firms are talking about? Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr landed its first such gig, with former DAG David Ogden and former U.S. Attorney for D.C. Ronald Machen on the case.

• My colleagues Chris Johnson and Rose Walker dig into what makes the years-ago merger of D.C.’s Hogan & Hartson and British firm Lovells, and its current form as Hogan Lovells , unique.

• I know this story is about taxes—and that’s not a sexy topic to begin with—but give this a read for insight into how much extra money law partners could pocket under the Trump tax proposal, why it could make equity partnership an even bigger brass ring and why some rainmakers hate the president’s idea.

• The 2017 Am Law 100 is out; don’t miss it! And relive the complete coverage firm-by-firm here.

• Please give a warm welcome to ALM’s newest reporter in Washington, D.C., Erin Mulvaney. She joins us from the Houston Chronicle and will cover all things labor and employment law. So far she’s written about Florida’s attempt to regulate independent contractors who work in the gig economy. Her email is emulvaney@alm.com, or find her on Twitter here.