Christina “Tina” Tchen plans on applying a broad bird’s eye view of the globe, which she learned from her previous job as chief of staff to former First Lady Michelle Obama, in her new role as a partner and head of the Chicago office at 150-lawyer Buckley Sandler.
Buckley Sandler announced Tuesday its hire of Tchen to lead its office in the Windy City, where the Washington, D.C.-based firm opened an office in 2013. Tchen brings to Buckley Sandler a unique blend of expertise in commercial litigation, government enforcement and regulatory affairs work.
“It gives you perspective—360 degrees around the world,” said Tchen about her White House stint, recalling how her days in the East Wing required her to jump between topics and juggle tasks.
During her daily duties in the Obama administration—part of which can be seen on film in a documentary that aired earlier this year on CNN—Tchen applied her ability to attend to important details, a process she honed during more than two decades practicing law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
It was her former colleague at Skadden—Buckley Sandler chairman and CEO Andrew Sandler—who helped lure her to a new perch in private practice. Sandler, a former head of the consumer financial services enforcement and litigation group at Skadden, left the global legal giant in 2009 to form Buckley Sandler.
In less than a decade, the fast-growing firm has since broken into the ranks of the Am Law 200, thanks to a client roster that includes big banks, credit card issuers, financial technology startups, mortgage originators, private equity firms and other companies operating in the financial services industry.
For Tchen, the fast-paced changes occurring within the financial services industry were part of the allure in returning to Big Law.
“I just signed a lease for my apartment with my finger,” she said, noting biometric verification and “new ways for moving money around” make clients’ hankering for good legal advice all the more meaningful.