Former Latham & Watkins partner Christopher “Kit” Kaufman isn’t your typical entrant into the world of alternative dispute resolution. In his big firm practice, he was a dealmaker. He handled Lucasfilm’s more than $4 billion sale to The Walt Disney Co. and Avago Technologies’ $37 billion acquisition of Broadcom Inc., just to name a couple of career highlights.
But now, post-big firm retirement, he wants to help parties resolve issues involving much smaller dollar figures. Kaufman this year launched Swift Dispute Resolution, a process he hopes will help parties with disputes in the mid-six-figure range bring their conflicts to a quick, inexpensive and effective end. Kaufman’s SDR has the look and feel of a daylong mediation session with an important catch: If the parties can’t reach a resolution by the end of the day, he will render a decision that the parties agree will be binding. The Recorder caught up with Kaufman to get the details on this new venture and to prod him about why a deal guy like him is equipped to resolve disputes outside court.
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