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GREED ON EARTH, AVARICE TO ALL Ah, that heartwarming time of the year. MoFo’s alligator mascot — which is incorporated into a yearly in-house gift — this year is in the center of a snow-globe world awash in metallic dollar signs and little bills in denominations of $10, $50, $20 and $1,000. The message at the base: “MoFo Liti-GATORS Devour by the Hour.” And the money motif doesn’t stop there. The globes, which are actually cube-shaped, come with a little gift card with the motto: “Let it Mo, Let it Fo, Let it Snow” — and the “s” in snow is a dollar sign. “Litigators make a lot of money in our firm,” said partner Thomas Ciotti, who dreamed up the annual gator-emblazoned holiday gift. Ciotti and fellow intellectual property partner Debra Shetka have been dreaming up gator gifts — take-offs of the alligator mascot MoFo litigators have used for years — since shortly after joining MoFo in 1991. “We work a lot with the litigators,” Ciotti said. “We decided we want to get them a holiday present, and now they look forward to it.” A few key clients are also on the gift list. The legal team at one client, Chiron Corp., even gets into the spirit, crafting similar gator-inspired jokes for MoFo lawyers. Past gifts have included baseball caps, luggage tags and a “floaty” pen that features a tiny fluid-suspended gator sliding between the office and court, depending on which direction the pen was suspended. The gifts have been so popular that in the past, partners have given them out during new client meetings. — Renee Deger HIRING COUP Bothwell Marketing’s work for Morrison & Foerster has netted the company more than an advertising award. The consulting and marketing agency has snared Carl Whitaker, MoFo’s chief marketing officer, who is joining Bothwell as vice president next month. Based in Emeryville, Bothwell Marketing provides consulting and marketing services to law firms and a variety of other businesses. The agency won the American Advertising Federation’s “Addy” award this year for its MoFo ad campaign. But Anne Bothwell, president of Bothwell Marketing, said getting Whitaker to join the company is “the grand prize.” “A lot of people talk the talk,” she said, but Whitaker “gets things done” and is able to strategize with everyone from corporate executives to law firm chairmen. Whitaker joined MoFo in 1979 as a librarian and after about 10 years started helping the firm with big projects. He became marketing director in 1992 and saw the department grow from a four-person staff to 20 employees firmwide. Whitaker said his most exciting work was helping to establish MoFo as a tech firm in the late 1990s. He worked with Bothwell in putting together the ad campaign featuring a fellow on a surfboard with various tag lines emphasizing MoFo’s global presence. “I’m totally bonded to the firm,” Whitaker said, but “making the big leap to consulting seems like the thing to do.” Whitaker and Bothwell are among the pioneers of law firm marketing. Bothwell spent 15 years as marketing director of three different firms — Rosen, Wachtell & Gilbert; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; and finally at Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May. She started her own agency five years ago. Bothwell has been steadily growing the business, hiring a creative director, Polly Lockman, from the Discovery Channel and more recently Web developer Alison Uebner from Marketing Visions. With Whitaker, the staff stands at six. Bothwell said the agency is “carving out a niche,” combining the services of a consulting firm like Hildebrandt International with those of a design company. The agency helps firms find out where they stand among their peers to develop a marketing plan. Marketing is “not just about brochures anymore,” Bothwell said. “Firms are looking for heavy-duty analysis.” – Brenda Sandburg MARQUEE CASE As the nation’s largest companies continue to falter, bankruptcy practices continue to pick up new clients. The latest firm to emerge with a lead role in a marquee Chapter 11 case is Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Last week, the firm announced that it was chosen to represent the official committee of unsecured creditors in the United Airlines bankruptcy case. With $25.2 billion in assets, United parent UAL Corp.’s Chapter 11 filing is the largest bankruptcy in the airline industry and the seventh largest in U.S. history. The Sonnenschein team will be led by partner Fruman Jacobson in Chicago, where United filed for bankruptcy and where Sonnenschein is headquartered. But the firm will draw on its various bankruptcy practice resources, including New York partner Carole Neville, as well as its West Coast bankruptcy practice headed by Los Angeles partner Michael Lubic, who joined the firm last year. Sonnenschein was among 19 firms vying for the job in the six days since the creditors committee was formed. The field was eventually narrowed to six. “Clearly, I think we had an advantage in being a Chicago firm, but nobody [on the creditor's committee] said that,” said Neville. — Alexei Oreskovic

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