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Anthony de Alcuaz has been pretty busy since he started work at McDermott, Will & Emery in mid-2000. He’s added 20 lawyers in nearly three years to the firm’s Silicon Valley outpost and exceeded the firm’s revenue goals each year. His reward appears to be more trips to Chicago. As the newest member of McDermott’s 21-member management committee, de Alcuaz expects at the very least the new responsibilities will have him spending more time in the firm’s main office in the Windy City. But the payoff for the added workload is that he’ll now have more of a say in McDermott’s firmwide direction and strategy. Managing McDermott — which has some 950 lawyers and grossed $562.5 million in 2001 — is no small task. De Alcuaz said he hopes his three-year term on the committee won’t take him too far from clients. “I like the business part of this business, but I don’t want that to be all I do,” de Alcuaz said. He currently splits his time between his intellectual property practice and managing the firm’s 37-lawyer Palo Alto office. Still, de Alcuaz said he’s pleased to be tapped for a more official role in firm management. And his formal place at the table stands to make it easier to convince his competitors and would-be hires that McDermott is taking its Silicon Valley presence seriously. “When I was trying to recruit people [in 2000], people were wondering, ‘Are you guys here for the long haul?’” de Alcuaz said, adding that his affirmative answer has more clout these days. De Alcuaz jumped to McDermott from Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin just as the Internet boom was hitting the skids in 2000. His mission at the time was to hire more lawyers and boost the firm’s profile in Northern California. McDermott also has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. “It was difficult for the firm to get traction” in Silicon Valley, de Alcuaz said. Opened in 1997, the office had 11 lawyers when de Alcuaz was brought in three years later to take charge. “Initially, it was getting a few of the best people in the place and then convincing people we were committed to the Valley.” De Alcuaz said he scored early on when he lured over IP litigator Terrence McMahon from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. He also raided Fenwick & West for a team of tax lawyers, including Frederick Chilton Jr. His move up in management won’t change his hiring goals when it comes to finding new talent for the Silicon Valley office. “What it does is give me a vote,” de Alcuaz said, “and perhaps that makes me more effective in achieving those goals.”

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