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BETHESDA-BOUND Hodes, Ulman, Pessin & Katz, one of the 10 largest law firms in Maryland, has opened a Bethesda office. The Towson-based firm will now have five offices in the state. Founded by Michael Hodes as an elder law and estates solo practice in 1988, the firm has grown to include corporate litigation and education practices with clients including Royal Dutch/Shell, Nationwide Insurance, the Sherwin-Williams Co., and many of the Maryland school districts. The Bethesda office was opened to give clients and potential clients the service of a Washington law firm with the convenience of a suburban one. “You don’t have to go downtown anymore and pay the downtown prices to get the top names,” says marketing director Seth Hodes. The firm has 35 partners, 11 associates, and six of counsel. — Marie Beaudette WILMER’S CLASS ACT Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering has added Charles Platt, the former co-head of litigation at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, as a partner in its New York office. Platt specializes in complex securities and consumer class actions; internal fraud investigations; and corporate control contests. In 1992, he was appointed special assistant U.S. attorney for the Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro (“Iraqgate”) investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. — Jenna Greene FENWICK PULLS OUT Silicon Valley-based Fenwick & West has closed its D.C. office in the wake of dashed hopes of catching business from the telecom and life sciences boom. Founded in the mid-1980s,the office was expanded in 2000 to capture some of that business, but “those markets have not developed as rapidly as we hoped,” says firm chair Gordon Davidson. He says several of the office’s 12 lawyers will remain until the end of the year to wrap things up. The Washington office was the home of biotech lawyer Jonathan Aberman, whom the firm hired last year from California-based Pillsbury & Winthrop. — M.B.

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