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Howard Scher has been elected to Buchanan Ingersoll’s five-member executive committee, replacing the departing Kevin Silverang as the lone Philadelphian on the firm’s senior management body. Scher also will serve for the time being as Buchanan’s sole Philadelphia office managing partner but will relinquish his role as litigation department co-chairman, firm chairman Tom VanKirk said. VanKirk said the firm’s partnership elected Scher last Friday to the executive committee after canvassing Buchanan attorneys for their opinions. “We went through an orderly process and talked to a number of partners about who should fill the spot, and it was unanimous that it should be Howard,” VanKirk said. “I think it was in the best interest of the firm to have someone from outside Pittsburgh, and Washington already has someone. And Howard is an important lawyer in an important office for the firm.” Scher headlined a five-partner group of litigators that moved to Buchanan in March 2001 from Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads. He was soon named litigation department co-chairman and became Philadelphia office co-managing partner last spring. As a member of the executive committee, Scher earns an automatic seat on the firm’s 19-member board of directors, which also includes Philadelphia corporate partner Doug Coopersmith. Though sources said the firm was considering Coopersmith and litigator Steve Bizar as co-managing partners of the Philadelphia office, VanKirk said the firm would have Scher fly solo in the role, with Steve Braverman serving as the office’s administrative partner. Harrisburg office partner Jack Stover will now serve as the sole litigation department chairman. “With Howard’s involvement in so many important management positions with the firm, combined with the fact that he’s still a really busy litigator, it becomes a question of how much time he would have to dedicate to all of those activities,” VanKirk said. “I think it would have been too much of a burden for him to assume all of those duties. And we still might look at a co-head for Philadelphia.” Scher said he does not think the extra management duties will hinder his rainmaking litigation practice. “I still think I’ll have an unlimited amount of time to devote to the practice of law,” Scher said. “When you factor in [my new commitments], I think you’re talking about five hours a week handling administrative tasks. So it won’t be a burden. “What it will be is a real opportunity to affect the destiny of this office, the firm and the litigation practice — all of which are dear to my heart. I expect to continue to grow this office, and I don’t think there will be much of a switch in priorities. I don’t think there’s a [practice] area where we wouldn’t look for help, even one of our strongest areas like litigation.” As Philadelphia office managing partner, Scher will also be responsible for overseeing the growth of the Wilmington office, which now has one litigation partner and several bankruptcy lawyers that split time between Philadelphia and Wilmington. Silverang, a real estate partner, announced last month that he would be leaving Buchanan after seven years to take a position as a senior partner at King of Prussia-based real estate developer O’Neill Properties. Since that time, it has been learned that real estate partner Frederick Masters and associate Kelly Anne Donohoe will also be making the move. VanKirk said that because Silverang would be leaving his book of business behind, the firm would be looking to add some real estate lawyers. Right now the Philadelphia office has partners Timothy Davis and Nancy Sabol Frantz and two associates. Silverang is set to depart the firm by March 15 after taking some time to transition his clients. His practice has been centered in real estate law, and he has also handled banking and litigation matters.

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