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Name and title: Daniel J. Kaufman, vice president and general counsel Age: 45 Kids’ stuff: “My kids continue to be thrilled with my career choices,” said Daniel J. Kaufman, general counsel of the Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp., which owns the EB Games chain of video and computer game stores. When we first met Kaufman in these pages in February 2001, it was in his profile as GC of Zany Brainy Inc., a nationwide retailer of toys, books and videos for preteens. While Kaufman was busy at work doing deals, managing litigation and putting together Zany Brainy’s $61 million initial public offering, his three young sons were at home playing with Dad’s trade show samples. Since then, Zany Brainy has gone into bankruptcy and been sold. After winding up its legal affairs, Kaufman was hired as EB’s first GC in January 2002. So he has gone on to another company, but his children still enjoy playing with the stuff that Dad brings home from the office. Organization: In 1977, Agnes Kim started selling calculators and radios at an “Electronics Boutique” kiosk in a suburban Philadelphia mall, as her husband James established an American subsidiary of his father’s Korean electronics firm. From this humble beginning, West Chester, Pa.-based Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. has become the world’s largest chain of stores specializing in video and computer games and associated hardware. Last year, 1,600 EB Games stores in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia took in $1.59 billion in revenue. EB went public in 1998, with the Kim family holding just less than half of the company’s common stock. The company has about 9,500 full- and part-time employees, all nonunion, and hires another 1,300 for the holiday shopping season. Kaufman’s crew: Kaufman heads a 14-employee law office, including four other lawyers. While the other in-house lawyers concentrate on negotiating store leases, Kaufman deals with regulatory compliance, SEC filings, corporate governance, licensing, major contracts, investor relations and intellectual property matters. EB’s main outside firm is Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Eller of Philadelphia, which helps Kaufman with a broad range of corporate and securities matters. San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson handles employment issues nationwide. Klehr Harrison serves as EB’s “coordinating litigation counsel,” overseeing the roughly dozen firms that handle EB’s litigation throughout the United States and abroad. Lawyers at the firm’s Philadelphia; Wilmington, Del.; and Cherry Hill, N.J., offices deal with most local litigation. British barristers: In Kaufman’s first month at EB, the company was hit with a lawsuit in London by British-based Game Group PLC, which had a management-services agreement under which EB and its affiliates received about $6 million annually to assist Game Group’s operations in the United Kingdom. Game Group sought a ruling that, because of changes in EB’s stock ownership, it was entitled to terminate the contract before its 2006 expiration. Kaufman and Klehr Harrison’s Michael Coran worked with London barrister Michael Todd and solicitors from the Fladgate Fiedler firm to defend the contract in London’s chancery court. EB prevailed at trial and on appeal, with its interpretation of U.S. corporate law supported by expert testimony from lawyers at Drinker Biddle & Reath of Philadelphia and Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell of Wilmington, Del. According to Kaufman, the court victory helped EB to negotiate a $15 million deal with Game Group to terminate the agreement this year. Litigation: EB’s other litigation includes more routine retailer matters, such as employment, lease, contract, regulatory compliance and intellectual property disputes. In December, EB joined the scores of California employers that have been sued for violating the state’s strict wage and hour laws. The class action complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that the company improperly classified store managers as exempt from overtime regulations. Like many retailers, EB has also been hit with class action complaints based on California’s consumer protection laws. Kaufman declined to discuss ongoing litigation, but noted that EB’s experience in California is hardly unique. In recent national conferences of retail lawyers, “about 20% to 30% of the dialogue seems to relate to one state,” he said. Growth: EB’s recent growth has been as dizzying as the newest Xbox video game. The company opened 399 stores last year, and plans to open a similar number this year. EB leases all of its stores, and pays about $100 million in rent annually, said Kaufman. By necessity, Kaufman said he has developed a “production line” for lease negotiations. “We standardize what we ask for, and how we ask for it,” he said. Kaufman has prioritized lease terms to ensure that the company’s strategic interests are protected, and to avoid haggling over hypotheticals. Route to the top: A native of Wilmington, Del., Kaufman is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A. in economics, 1981) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D. 1984). After a year at Wilmington’s Richards, Layton & Finger, Kaufman became an associate at White & Case. In 1988, he moved to Robinson Silverman Pearce Aronsohn & Berman (now Bryan Cave). Kaufman left private practice in 1990 to join the Resolution Trust Corp. as an asset marketing director of its Philadelphia office. In 1993, he was hired as general counsel of Zelenkofske, Axelrod & Co. of Jenkintown, Pa., an accounting and management-consulting firm. The next year, he went in-house at Zany Brainy. Family: Daniel and Cathy Kaufman, an elementary school librarian, have three sons: Michael, 12, and twins Matthew and Andrew, 10. Last book and movie: The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945, by Michael R. Beschloss, and The Return of the King.

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