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Name and title: Richard H. Goshorn, general counsel. Age: 49 The company: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading law firm (No. 22 on the NLJ’s 2005 survey of the nation’s 250 largest law firms), with offices in Austin, Texas; Brussels; Chicago; Dallas; East Palo Alto, Calif.; Houston; London; Los Angeles; Moscow; New York; Philadelphia; San Antonio; San Francisco; its Washington headquarters; and an affiliate in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It has a diversified practice with regional, national and international clients represented in a wide range of areas. Founded in 1945 by Robert S. Strauss and Richard A. Gump, it is still a first-generation firm, with some of those who built it continuing to serve Akin Gump’s clients. Its numbers fluctuate, but it currently has 932 attorneys included among an estimated 2,000 employees. The firm had 2004 revenue of $612 million, according to The American Lawyer, a sister publication of NLJ. Typical tasks: Goshorn is responsible for the entirety of Akin Gump’s legal affairs. He dispenses advice to the chairman, as well as to the leadership and operating committees. He participates in firm governance and attends all management and executive committee meetings. Goshorn provides legal support for all contracts, often in the areas of technology, real estate and pensions. “A key part” of his role revolves around loss prevention and risk management. He oversees insurance, particularly Akin Gump’s professional liability program. Goshorn recently met with underwriters in New York, London and Bermuda and, as a result, hired new brokers. He assists in conflict resolution, noting that with firms now operating in multiple states and countries, conflicts have become increasingly complex. He rued that “a conflict with one lawyer is attributed to every lawyer” at a firm. Goshorn is involved in the business intake process, similar to customer contracting in the private sector. He manages claims and maintains a sophisticated database to do so. He pushes firmwide continuing legal education and works with an in-house training team. Goshorn considers himself to be a generalist, and said that the “last component” of his duties is “anything designated by management.” Law firms as businesses: In 2005, there was a reported 6% increase in the number of large law firms that retained in-house counsel, in the manner of corporations, to handle their legal business. As part of the evolution of his firm into running more like a “civilian” business, Goshorn has worked on establishing a broad role at Akin Gump to mimic that of a corporate GC. The law firm is his client, and he “functions to support a business enterprise,” as would any company’s general counsel. He described his job as being akin to that in a private, closely held firm. A similar partnership dynamic exists, although Akin Gump features a dispersed ownership of more than 200 equity partners. He claimed that he is “one of only a few who has been tapped from the corporate world,” rather than plucked from the ranks of a law firm, to serve as GC. Legal team and outside counsel: Goshorn’s legal apparatus is a “dedicated team” of a single paralegal and one legal secretary, and a “virtual team” of the 932 firm lawyers. He described it as “a first-class in-house team of the highest caliber, with expertise in a wide variety of areas and jurisdictions.” He relies upon partners in various practice groups, and has the authority to “deputize” attorneys as well. Typical matters attended to in-house are technology contracts, real estate leasing, pensions and other employment matters-plus the response to subpoenas, should they be served on the firm. Goshorn keeps the retention of outside counsel to a minimum, but acknowledged that from time to time he finds it “prudent and appropriate” to go outside to secure an objective perspective. Unlike most corporations, there is no principal or preferred law firm: He instead turns to a variety of lawyers in different jurisdictions, depending on the matter at hand. Goshorn reports to Chairman R. Bruce McLean. His “big success”: Goshorn spearheaded an 18-month, multidisciplinary effort that culminated in a more than $200 million recovery for his previous employer, telecommunications company Cable and Wireless PLC. The firm had purchased MCI Inc.’s Tier-1 Internet backbone business, and Goshorn was sent to the United States from London to help integrate the acquisition. The deal foundered, and Cable and Wireless ended up suing MCI (at the time, WorldCom) for breach of the purchase agreement. Goshorn met with U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division personnel, and also with European Union competition authorities, during several trips to Brussels. He participated in the suit in federal district court, attended arbitration proceedings and eventually negotiated the settlement agreement to bring the litigation to a successful conclusion. Route to the top: Goshorn launched his legal career with six years in private practice, first with Frost Brown Todd in Cincinnati, then with Gottesman Jones & Partners in London. Next, he served as a senior attorney for Fort Howard Corp., a manufacturer of plastics and paper. From 1991 to 2001, he was with Cable and Wireless. Based variously in London, Brussels, Singapore and Washington, he ultimately became its vice president and general counsel. Before his 2004 arrival at Akin Gump, Goshorn was corporate vice president, general counsel and secretary at Acterna Corp., a communications test equipment company. He has degrees from the College of Wooster, in Ohio (graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1978), and Duke Law School (1981). Personal: Goshorn and his wife, Lori Kidder, are the parents of three: Kendall, 15; Millicent, 13; and Leland, 9. The native of Fort Thomas, Ky., Fills his spare time with cycling, boating and cross-country skiing. Last book and movie: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, by Patrick M. Lencioni; and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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