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Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is saying goodbye to its chief operating officer, who has only been in the position since January. Steven Moore had previously served as COO with the pre-merger Shaw Pittman firm and lives in Northern Virginia. He announced this week that he will join Washington, D.C.-based Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner as its executive director. He plans on staying on at Pillsbury for another month. “The honest to goodness truth is that while Pillsbury treated me well, I have a family and personal reasons [for leaving],” Moore said. “I hate that this is happening as the new leadership team is coming on.” Travel to the firm’s West Coast offices limited the time he could spend with his children, he said. Finnegan, Henderson has more than 300 lawyers and eight offices worldwide, according to its Web site. Pillsbury, however, is more than double the size with 862 lawyers and 16 offices. This departure caps a difficult week for Pillsbury in California, which announced the departures of prominent real estate partner David Roseman and IP partner William Abrams. Moore said he was excited about Pillsbury’s new leadership. “The energy is superb, the collaboration is superb,” he said. “[But] I have teenagers who won’t be in the house much longer and who are facing their college years.” Moore previously served as CFO at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld before joining Shaw Pittman in 2002 as that firm’s chief operating officer. Following the firm’s April 2005 merger with Pillsbury Winthrop, Moore stepped into the role of chief administrative officer. He took over again as COO in January 2006 after Michael Sikora departed. Sikora had been in the position for several years. His departure came on the heels of lower than expected financial results and a voluntary departure plan for staff and shortly before firm chairwoman Mary Cranston announced she would be giving up her post at the end of this year. Sikora has since moved on to a job as COO at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. He didn’t return a telephone call Thursday. As COO, Moore managed Pillsbury’s day-to-day operations. Other C-level executives reported to him, among them the CFO, the CIO, the head of human resources and the chief administrative officer. Moore declined to provide details but said the firm is not undergoing a restructuring. Still, he commented, “Naturally with Mary having decided not to run and stepping away from the operations, the lawyers themselves are organizing themselves about how to manage themselves at the highest level.” While Quintard “Tod” Gregory, of the recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International, didn’t have specific knowledge of the Moore move, he said chief operating officers have a growing importance inside large law firms, which increasingly hire high-level executives for these positions and make them key members of their management teams. “At the few firms that I know that are really thriving, that person is part of the inner sanctum and is at the table and plays a role in the strategic direction of the firm,” Gregory said. He said such executives typically command partner-level salaries. In Pillsbury’s case, average profits per partner are $765,000. Pillsbury chairman-elect James Rishwain Jr. commented in a prepared statement that Moore was “returning to his roots,” going to a firm roughly the size of Shaw Pittman before the merger. “While we wish him the best of luck in his new position, we will all miss him,” Rishwain said.

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