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CHICAGO � Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, seeking to significantly expand the firm this year, plans to open a new office in Dallas this month and will have another office opening in the southeastern U.S. before the end of March, firm officials said. That will bring to three the number of new offices the firm is opening in the first quarter of this year, after announcing last month that it would add an office in Menlo Park, California, by mid March. Sonnenschein, which has about 660 attorneys, was founded in Chicago and currently has offices in 10 U.S. cities and in Brussels. Under the leadership of chairman-elect Elliott Portnoy, who was named to the post last year and takes the helm next month, Sonnenschein has embarked on a plan to double annual revenue to more than $1 billion by 2008, mainly by expanding the firm through the acquisition of groups of attorneys or small to mid-sized firms. Sonnenschein expects to have more than 1,000 attorneys as part of its plan for boosting profit and attracting talent, Portnoy has said. Sonnenschein plans to open the new offices with groups of lawyers that it is hiring from other firms. The officials, who didn�t want to be identified, declined to specify the Southeast city where an office will open. The firm also got its start in Phoenix last May by hiring a group of lawyers from another firm, Richard Ross and five of his colleagues from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, to start up a global hospitality and leisure practice. Sonnenschein�s new Menlo Park office, situated in the high-tech Silicon Valley area, is opening its doors with the hiring this month of patent litigation attorney Yar Chaikovsky, who came to the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Portnoy, 41, who has worked closely with Chairman Duane Quaini, is steering the new strategy as Sonnenschein�s youngest chairman ever and as the first one based outside of Chicago, just five years after joining the firm�s public law and policy strategies group in Washington. He is trying to build on the firm�s strengths, including in the areas of litigation, corporate, and real estate law, and has switched to a governance structure that is focused around the firm�s practice group leaders Also as part of the plan, the firm last year created two new management positions in Chicago, a lateral acquisition partner, Kara Baysinger, to oversee efforts to hire attorneys and a client service partner, James Klenk, to prioritize allocation of the firm�s resources to key clients with a focus on meeting certain standards.

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