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Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young has named its longtime loss prevention partner as its first general counsel. Commercial litigation partner Lee A. Rosengard has been appointed as general counsel of the firm and will report to its management committee. With Rosengard’s appointment, Stradley Ronon becomes the latest among several Pennsylvania firms to name a general counsel. For the past 15 years, Rosengard has served as Stradley Ronon’s loss-prevention partner, in which he advises firm management and individual attorneys on ethics and attorney-conduct issues, and overall best practices. He has also served as the internal claims counsel when the firm was involved in litigation. As his role evolved, Rosengard said he spent more and more of his time advising firm management. “The title of general counsel wasn’t so much a new job for me as it was a recognition of the job I had been doing,” he said. Rosengard is a partner in the litigation department and the co-chairman of the firm’s alternative dispute resolution practice. He said neither of those roles will change and he will continue to do mediation. His litigation practice is in the areas of complex commercial matters, including securities, construction, unfair competition and insurance coverage. About 25 percent of his time is spent on general counsel duties, Rosengard said, and that may increase as the firm grows. “As large law firms grow, there are more legal matters relating to the running of the business of the law firm,” he said. Jeff Lutsky, managing partner of the firm’s Philadelphia office, said that, as with any large firm, Stradley Ronon is a growing, large and sophisticated business that requires legal advice from time to time. He said most of Rosengard’s work is on the prevention side. He spends a significant amount of time presenting loss-prevention programs and counseling all of the firm’s attorneys, Lutsky said. Rosengard said it is important for a firm’s general counsel to have institutional memory and the confidence of the firm’s attorneys. “Partners and associates know I have always had an open-door policy as the loss-prevention partner,” he said, adding that they can come to him in confidence. Rosengard said he gets calls on a daily basis to advise attorneys about everything from conflict waivers to counseling on ethics issues. Stradley Ronon isn’t the only place where Rosengard is a general counsel. According to the firm’s Web site, he also serves as the general counsel to the Please Touch Museum. Several firms in the area have recently named general counsel. Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll named litigation partner William A. Slaughter as its first general counsel in July. Stevens & Lee hired former Dickinson School of Law Dean Peter G. Glenn as its general counsel and shareholder to handle lawyer recruiting and education, as well as manage the professional responsibility and risk management of the firm. Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen, Fox Rothschild and Duane Morris have had general counsel for a few years. According to a 2006 survey of AmLaw 200 firms done by consulting firm Altman Weil, 85 percent of the responding firms have a designated general counsel. That’s up from 69 percent in 2005 and 63 percent in 2004. As in prior years, 100 percent of the designated law firm general counsel are in-house, while 89 percent are partners in the firm. More than one-third are full time in the general counsel position with average cash compensation over $500,000. Part-time law firm general counsel reported higher cash compensation at $612,000. Part-time general counsel spend just under half of their time, or about 48 percent, on duties of the position, according to the survey. Eighty percent come from a litigation background. More than two-thirds of law firm’s general counsel report to the firm chairperson or managing partner, but only 28 percent serve on the firm’s governing committee, down from 40 percent in 2004. The survey data was collected by Altman Weil in March 2006 from AmLaw 200 law firms, with 42 percent participating (82 of the 195 firms solicited), according to the consultancy firm.

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