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For the first time, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold will be led by a chairman working outside of San Francisco. Michael Tanenbaum, currently office managing partner in New Jersey, is set to become the firm’s new chairman in November. He will also be the first lateral to lead the firm, having joined Sedgwick from New Jersey’s McCarter & English in January 2001. The product liability and mass torts litigator will be taking over from Kevin Dunne, 66, who is stepping down after six years at the helm. Tanenbaum, 51, inherits a firm that has grown from 301 lawyers in 2001 to 401 today. Sedgwick reported revenues of about $172 million in 2006, up from $104.5 million six years ago. Sedgwick’s revenue per lawyer has increased steadily, from $350,000 in 2000 to $470,000 last year; profits per partner have gone from $475,000 to $705,000 in the same period. Though the firm has 120 partners, only 68 are equity, giving the firm high leverage. Under Dunne’s stewardship, the firm last year opened offices in Austin and Houston, as well as a satellite office in Bermuda, bringing the total number of outposts to 13. Tanenbaum said he looks forward to building on Dunne’s vision and continuing the path of growth. “It’s a huge honor, I very much look forward to it,” he said. Observers inside and outside the firm say the shift to Tanenbaum is a sign that Sedgwick is taking its global integration seriously, and sending a strong message to its laterals. “I think it shows that the firm is being inclusive and they consider themselves a single firm,” said Altman Weil consultant James Cotterman, who doesn’t work for the firm. “It’s not San Francisco talking about all the other ‘branch offices’” as if they were second-class citizens, Cotterman added. Lawyers in the firm say Tanenbaum’s election was unanimous. San Francisco partner Lillian Stenfeldt said local lawyers were amenable to the possibility of an out-of-towner. “People here said that’s not a problem,” Stenfeldt said. “We need the right person.” Tanenbaum has some big shoes to fill. San Francisco legal recruiter Avis Caravello, who has worked closely with Sedgwick in the past, said that Dunne has been “a very strong but very beloved” leader, one that has been synonymous with the institution. “Kevin Dunne was quite successful in transitioning the firm out of the insurance defense” niche and to a broader base, she said. “He was a visionary in that respect.” Under Dunne’s influence, the firm broad-ened its scope from litigation-centric to transactional and real estate work. More recently, Sedgwick added a landlord practice when Jeffery Woo joined with five of his attorneys in June. Tanenbaum’s clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., General Electric Co. and Foster Wheeler, an engineering firm. Sedgwick partners express confidence in him, both as a consensus builder and a hard worker who makes himself available after hours from home. Tanenbaum has served on the management committee for at least five years, said Dunne, and focused on the firm’s billing and collections. “We’ve all been much better about watching out for the revenue side of the business,” Dunne said. “He brought discipline to the process � getting timesheets in and getting bills out and following up on collections.” Michael Healy, the managing partner of the San Francisco office, said Tanenbaum is also known for his feel for personnel issues, adding that he’s called him for advice more than once. Tanenbaum says that he is comfortable with Sedgwick’s reach throughout the country, though he does point out a need for an office in the Southeast, possibly in Florida or Georgia. That office might open within a year, he said. “I think we’re going to consolidate our geographic position domestically,” Tanenbaum said. “We hope to have offices established throughout the country from which we can provide service to all clients in almost every state in which they have business.” Reporter Petra Pasternak’s e-mail address is [email protected].

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