Kirkpatrick & Lockhart partner Jerry McDevitt will never forget the day that Randy “Macho Man” Savage marched out of the firm’s elevators. The 280-pound bruiser was sporting his trademark white-sequined jacket, stretch pants, bandanna, and muscle shirt, and had his wife — one of the World Wrestling Federation’s premier starlets, “The Lovely Miss Elizabeth” — in tow.
Needless to say, Macho Man, who was seeking McDevitt’s help combatting an assault suit, was not a typical Kirkpatrick & Lockhart client. “Let me tell you,” recalls McDevitt, chief outside counsel to the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. “A lot of people around here were looking at them like, ‘What the hell?’ ” Kirkpatrick lawyers have gotten used to the sight of garishly garbed gladiators. In the past decade a whole parade of wrestling studs has trooped through Kirkpatrick’s Pittsburgh offices. This fall the firm mingled even more with the pro wrestling set, as a team of five Kirkpatrick securities lawyers held the WWF’s meaty hand through the tricky process of going public. When 10 million shares of stock were sold in the WWF’s October 19 initial public offering, Kirkpatrick lawyers — who have represented the WWF and its performers in everything from trademark disputes to criminal defense — watched with pride. The company’s stock closed at just over $25 per share October 19. The WWF’s new billion-dollar market valuation places it in respectable company on Kirkpatrick’s client list, alongside the likes of Alcoa Inc., United Technologies Corporation, and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
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