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Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen has shuffled its administrative cards to produce a new vice chairman and managing director. Citing both personal and professional reasons, Matthew Kamens has stepped down as co-chair of the firm’s executive committee. His fellow co-chair, Mark Alderman, becomes chair, while labor department head James Redeker is the firm’s new vice chair. Kamens and Alderman returned to Wolf Block from Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzberg & Ellers in May 1995 to run the firm after leaving several years before. The pair, whose offices were next to one another and who are close personal friends, appeared to be joined at the hip, as the firm doubled in size, expanded geographically and moved from the archaic Packard Building into new digs at 1650 Arch Street in Philadelphia. While there were no defined roles, Alderman often wound up being the firm ambassador to the outside world while Kamens handled more of the financial end of things. “There was never a written organizational plan — just a high level of trust and confidence in each other,” Kamens said. But the pressure of dealing with his management duties, on top of billing 1,950 hours a year to his estates practice and increased family obligations, became too much. Kamens decided to give up his management role rather than scale back his practice. “I just felt I could best serve the firm by focusing on my clients,” he said. Alderman said Redeker was the logical choice as a replacement. He joined the firm in 1986 when the labor group had only four lawyers and built it into a profitable 27-attorney practice. It is that skill that Alderman hopes to incorporate into Redeker’s chief management role — practice group management and development. “Jim was the obvious choice because of his experience and tenure,” Alderman said. “But we believe he will be able to apply firmwide his practice group management theory.” The theory, according to Redeker, is nothing revolutionary; just strictly applying basic business principles concerning costs and revenue to practicing law. With Redeker focusing more on practice management, the firm will turn to Alan Cutler, a non-lawyer administrator from Greenberg Traurig’s New York office, to pick up some of the slack left by Kamens on the finance side. Cutler will replace retiring Dan Promislo as managing director. Promislo will assist on a part-time basis with special projects. But three years after coming back to the firm where he was once a partner to help better organize the firm’s administration, he has decided that full-time work is no longer for him. Chief among Promislo’s accomplishments with the firm was supervising the move from the Packard Building to the more modern 1650 Arch site. Promislo was involved in everything from design to construction. He informed the firm last summer that he wanted to move on, and Alderman and Kamens had been leading a search with the assistance of a headhunter ever since. They found a solid fit in Cutler, who after almost a decade of commuting two hours each way from his Marlboro, N.J., home to Manhattan, wanted to spend more time with his family and less time on a train. While cutting his commute in half was key, Cutler also liked the idea of being the principal managing director of a firm. The Miami-based Greenberg Traurig already had a principal administrator in place in Florida. He said he liked what he perceived to be Kamens’ and Alderman’s thinking “outside the box” on issues such as multi-disciplinary practice and non-legal subsidiary businesses. “There are a number of non-traditional things that you can do to help increase your revenue,” Cutler said. “And I was impressed that Mark and Matthew have the ability to see that. It all fits with the chemistry I felt I had with the people here. I did a lot of due diligence and I liked what I heard.” As managing director, Cutler will oversee the firm’s initiatives in marketing, recruiting, human resources, finance, technology, records and facilities. His presence will allow Alderman, Redeker and other lawyers involved in management to focus on strategic planning while he and the rest of the administrative staff focus on daily operations. He said he expects to spend one or two days a week in the firm’s 50-attorney New York office. “We were lucky with Dan coming out of retirement to help us with the move and so many other things,” Alderman said. “Now we’re lucky to find Alan, who will continue the evolution of professional administration at the firm.” Cutler spent almost three years as managing director of Greenberg Traurig’s 225-attorney New York office. He spent the previous six years in a similar capacity at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, a 125-attorney New York City-based firm. But he spent the bulk of his career with CitiCorp, where he was chief of staff of its real estate investment group.

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