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NAME AND TITLE: Kenneth P. Singleton, executive managing director, corporate secretary, general counsel, Cushman & Wakefield Inc. AGE: 41 9-11: The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center sent shock waves — both physical and financial — through Cushman & Wakefield Inc., the New York-based commercial property management, brokerage and real estate service provider. The collapse of the twin towers severely damaged five buildings managed by the firm: 4 and 7 World Trade Center, 90 West St., 130 Liberty St. and 4 Albany St. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Cushman & Wakefield General Counsel Kenneth Singleton was 800 miles away in Chicago, preparing to lead a day-long seminar for his Midwestern colleagues. With disaster engulfing his hometown, and planes grounded nationwide, Singleton hit the road on a two-day drive back to his office in mid-Manhattan. For the next several weeks, Singleton and Cushman & Wakefield’s other in-house lawyers did legal work that helped bring its damaged buildings back into service, and to relocate affected tenants and scores of other displaced businesses. Once the dust settled, the lawyers also helped to prepare insurance claims for lost revenues of the properties directly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks. Singleton said the attacks have had a huge ripple effect. In the past year, he said, insurance carriers have balked at providing terrorism coverage, and sometimes at even offering general casualty policies, for commercial properties — especially skyscrapers and other trophy buildings. When insurance is offered, premiums may have increased from 100 percent to 400 percent. This “hinders the transactional market, because if you can’t get insurance, then a lender won’t finance, and if you can’t finance a deal, then it just doesn’t happen,” he said. ORGANIZATION: Cushman & Wakefield’s main business is commercial-property management, but it also provides real estate appraisal, brokerage and consulting services. In 2001, the 11,000-employee company had nearly $750 million in revenue and managed more than 5,000 properties throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. The majority of shares in the privately held firm are owned by the Rockefeller Group Inc. — wholly owned by Mitsubishi Estate, a Japanese real estate company. SINGLETON’S SHOP: Singleton directs 10 lawyers and three paralegals in the law department and four risk-management employees. His lawyers are in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta — a dispersion that represents a strategic decision to place lawyers close to business operations, he said. The general counsel reports directly to CEO Arthur Mirante II, a lawyer by training but not by temperament, said Singleton. “He has not been functioning as a lawyer for so many years that he doesn’t presume to exercise my responsibilities, nor does he second-guess me,” he said. “He’s totally forgotten his experience [as an attorney], and like all successful people, he wants things done ASAP.” Singleton and his staff deal with all of the company’s day-to-day legal work, he said, with outside counsel largely limited to litigation and complex transactions. In-house counsel handle employment, contracts, most mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory-compliance counseling. The lawyers ensure that brokers and appraisers maintain their state professional licenses, and that property managers stay current on state and local regulations affecting their buildings. LITIGATION: Cushman & Wakefield is involved in relatively few lawsuits, said Singleton, which he attributed to honest business practices and the company’s policy of getting lawyers involved in disputes as early as possible. “All of our lawyers are transactional and business lawyers. That’s a nice fit for litigation avoidance, [because] lawyers use their deal-making skills to find resolutions to these disputes before they become litigation.” Singleton declined to discuss any specific cases, but his company’s litigation avoidance is not 100 percent. For example, Cushman & Wakefield is a defendant in a civil False Claims Act lawsuit in U.S. district court in Dallas, in which the government alleges that the company underreported its bulk mail to avoid paying the full postage. In May 2001, Cushman & Wakefield was sued for sex and age discrimination by Brigitte Schwalbe, a former broker in its San Francisco office. Schwalbe alleged that, after 15 years of high productivity, her most lucrative listings were reassigned to younger males, a male broker was allowed to initiate a deal with her biggest client and she was moved out of her office and into a cubicle. The case was settled this year for undisclosed terms. Personal injury litigation may be inescapable for a company that manages more than 300 million square feet of property. One particularly tragic case involved Ana Flores, a 37-year-old mother who was killed in 1999 by a shard of glass that fell from a previously cracked 29th-floor window of the CNA Plaza South Tower in Chicago, a Cushman & Wakefield-managed building. The Flores family’s suit against CNA and Cushman & Wakefield settled in February for $18 million. Singleton called the fatal accident “an unfortunate event,” but otherwise demurred on commenting on the case. However, he said that the company’s lawyers and risk-management staff have helped to draft a “comprehensive checklist” on building operations, designed to reduce the risk of injuries and the resulting litigation. DEALS: During the last six years, the company has gone global through foreign acquisitions, growing from 40 domestic offices to 155 addresses worldwide. Singleton has led the company’s legal team on all major deals, he said, including the 1998 acquisition of Healey & Baker, a British company with 750 employees throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. The $100 million transaction was extremely tax-sensitive, he explained, recalling that “every time we solved a U.S. [or] U.K. tax issue, we created another one on the continent.” Singleton said that his British counterparts were amazed at the level of due diligence that Cushman & Wakefield undertook before sealing the deal. “I suppose a thorough review of matters did not fit their image of [U.S.] ‘cowboys,’ ” he said. “ From our perspective, we had more at stake and wanted to know absolutely everything we would be responsible for going forward.” PRINCIPAL OUTSIDE COUNSEL: Cushman & Wakefield does not have a main outside firm, but relies on New York’s Shearman & Sterling for major transactions, including the Healey & Baker acquisition. Singleton selects litigation counsel on a case-by-case basis, depending on the location, type and complexity of the suit. ROUTE TO THE TOP: A Bronx, N.Y., native, Singleton graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1983 with a B.A. in sociology. After receiving his law degree in 1987 from the Fordham University School of Law, he signed on as an associate at the New York real estate firm of Robinson Silverman Pearce Aronsohn & Berman. He joined Cushman & Wakefield in July 1991 as a senior counsel, rising to managing counsel in 1993 and general counsel in 1996. PERSONAL: Singleton is single and lives in suburban Westchester County, N.Y., where he enjoys kayaking on the Hudson River and bicycling along its banks. He serves on the board of St. Christopher’s Inn, a shelter for the homeless and rehabilitation center for substance abusers. LAST BOOK READ: “Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality,” by Ronald Rolheiser.

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