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Francis A. Muracca II, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s former COO and one-time right-hand man to Chief Executive Officer Thomas L. VanKirk, will be leaving the firm next week for the Pittsburgh office of Jones Day. The departure is considered by many in the industry to be a big shake-up in the Pittsburgh legal market given Muracca’s management experience and close ties to VanKirk. He had served from 1996 to 2002 as chairman of the firm’s tax practice and then served from 2002 through 2007 as either the chief operating or chief strategic officer of the firm, driving its rapid growth over the past few years. He voluntarily stepped down from that role in January of this year to focus more on his practice, according to VanKirk. Muracca has given his resignation to Buchanan Ingersoll and will start as a partner at Jones Day on Monday in the firm’s private equity group. Buchanan Ingersoll shareholder Samuel J. Goncz will also join Jones Day as counsel. Muracca said the move was a difficult decision for him to make, but his tax practice was increasingly becoming international in scope. Despite his involvement with firm management � his Web site biography credits him with being the architect of the merger with Virginia-based Burns Doane Swecker & Mathis � Muracca said he maintained an active practice with help from others in the firm. He has long represented Cameron Family Glass Packaging in Washington state, for example, and worked on the $109 million project to build a new “green” glass bottling facility there. Over the past 12 to 18 months, Muracca said he began to see his client demands increase significantly, particularly in Japan, China and on the West Coast. Muracca dismissed rumors that his departure was related to a falling-out he had with firm leadership over hiring decisions. He said VanKirk knew his practice was active. His latest three-year term as chief operating and strategic officer concluded at the end of 2007. Muracca said he had a long run in firm leadership and spent a lot of time traveling around the country. He said he was just ready to focus more on working with his clients and needed a broader platform. “I could not have had these client opportunities without what I had here,” he said of Buchanan Ingersoll. VanKirk said Muracca stepped down from his chief strategic officer and executive shareholder roles to devote more time to his practice, which was growing. Simultaneously with that decision, VanKirk said, Muracca saw that several of his clients needed more international attention that Buchanan Ingersoll wasn’t able to support. VanKirk said Muracca told him he felt there were better opportunities to grow his practice at Jones Day. In response to suggestions that Muracca fell out of favor with firm leadership, VanKirk said he wasn’t aware of any discord over growth opportunities. He said Muracca was an important part of the firm’s growth over the past few years, but he wasn’t the only one involved. VanKirk said that while he worked closely with Muracca for many years, it would be unfair to suggest he was still VanKirk’s right-hand man given the firm changed its leadership structure a few years ago. The role of chief operating officer was eliminated and Muracca was instead given the title of chief strategic officer. Douglas P. Coopersmith was put into the new position of chief development officer and after Buchanan Ingersoll’s merger with Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling, former Klett Rooney President John A. Barbour was put in the role of chief diversity and integration officer. VanKirk said he has worked closely with all of them over the past few years. When Muracca stepped down as chief strategic officer, the firm had just embarked on a new strategic plan that he helped create. The next step is to just recruit for and implement the plan, functions that have largely fallen on VanKirk’s plate, he said. Virginia-based partner Todd Walters was elected to an executive shareholder position after Muracca stepped down, but no one has taken over the title of chief strategic officer. According to Buchanan Ingersoll’s Web site, Muracca was responsible for developing the firm’s expansion into Washington, D.C., and for aligning its special services relationship with Tax Management Inc. His practice focuses on advising entrepreneurs, an NFL ownership group, venture capitalists and privately held business owners on a range of federal tax and business structuring issues. Laura Ellsworth, partner-in-charge of Jones Day’s Pittsburgh office, said she has known Muracca personally for years and professionally through his national reputation. When discussions between Muracca and Jones Day began “recently,” Ellsworth said it was a “wonderful development” for the firm. Jones Day recently signed a new, long-term lease in the Pittsburgh market in expectation of strong growth in the area, she said. Muracca is part of the strategy to expand the work the Pittsburgh office does for local companies on a global scale. More often, she said, the firm is seeing clients move away from New York firms after finding they like the local feel of the Pittsburgh office coupled with its sophistication and experience. It remains up in the air what clients would follow Muracca to Jones Day, Ellsworth said. Buchanan Adds IP Attorneys With the loss of Muracca also comes the addition of two intellectual property attorneys in Buchanan Ingersoll’s Philadelphia office. Robert F. Zielinski, a former partner and co-chairman of Wolf Block’s intellectual property and information technology practice, joined the firm as a shareholder. Brian L. Belles, an associate with Wolf Block, joined the firm as counsel. VanKirk said the addition gives the Philadelphia office an intellectual property component for the first time in years and dovetails well with the intellectual property lawyers in the firm’s Alexandria, Va., and Pittsburgh offices. He said the practice area is a “very important part” of the firm’s growth strategy. Zielinski concentrates his practice in the areas of patent prosecution, trademark and copyright matters as well as information technology. “Buchanan affords me the opportunity for growth in the areas of international markets, emerging companies and the pharmaceutical industry,” he said in a statement. “I’m excited to be a part of such a large IP practice.” Wolf Block recently named Peter Wakiyama as co-chairman of the intellectual property and information technology practice to serve alongside New York-based partner Martin Raskin, who had served as chairman of the group since joining the firm in 2006.

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