David Frederick
David Frederick (Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi)

Here’s one way to get your name on the letterhead at an elite law firm: Earn half a billion dollars from a single client.

This spring, high-powered Washington, D.C., litigation firm Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel quietly changed its name. The 65-lawyer boutique is now Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, removing Mark Evans and Peter Huber from its name partner roster and replacing them with litigator David Frederick.

“It’s pretty straightforward, really,” said Michael Kellogg, the firm’s founding and managing partner. “Eventually you kind of run out of space with the names.” The change doesn’t affect the firm’s voting shares or internal power structure, he said.

Frederick, one of the country’s top U.S. Supreme Court advocates with a specialty in plaintiffs-side cases, has been “an important part of our success,” Kellogg said.

In an email, Frederick said he was “honored.”

Among a string of notable successes, a team led by Frederick earned $506.3 million in contingency fees in a series of cases brought by the National Credit Union Administration against banks that sold toxic mortgage-backed securities. (The NCUA, which won $4 billion in settlements from the banks, revealed the fees last fall.)

The firm made the name change to coincide with its 24th anniversary, on March 1.

Evans and Huber’s removal reflects how they had ceased practicing with the firm years ago. Evans retired and moved to San Diego almost a decade ago, Kellogg said, while Huber still holds a partner title yet primarily spends his time writing books. Huber is also a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute.

The change had been in the works long before the firm made news in February, with former partner Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Kellogg said.