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Six months after watching its longtime Minneapolis office leader leave the firm, DLA Piper has dipped into the local lateral market and hired partner Michael Fisco from Faegre Baker Daniels, where he once chaired his now former firm’s finance and restructuring practice.
Fisco will not serve as managing partner of DLA Piper’s outpost in the Twin Cities, which opened in 2005. He did not return a request for comment about his decision to leave Faegre Baker Daniels. Fisco joined predecessor firm Faegre & Benson in 2001 from Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, where he once chaired that firm’s finance and restructuring group.
Faegre & Benson merged with Indianapolis-based Baker & Daniels on Jan. 1, 2012, forming Faegre Baker Daniels. The combined 657-lawyer firm, which announced a leadership change in late 2016, saw its gross revenue rise 5 percent last year, to $489.5 million, while profits per equity partner bumped up 7.5 percent, to $860,000. As a matter of comparison, DLA Piper saw its gross revenue slip slightly in 2016, to $2.47 billion, while profits per equity partner at the 3,616-lawyer firm rose 5.4 percent to hit a record $1.655 million.
A DLA Piper spokesman confirmed Fisco’s hire. Fisco joins the firm following the February departure of Alan Kildow, who spent 12 years as managing partner of DLA Piper’s Minneapolis office. Kildow joined DLA Piper in 2005 when the firm opened a Twin Cities office after recruiting him from Oppenheimer Wolff. (The latter merged with Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild on Jan. 1, 2016.)
Kildow is perhaps most famous for being the father of Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn, whom he introduced to the sport and served as her ski coach early in her career. While the two became estranged, Kildow and Vonn have reportedly reconciled in recent years following Vonn’s 2011 divorce from her former husband. (Vonn dated Tiger Woods—no stranger to Big Law—for three years, and Kildow was pictured with Vonn at events featuring the famous golfer.)
In February, Kildow and of counsel Sonya Braunschweig left DLA Piper for Briggs and Morgan, where both lawyers are now partners in the firm’s business litigation group. Braunschweig had joined DLA Piper from Oppenheimer Wolff in 2005, a year that saw the global legal giant formed via a merger between Baltimore-based Piper Rudnick, San Diego-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and the U.K.’s Dibbs Lupton Alsop.
Kathleen Smith Ruhland, who joined DLA Piper’s Minneapolis office in early 2012 from Faegre & Benson, has succeeded Kildow as the firm’s local managing partner. As for Fisco, in 2014 he became head of the finance and restructuring group at Faegre Baker Daniels, where he focused on bankruptcy and corporate debt restructuring matters. Fisco also represented investment funds in their acquisitions of distressed assets and companies, as well as indenture trustees and investors in restructuring defaulted debt securities.
DLA Piper, the subject of a hack attack in June, announced late last month its acquisition of 60-lawyer Los Angeles firm Liner. DLA Piper, which earlier this year also expanded into Peru, has recently confirmed its additions of Alston & Bird finance partner Kevin Gooch in Atlanta, Paul Hastings energy corporate and capital markets partner Gislar Donnenberg in Houston and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom associate James Chang as a corporate partner in Beijing.