Kenneth Florin
Kenneth Florin ()

Loeb & Loeb, riding a wave of rising revenue and profits, has elected media and tech partner Kenneth Florin in New York as its next chairman, ending the 14-year leadership tenure of Michael Beck.

Florin, deputy chair for the past two years, leads Loeb’s digital and social media practice and co-chairs its advanced media and technology group, with clients including Visa, Facebook, Comcast, McDonalds and Publicis.

Elected by Loeb’s partners in March, Florin will take over as chair in February 2018 for a three-year term. Loeb, which was founded in Los Angeles, also maintains a heavy presence in New York, with about 136 lawyers.

Michael Beck

Beck, 62, a real estate lawyer who has led the firm since 2004, will become chair emeritus and will remain on Loeb’s board and on its compensation committee.

Meanwhile, Loeb has appointed partners Craig Emanuel and Mitchell Nussbaum as vice chairs. Emanuel and Nussbaum were office managing partners for the Los Angeles and New York offices, respectively. Laurie Ruckel will now lead the New York office and Paul W.A. Severin will head the Los Angeles office.

Beck oversaw a record year at the Am Law 200 firm last year, with gross revenue up 9.4 percent to $268.5 million and profits per partner up 7.69 percent to $1.54 million, according to ALM reporting. The firm’s full-time equivalent head count grew by about 20 lawyers, to 292.

Florin attributed the rise in revenue to strong lateral partner hires, development of younger partners and success across several practices including trusts and estates, real estate, litigation, media and tech and corporate.

“This was a really strong time to make the [leadership] change,” he said. “Mike and I have worked together for many years. It just seemed like a natural, smooth time to transition.”

The firm handled significant trusts and estates disputes last year, including the high-profile probate battle on behalf of Sumner Redstone.The firm said litigation was also a key driver of revenue, including in real estate disputes and oil and gas.

“There’s a sense of real success here. We’ve been very good at developing young talent and quickly becoming a destination for lawyers doing very well,” said Florin, 50, who has spent his career at the firm.

Counseling clients in transaction and regulatory matters, he co-founded Loeb’s advanced media and technology group, which focuses on advertising, technology, privacy, intellectual property, content and payments.

Florin said he views his election as chair as part of an evolution in which the firm’s core practices, such as trusts and estates, real estate and entertainment, are increasingly intersecting with trends in technology.

Sometimes those trends can post challenges to law firms themselves, he said, pointing to new e-discovery and due diligence tools “that firms have to leverage effectively to be efficient.”

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