10 Partners Leave K&L Gates, Womble to Form Morningstar

According to a June 11 article in the JD Journal, 10 partners from K&L Gates and Womble Carlyle, have left to form a new Triangle-based law firm called Morningstar Law Group. Morningstar’s 10 partners include 6 former partners from K&L Gates: Mack Paul, Jason  Barron, William Brian Jr., Patrick Byker, Grayson Hale, and Stephanie Powell; and 4 former partners from Womble: Kenneth Carroll, Jennifer Collins, Gene Jones, and Kip Johnson III. K&L Gates also lost 2 associates in the move.

The firm chose the Morningstar name over the more traditional last name basis of lead partners. The hope is this will signify the “dawn of a new day in legal services,” says Kenneth Carroll, former Managing Partner of Womble’s RTP office. This is the group’s shared vision and mission. “I hope that’s not hokey sounding, but that is what we were trying to accomplish.” Accordingly, the firm’s intent is to offer top-tier quality at affordable hourly rates with their smaller infrastructure and lower expenses.

4Morningstar, with the help of High Point consultant Tom Kane, will market as a full-service business law firm. According to Mack Paul, a former K&L Gates Real Estate partner, the group “can handle almost all aspects for the emerging middle-market and larger businesses in this region.” Their focus will be centered on Litigation, IP, Real Estate, and Corporate Law.

Schiff Hardin Opens Charlotte Office, Relocates HQ of Strategic Advisors

Schiff Hardin LLP as of June 2012 has opened a new office in Charlotte. The office will serve as the new headquarters for Schiff Hardin Strategic Advisers, LLC, a non-legal business advisory affiliate to the firm.

3According to the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development: “Strategic Advisers is led by Robert D. Piontek, chief executive officer and vice chairman of the company. Piontek is a 32-year Charlotte resident who served in executive finance, leadership and strategic roles with Bank of America (formerly NCNB), Wachovia Corporation (formerly First Union Corporation) and KPMG Capital Markets and Investment Banking Consulting. Stephen J. Antal, another long-time Charlotte area resident with prior service in a number of executive legal and leadership positions in the financial services industry in Chicago, New Jersey and Charlotte, is president of Schiff Hardin Strategic Advisers, LLC. Antal also leads Schiff Hardin LLP’s new Charlotte law office.”

Schiff Hardin’s offices will be located in the Carillion Building at 227 W. Trade Street, Suite 1910. Schiff Hardin is a national law firm with 310 lawyers and 9 offices, headquartered in Chicago. According to the American Lawyer, the firm boasts $227 million in gross revenues, $870,000 profits per partner, and $730,000 revenue per lawyer. They are currently ranked 127th in the Am Law 200 and 138th in the NLJ 250.