We wondered if Steve Baskin, DC managing partner of Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Stockton, might be dragging when we visited him at his 14th St. offices the day after New Years. Luckily, hes a responsible parent who spent New Years Eve with his wife and two of their four boys at a calm dinner party near his Great Falls homewell, as calm as a dinner can be when you bring 2 and 6 year olds.
How many attorneys does Kilpatrick have?
About 500 worldwide and 35 here.
Where do you have offices?
Atlanta, New York, Augusta, Stockholm, London, and Research Triangle locations Raleigh, Charlotte, and Winston-Salem.
What are Kilpatricks strengths in D.C.?
IP ltigation, employee benefits, and antitrust. Connie Robinson is the head of the firms antitrust teamshe spent 27 years in DOJs Antitrust Division. She was the Director of Operations and Director of Civil Enforcement before coming here. We also have a growing Native American practice, representing tribes on real estate, trusts, and other issues.
When did you come to Kilpatrick Stockton and how long have you running the office?
Ive been here seven and a half years. I was with Jones Day in Cleveland, but I grew up in Northern Virginia and wanted to come back. Thanks to a good headhunter, this opportunity came along. Ive been the Managing Partner since September.
What have you focused on in that role?
The major issue has been developing a strategic plan for DC. The firm as a whole did strategic planning last yeara report came out in the summer. We decided to produce something specifically for D.C. that would supplement that.
How did you go about developing the plan?
We came up with a draft document with thoughts about where the office should be going, about four or five pages. Then we brought in a consultant, who spent time interviewing all the partners. She refined the plan and produced a polished product.
Who is the consultant?
Susan Duncan of Rainmaking Oasis. A few of our partners, like Connie Robinson, had used her before for individual consulting for their specific practices.
What topics does the plan address?
Its really four different documents. The first is a growth plan, which addresses the immediate growth potential of the practice groups currently in DC, and also looks at new practices we think would have synergies, such as life sciences/biotech, FDA/health care, and international trade. The other documents deal mainly with how to execute on our growth, integration, and retention goals. Were establishing a small DC Growth Committee at the firm as part of the implementation. Other aspects of the plan include a self-awareness documentan honest look at what our strengths are, and what we need to work on.
Did you set specific benchmarks for your growth?
Yes, we set ambitious but we dont think unrealistic targets of trying to double in size for 2008, leading into 2009, and sustain on average thirty percent annual growth thereafter.
And what else are you doing?
When I was first asked to do the job I saidI thought humorouslythat that we would get a margarita machine for our Friday happy hours, which take place in the office. That initial comment sort of took on a life of its own, and now we have one!