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The American Lawyer Magazine observed in its November issue that Jenner & Block’s patience in “sticking to its strategic plan” to grow its corporate practice had landed the Firm the veritable “mother lode.” The national publication was referring to the recent hiring of “two M&A heavyweights,” Robert S. Osborne and Elmer W. Johnson, which Kay Hoppe, president of Chicago legal search firm Credential, Inc., described as one of the biggest news stories affecting the city’s legal community in more than a decade.
As Jenner & Block Chairman Jerold S. Solovy explained to the magazine, the Firm’s decision to build its highly-regarded corporate practice into a global powerhouse originated in the fall of 2000, when a small group of Partners began to lead the recruiting efforts that culminated in the hiring of Mr. Osborne and Mr. Johnson.
Linda L. Listrom, who helped oversee the initiative, told the magazine that the Firm has been looking ever since to grow organically as well as through the recruitment of lateral “superstars” like Mr. Osborne and Mr. Johnson who, in turn, would help attract even more legal talent to the Firm in the future.
The Chair of Jenner & Block’s Corporate Practice, Mr. Osborne, has represented such large companies as General Motors Corporation in a number of its important transactions and is a former general counsel for Lands’ End, Inc. According to the magazine, Mr. Osborne wants to build his new practice into a “corporate powerhouse” and suggested he particularly liked the prospect of doing so with the help of Mr. Johnson, his old colleague who had recruited him to another national law firm from Harvard Law School. Mr. Johnson has served on many corporate boards and, the magazine noted, was most recently the president of the Aspen Institute, a global leadership forum, which further embellished Mr. Johnson’s “stature and reputation in the specialty of the moment, corporate governance.”
Concluded American Lawyer: “What more could one hope for from two lateral hires?”