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K&L Gates Prepares for First Change in Chairmanship in Two Decades

6 September 2016

Pittsburgh - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has a process underway to select the successor to Peter Kalis, whose current term as Chairman and Global Managing Partner will conclude in February 2017.

Kalis, who has served continuously as the firm’s leader since 1997, stated: “In early July, I informed our Management Committee that I would not be a candidate for another term as head of the firm. It has been an honor to serve the only law firm I have called home, and I look forward not only to concluding a strong 2016 but also to seeing my successors take the firm to greater heights in the years to come.”

K&L Gates’ Management Committee issued the following statement: “K&L Gates is extremely fortunate to have benefited from Peter Kalis’ leadership over the past 20 years and continuing through February 2017. He is and has been a giant both in the firm’s history and in the modern legal industry. His service as Chairman and Global Managing Partner has been characterized by extraordinary vision, global growth, innovation, and the promotion of excellence in the delivery of legal services to clients, strategic integration, diversity, and intergenerational excellence. The firm is well-positioned for a smooth transition and to build on these values and on its current foundation, and to continue to serve clients seamlessly and efficiently into the future.”

During Kalis’ five consecutive terms as the firm’s leader, K&L Gates has grown from 400 lawyers in six offices in the Eastern Time Zone of the United States to approximately 2,000 lawyers in 46 offices on five continents and from $140 million in revenue to six consecutive years of revenue exceeding $1 billion. He is the only law firm leader to be recognized on three of the industry’s most prestigious lists, with The American Lawyer having identified Kalis as among the 50 most influential innovators in the global legal industry in the last 50 years by labelling him a “Master Strategist”, The National Law Journal having included him on its inaugural list of the top 50 legal business trailblazers and pioneers as a “Strategist and Driver”, and leading UK legal industry publication The Lawyer having named Kalis as among the ten individuals in the global profession who would shape the international market for legal services. He is a 2015 recipient of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award; served as the ABA’s National Law Day Chair in 2006; and was named to Lawyers of Color’s Fourth Annual Power List of the most influential minority attorneys and non-minority diversity advocates in 2015 and to Law360’s 2010 list of Most Innovative Managing Partners.

A Rhodes Scholar, Kalis received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University and, during law school at Yale, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. He is a member of West Virginia University’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Before commencing the practice of law, Mr. Kalis served as clerk for Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Associate Justice Byron R. White of the United States Supreme Court.

Recent firm distinctions during the chairmanship of Peter Kalis

In addition to numerous specific recognitions of the firm’s partners, practices, offices, and markets, recent firmwide recognitions for K&L Gates have included:           

  • For a second consecutive year, K&L Gates was recognized among the top 10 strongest U.S. law firm brands in legal market research company Acritas’ U.S. Law Firm Brand Index 2016. The firm has been ranked among Acritas’ top U.S. law firm brands since the index began in 2012, with the firm first moving into the top 10 in 2015.
  • K&L Gates was awarded a Top 10 ranking in the 2016 BTI Client Service 30 for the second consecutive year. The ranking recognizes leading law firms in driving superior client relationships according to general counsel. K&L Gates is one of only six firms out of 650 to rank in the top 10 for client service in each of the last two years, and 2016 marks the fourth consecutive year that K&L Gates has been included in this prestigious ranking.
  • In 2015, Acritas, acting under the auspices of the Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF), ranked K&L Gates as one of the five best performing brands in the global legal industry.
  • In 2016, Yale Law Women named K&L Gates as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Firms. The ranking is based on consideration of law firm policies relating to part-time and flex-time options; parental leave and family accommodations; gender equity; billing requirements; and professional development opportunities.
  • In 2015, Chambers USA honored K&L Gates as the Outstanding Firm for Furthering Women’s Advancement (Recruitment, Retention and Advancement).
  • K&L Gates was shortlisted by The American Lawyer magazine and UK-based general counsel as 2015 U.S. Law Firm of the Year in the publication’s inaugural Transatlantic Legal Awards, presented in London.
  • K&L Gates was shortlisted for “International Law Firm of the Year” in both the 2013 and 2009 The Lawyer Awards, as well as “US Law Firm of the Year” in the 2014, 2011, and 2009 Legal Business Awards.
  • In 2013, K&L Gates was selected as “Law Firm of the Year” by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, as part of their M&A Mid-Market Awards. This prestigious award recognized K&L Gates for its strong performance in 2012 and its global approach to middle market mergers and acquisitions, as well the firm’s continued growth into new international markets.
  • K&L Gates received a Top 15 ranking in the 2016 BTI Brand Elite: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms for the third consecutive year, ranking 11th out of more than 400 firms. The “Brand Elite” includes 28 law firms with the biggest imprint on corporate counsel.
  • K&L Gates was one of two firms to have earned 45 national first-tier rankings — the highest number of national first-tier rankings among more than 12,700 firms — in the 2016 U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey. Full rankings included nearly 190 metropolitan and state first-tier rankings.
  • For the sixth year in a row, K&L Gates was ranked by Law360 in the publication’s 2016 Global 20 survey as one of the “20 law firms that had the biggest global presence and handled the largest, significant and groundbreaking international and cross-border matters over the past year.”
  • In 2016, Corporate Board Member magazine ranked K&L Gates as one of America’s top 25 corporate law firms.
  • K&L Gates was the recipient of the 2014 Global Legal Award for “Global CSR Initiative of the Year” from The American Lawyer for the firm’s Global Day of Service, an annual week-long volunteer effort from lawyers and staff that focuses on serving charitable organizations in the cities and regions in which the firm has offices across five continents.
  • The American Lawyer ranked K&L Gates first among the world’s largest 100 law firms in the Recession Performance Index, which measured compound annual growth rate of revenue, revenue per lawyer, profits per partner, and lawyer headcount during the period of the Great Recession (2007 to 2009). 

K&L Gates comprises approximately 2,000 lawyers globally who practice in fully integrated offices located on five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals. 
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