Depending on your perspective, San Francisco lawyer Michael A. Kahn is either the last of a dying breed or the model of what every business lawyer in the 21st century should aspire to be.
Kahn, a litigator by practice area, doesn’t consider himself the world’s greatest technician or even the best cross-examiner in the courtroom. But what he does have is vision. And it’s the kind of vision that has business executives clamoring to meet with him.
“I very often get consulted on matters for companies, and the advice I am asked to give is not just how to handle a problem or a case, but how to approach a problem in light of the company’s overall business strategy,” says Kahn, a name partner in the 80-lawyer Folger, Levin & Kahn. For him, it’s all about the broader implications. “Rather than deciding solely on the merits of the litigation, the overall strategy of the company is considered,” Kahn explains, “which might mean acquiescing despite the merits, fighting harder or pursuing a public relations or government affairs strategy.”