Business of Law

Willkie Practice Leader to Take 20-Lawyer Group In-House to Bloomberg, Where He'll Be New CLO

A longtime partner of Willkie Farr & Gallagher will be leading a group of up to 20 lawyers in-house to the firm’s biggest client in January, where he will serve as the new general counsel for Bloomberg L.P.

Corporate partner Richard K. DeSherer, 67, heads Willkie’s information systems and technology practice group. Valued for his more than 25-year relationship with Bloomberg, he could have stayed at Willkie as long as he wanted, despite a mandatory retirement age of 65, for which he received a waiver, Willkie co-chairman Steven Gartner tells the Am Law Daily.

However, the shift of five partners and as many as 15 associates and counsel to Bloomberg is also far from a problem, Gartner said:

“This is great news for Bloomberg and Willkie Farr, and it helps solidify a long-term relationship. We’ve worked with [Bloomberg] for more than 25 years and they’ve worked with many of these partners for a good chunk of that, including Dick [DeScherer] and Dan [Grossman] for all of that time.”

The addition of the 20-lawyer group will bring the total number of attorneys on Bloomberg’s in-house legal department roster to 55 or so. Current general counsel Karl Kilb III will remain with the company in another role.

“As a growing company operating in almost 200 locations around the world, we are finding unprecedented opportunities for growth in our customer base, our product offerings and our local partners,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff, chief executive officer of Bloomberg, in a press release today announcing the new chief legal officer and expansion of the company’s in-house legal department.

“Bloomberg will benefit greatly from a ramp-up of both the number and range of expertise of in-house legal staff to ensure we are much more efficient and nimble as we seek to take advantage of these global opportunities” Doctoroff said.

A Legal Week article provides additional details.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. to link to Legal Week coverage.

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