A number of local law firms — some headquartered in Nashville, others with prominent offices here — are featured on BTI Consulting Group's recently published BTI Brand Elite ranking of top firms as seen by in-house counsel at many of the world's largest companies. Making the list are locally based firms Bass Berry & Sims and Waller. Ranked firms headquartered elsewhere but with a solid presence here include Adams and Reese, Baker Donelson, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Burr & Forman, Butler Snow, Frost Brown Todd, Nelson Mullins, Ogletree Deakins, Pillsbury Winthrop and Stites & Harbison.
The consultants' list — check out an executive summary here — features more than 200 firms that score well on recommendations, value delivered and innovation. Of note: The BTI team, which interviewed more than 500 in-house attorneys, did not prompt the lawyers with firm names. All mentions were unsolicited.
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz has recruited a prominent hospital attorney in Huntsville to join the firm. Joe Campbell, who works with just about every prominent publicly owned hospital in North Alabama, told Reuters that Baker Donelson is looking to build a network of public hospital specialists and that moving to the firm also gives him better insight into what's going on in D.C.
Richard G. Cowart, Chair of the Firm's Health and Public Policy Department, added, "Joe is regarded as one of Alabama's top health lawyers and the premier hospital authority attorney in the state. His more than 25 years of health law experience will extend our counsel to many of the region's leading public hospitals, health care authorities and medical centers. He will be a tremendous asset to Baker Donelson as we continue to partner with health care organizations to address the complex and ever-changing challenges that are today's health care environment."
We're catching up a bit to this note but thought it was interesting to pass along. Remember two years ago when we were all talking about Amazon's is-it-or-isn't-it nexus and rifling through the fine points of Quill v. North Dakota? The tax team at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz says Department of Revenue officials could be moving to clear up some of the confusion: Part of a recent Court of Appeals ruling cites a New Jersey case that links the licensing of intellectual property to the creation of a nexus.
The attorneys at Stites & Harbison were recently given pause by an article posted online by BusinessInsider.com that expounded on a survey conducted by The American Lawyer.
The article posted by Business Insider claims that Stites is one of the 10 worst law firms in the country to work for — based on a survey of mid-level associates by The American Lawyer, which sent 12 questions to more than 5,600 attorneys nationwide. At least 10 attorneys associated with a firm had to respond in order to be included on the list.
Business Insider gathered the bottom 10 on American Lawyer's list and headed to a website called Glassdoor.com, which gathers anonynmous comments about companies from employees and job seekers. One of the comments lifted from that site and posted to the article read "Scraping for work. Partners don't spend enough time teaching young associates to develop clients and create work."
Interestingly, that comment was posted on Glassdoor in 2010 by an employee that gave the firm three out of five stars and also stated that a reason to work for the firm was, "Pay and prestige. Look — seems shallow but the work is exciting you certainly keep gleen some cache from working there." It was also written in 2010. The only two other Stites employees that commented gave the firm top marks and said, "It's like a big family" and “Excellent camaraderie."
Much, much higher to the top of American Lawyer's list is Baker Donelson, which came in third out of 129 qualifying firms based on the responses from 17 of its attorneys.
Bottom line is we don't know if Stites is a good place to practice law or not — or that Baker is so much better — and neither do the folks at Business Insider. But we do know what all attorneys teach us when reading most anything: Check the fine print.
The Washington, D.C. outpost of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz has added to its ranks Ellen O'Kane Tauscher, a former seven-term member of Congress from California and former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs. Tauscher advised both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and also was a special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense at the State Department.
"Through her outstanding career in both business and public service, Ellen has a unique background that spans the defense, transportation, energy and health care fields," said J. Keith Kennedy, Chair of Baker Donelson's Federal Public Policy Group. "Her experience will provide our clients with the strategic advice they need for effective policy-driven decision-making of federal policy and programs in these areas. We're proud to welcome her to our team."