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New Managing Partner for Perkins Coie

Press Release

John Devaney to Become Firm’s New Leader

Seattle, Wash/Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2014) ‑ Perkins Coie announced today that John Devaney, age 56, has been elected the firm’s new Managing Partner, effective January 1, 2015.  John succeeds Bob Giles, who has served as the firm’s chairman since 1986 and announced three years ago his plans to step down at the end of 2014.  Prior to being elected Managing Partner, John served on the firm’s Executive and Management Committees and had served as Office Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have this great opportunity,” said John. “I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of a managing partner like Bob Giles and the many very talented attorneys who have led the firm since its founding in 1912.  We are at a very exciting time in the history of Perkins Coie—and the legal profession—and I look forward to continuing Perkins Coie’s transformation into a premier national law firm.  One of my key initiatives will be to continue our selective growth strategy—in terms of attorney numbers, practices, profits and geographic reach—while remaining true to our commitment to innovation and excellence.”

Commenting on John’s election to Managing Partner, Bob Giles said, “It has been an incredible experience over the past 28 years to serve as Perkins Coie’s Managing Partner and to help guide the firm through so many challenges and opportunities.  We are very excited about this new chapter in the firm’s life and we all look forward to continued growth and success under John’s able leadership.  His enormous talent, energy, and enthusiasm, together with his already deep experience as a leader at the firm, will help us achieve many of the important goals we have set for the firm, including continuing to provide the very best representation to our clients across the nation.”  Bob, who turns 65 this year, will continue to work to implement the firm’s strategy, assisting the firm on special projects which take advantage of his many years of experience in the legal industry.

John Devaney

John joined Perkins Coie in 1988 and focuses his practice on the areas of commercial litigation, political law litigation, and communications law.  He obtained his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston College in 1979 and his J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 1983, where he was an editor of the Catholic University Law Review.  Following law school, John clerked for the Honorable George Gallagher, the Honorable Hubert Pair, the Honorable Gerard Reilly and the Honorable J. Walter Yeagley in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  Prior to joining Perkins Coie, John was a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked in the Civil Rights Division.

Over the years, John has represented clients in dozens of proceedings before federal courts, state courts and administrative agencies throughout the country.  He also has represented clients in more than 20 appeals, including appeals before the U.S. courts of appeals and administrative appeals before U.S. district courts.  Some of John’s most notable matters include trials and appeals on behalf of telecommunications clients involving novel issues relating to the implementation and interpretation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  John also has been the lead trial lawyer in cases involving complex commercial disputes and, more recently, in matters relating to enforcement of the federal Voting Rights Act.

A native New Yorker, John moved to Washington, D.C., in 1980 to attend law school and, later, to work for the U.S. Department of Justice.  He and his wife, Deborah Reagan, have raised their three children in the nation’s capital.  While conducting his practice and assisting with the management of Perkins Coie, John also pursued his passion for baseball by serving as a Little League coach for 15 years.  John also is the co-founder of the Washington Lawyers’ Foundation for Children’s Hospital, which focuses on enlisting financial support from D.C. law firms for the Hospital’s Critical Care Unit.

About Perkins Coie: Founded in 1912, Perkins Coie has more than 950 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia. We provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation and intellectual property legal services to a broad range of clients, from FORTUNE 50 corporations to small, independent start-ups, as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.