Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//September 4, 2012
//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer
//September 4, 2012
Michael C. Powell is the new managing member and chief operating officer of Gordon Feinblatt LLC.
The appointment is part of the Baltimore firm’s leadership transition plan, the second since its founding 60 years ago. Powell will replace managing partner Herbert Goldman, who has served in the position for 32 years.
“Michael has exhibited management skills at the firm whether it’s running his own practice group or other assignments we have given him,” said firm chairman and CEO Barry F. Rosen. “He has done a really wonderful job. He is really universally well-regarded, well-respected and well-liked at the firm.”
Powell has shadowed and trained with Goldman since last September in order to ensure a smooth takeover, Rosen said. He took over as managing member Aug. 1.
Powell, who joined the firm in 1993, will be in charge of day-to-day operations like technical, staff or building issues that arise, Rosen said.
“Anything we have to spend money to do, he is in charge of it,” Rosen said.
Rosen said Powell’s decision-making ability made him a good candidate for the job.
“It’s important to have a nice way about you,” Rosen said. “When you disagree with people or say no, you have to be able to do that in a political kind of way. You listen to people, but then you need to make a decision. The best interests of the firm need to occur.”
The law firm revealed in April that Goldman would be stepping down as managing member but did not announce his successor until Tuesday. Powell is vacationing this week and could not be reached for comment.
The firm was founded in 1953. In the first leadership transition, the founding partners handed the torch to the Baby Boomer generation in the 1980s. Goldman took over as managing partner in 1980 and Rosen became chairman and CEO nine years later.
Powell will be part of the firm’s third generation of leadership, Rosen said. The firm has also been introducing younger attorneys to clients so that they can take over when older attorneys retire. Brian L. Moffet is taking over Powell’s position as head of the firm’s fee committee, which approves special fee arrangements. Both Powell and Moffet will be on the firm’s eight-member executive committee, too, Rosen said.
Powell is a registered lobbyist who has helped draft major environmental and energy legislation, including the Maryland Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, the Maryland Electricity Restructuring Act and the Maryland Brownfields Redevelopment Reform Act. He developed and chaired the firm’s Environmental & Energy Law Practice Group.
Before joining Gordon Feinblatt, Powell spent 10 years in the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, eventually serving as principal counsel to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Powell will continue his environment- and energy-law practice in his new position. Goldman, too, is staying with the firm but will concentrate on his business law practice.
“There are changes, but there are also things that aren’t changing,” Rosen said. “I’m still chairman and CEO of the firm, and that is not changing. Herbert Goldman is no longer a managing member, but he is still here being a lawyer.”