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Three major U.S. law firms announced management changes for their Washington, D.C, offices in the last week. Sidley Austin, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, and Allen & Overy each made separate announcements last week regarding shifts or additions to their Washington Offices. Though these announcements are unrelated, they are part of a pattern of law firms across the country making operational shifts to capitalize on slowly recovering national and local economies.

At Sidley Austin, Carter Phillips was named as the sole chairman of the firm’s executive board. Philips had previously served as the managing partner of Sidley’s Washington office, and over the last year, served as co-chairman with Thomas Cole. Cole, who served as the sole chairman for the last fifteen years, worked alongside Cole as part of a transition period. With the transition over, Philips will be taking the reins and working to continue the firm’s growth in the international marketplace.

  
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“The single biggest goal in my mind is to convert the firm from one of the handful of the strongest national law firms with an international footprint to one of the strongest global law firms,” Phillips told The National Law Journal. “In some ways the most important, immediate perceptive is to strengthen the existing offices.”

On Monday, Wilkinson Barker Knauer announced the hiring of Scott Harris as a managing partner, a title shared with Bryan Tramont. Harris is a former general counsel for the Department of Energy, and served as general counsel and senior vice president of tech-company NeuStar Inc. Harris’ practice focuses on energy and communication issues, with a focus on smart grids, energy distribution, and energy efficiency.

And on Friday, Allen & Overy brought on Barbara Stettner as the managing partner of the Washington Office. Stettner will be focusing on financial matters for the firm.

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