The Firms

May 29, 2009 1:39 PM

No Brotherly Love for K&L Chairman?

Posted by Nate Raymond

Kalis_Peter Does K&L Gates chairman Peter Kalis suffer from Philly-phobia? That's what Philadelphia Business Journal blogger Jeff Blumenthal wants to know after reading comments by Kalis in the Pittsburgh business press trashing Philly's airport.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Business Times last week, Kalis called the Philadelphia airport "not a wholesome place" and made it sound like making a connecting flight is something out of The Amazing Race.

He also claimed it's apparently "important to the citizenry" of Philadelphia to have "unwavering employee rudeness" at its airport.

Every major state has its bad airport, of course. But Blumenthal notes that despite the Pittsburgh-based firm's rush to expand, K&L Gates still has no Philadelphia operation.

"While Pittsburgh's other major law firms--Reed Smith, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, and Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott--opened Philadelphia offices years ago, K&L has avoided Philadelphia like the entire metropolitan area was coated with swine flu germs," Blumenthal writes.

Kalis's response to Blumenthal, when asked about his views on Philadelphia? "Go Pens." (We wonder what Kalis’s views are on actress Sienna Miller’s comments last year that Pittsburgh should be called “S---sburgh.”)

Kalis is no stranger to making public comments that stir up controversy. In March, he evoked the wrath of Cravath, Swaine & Moore presiding partner Evan Chesler when asked in an interview with The Lawyer what he thought of Chesler's call to end the billable hour.

"Enlightened law firms for years have been offering alternative fee arrangements to clients," Kalis told the Web site. "To hear a leader of a Wall Street firm recently issue a clarion call for alternative fees was amusing."

Chesler shot back--calling the comments "unfair." "This is a facile comment by somebody who is not well informed," he told The Lawyer.

We wonder what Chesler thinks of the Philly airport.

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