Revisiting the Forbes 400 and Its Deep-Pocketed Attorneys
Bluhm, whose name adorns Northwestern's Bluhm Legal Clinic, is a former Mayer Brown partner and founder of private equity firm Walton Street Capital. He is currently riding high on the surging profits generated by his Rivers Casino outside Chicago, according to Crain’s Chicago Business and Michigan Avenue Magazine.
Bonderman, a former Arnold & Porter partner who co-founded buyout shop TPG Capital in 1992, has seen his net worth grow from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $2.6 billion this year as a result of some savvy investment exits, most recently through the $6 billion sale earlier this month of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus.
Others appearing on this year's Forbes list are not attorneys but still have notable legal connections.
Nordstrom heiress Anne Gittinger, who checks in at No. 386 with a net worth of $1.3 billion, is married to Lane Powell corporate partner D. Wayne Gittinger in Seattle. The couple sponsor the D. Wayne & Anne Gittinger Professor of Law position at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, now held by Anita Ramasastry.
At No. 27 is Donald Bren, whose $14 billion fortune makes him the nation’s wealthiest real estate developer. He's married to Brigitte Bren, a former of counsel at now-defunct Arter & Hadden. The two wed in 1998, and Brigitte Bren now serves as a director for the Irvine Company, of which her husband is the sole owner.
Hedge fund honchos Daniel Loeb of Third Point and Chase Coleman III of Tiger Global Management, whose respective fortunes of $1.65 billion and $1.4 billion have them at Nos. 341 and 371 on the list, are the scions of Am Law 100 partners. Loeb’s father is Ronald Loeb, the former Williams-Sonoma general counsel and Irell & Manella tax partner who passed away last year.
Coleman, a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New York, is the son of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman partner C. Payson Coleman Jr., who heads the firm’s equipment finance practice. Coleman’s grandfather, Payson Coleman, served as managing partner of Davis Polk & Wardwell until his death at age 57 in 1982.
And then there's America’s richest man: Bill Gates, whose fortune Forbes puts at $72 billion. The Microsoft co-founder is the son of William Gates Sr., a former name partner at Preston Gates & Ellis, a predecessor firm to what is now called K&L Gates.
Some people have, of course, dropped off the Forbes list for one reason or another since we last took stock three years ago.
John Anderson, a founder and president of Los Angeles–based Topa Equities who died in July 2011 at age 93. The billionaire investor was a founding partner of leading Los Angeles securities firm Kindel & Anderson, which closed its doors in 1996—a decade after its Newport Beach office struck out on its own and other partners left for Paul Hastings. (Anderson’s former fellow name partner James Kindel, who later kept an office at McKenna Long & Aldridge, was also 93 when he died in 2007.)