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Chuck Queenan named chair emeritus of K&L Gates

Position given ‘in recognition of a lifetime of contributions’

29 October 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Charles J. Queenan, Jr has been appointed chair emeritus of K&L Gates. The global law firm says the position honours Queenan’s “lifetime of contributions to the legal profession, his community and firm”.

Queenan served as the firm’s chair from 1976 to 1990, guided it through its first combination in 1981 and additional office openings, and put in place many of the firm’s foundational features. He is the only partner of the firm to be designated chair emeritus.

“Chuck Queenan is a partner and leader for the ages,” commented K&L Gates’ current chair and global managing partner, Peter J. Kalis. “He continues to touch every important feature of our firm because he designed them all. Whether it’s our system of governance, our globally integrated approach to the practice of law, our fiscal conservatism, the structure of our partnership, or our tradition of investing in intergenerational excellence, the design is all Chuck’s.”

In addition to his leadership role at the firm, Queenan was involved in many professional, charitable and civic endeavours. This included serving as chair of the board of directors of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and chair of the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University.

Said Kalis: “The word Queenan is synonymous with mentorship. Countless lawyers; business, civic, and educational leaders; and public servants have been touched by his thoughtful guidance, often as they were experiencing great personal, professional, or business stress. His career exemplifies what it means to be a lawyer-citizen, a wonderful partner and neighbour, and a force for good in our world.”

Martha Minow, dean and Morgan and Helen Chu professor of law at Harvard Law School, said: “Even among the giants in the world of law firm leadership, Chuck Queenan stands so tall. He turned his analytic brilliance – well-honed in tax and business matters – to building a nimble organisation characterised both by innovation and a culture of devotion to client service and integrity. He models the best meanings of mentor, colleague, and friend. He is an inspiration to all at his alma mater, Harvard Law School.”

Commented Queenan: “In 1956, at the outset, I was blessed to be part of an extraordinary group of professional lawyers led by Robert L. Kirkpatrick and his colleagues. It was for all of us rewarding to observe the strategic growth of the firm into a national and global force. This measured growth is attributable to the culture of the firm, and all of its lawyers and staff.” 

Queenan, who is a retired corporate lawyer, was formerly a partner, chair of the management committee and chair of the audit committee at K&L Gates.

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