European Competitive Telecommunications Association

(January 2, 2007, Washington, D. C.)  Steptoe & Johnson LLP today announced it will open a Chicago office in January.

Nine partners whose practices focus on commercial, insurance and reinsurance litigation will join Steptoe from Gardner Carton & Douglas Chicago office. Together with recent additions in DC and in a new Steptoe office in Century City, this group represents a further step toward the firm's goal of expanding its national litigation footprint. The group joining from Gardner Carton will total 15 to 20 staff and attorneys.

With the addition of this group we will have instant critical mass in Chicago, enhancing our national litigation practice, said Roger Warin, Chairman of Steptoe & Johnson. The opening up of a Chicago office with such a fine group of lawyers will also enable us to serve better those clients doing business in Chicago and litigating in the Mid-West.

The Chicago group is led by partners Christopher Barber and Stephen O'Donnell, both of whom have substantial trial experience in the financial services and insurance industries. Many of their major clients are also existing Steptoe clients.

'steptoe affords us an unparalleled platform from which to develop and expand our already strong commercial and insurance litigation practices, said Mr. Barber. Its reputation as a top-tier litigation powerhouse and its interest in utilizing our expertise in financial services and insurance to build out its national litigation practice are attractive to us. We believe it's an excellent match.

Mr. Barber is a commercial litigator with over 100 trials and arbitrations to his credit, including twenty-four since 2002. He received his BA from Ohio State University in 1981 and his JD from the University of Mississippi in 1985.

Mr. O'Donnell has a substantial insurance and reinsurance litigation practice, and has conducted more than 20 trials in his career, including seven in the past four years. His practice often involves proceedings in London, and thus he will collaborate with Steptoe's team of UK-based insurance lawyers, litigators and arbitrators. Mr. O'Donnell received his BA from Washington University in 1982 and his JD from the University of Illinois in 1986.

We also are excited to have the opportunity to work with the first-rate solicitors in Steptoe's well-established London office, said Mr. O'Donnell. This combination should take our international litigation and arbitration practice to a new level, as we are now, for the first time, members of a firm that offers clients a seamless trans-Atlantic team to help solve their US-UK-European legal issues."

Seven other attorneys from Gardner Carton will be joining Mr. Barber and Mr. O'Donnell at Steptoe as partners.

Richard Agin handles commercial and securities litigation. He received his BA from Princeton University in 1983, and his JD from Northwestern University in 1988.

Gary Garner also practices commercial and securities litigation. He received his BA from the University of Kansas in 1985, and his JD from the University of Illinois in 1988.

Nancy Hendrickson concentrates her practice on financial services litigation and arbitration. She received her BS from Northwestern University in 1988, and her JD from DePaul University in 1991.

Elissa Isaacs focuses on commercial litigation. She received her BS from Northwestern University in 1988, and her JD from George Washington University in 1991.

Peter Meyer handles commercial litigation and intellectual property matters. He received his BA from the University of Missouri in 1978, and his JD from Chicago-Kent in 1984.

Daryl Schumacher focuses on commercial litigation. He received his BA from St. Norbert College in 1984, and his JD from John Marshall University in 1988.

Jonathan Silverman handles commercial, insurance and intellectual property litigation. He received his BA from Yale University in 1986, and his JD from the University of Chicago in 1992.

This group is a strong match with our firm on several levels given the cases we both handle and the clients we both represent, said Steve Fennell, head of the firm's Litigation Department, The move is consistent with our plan to continue our growth where we find the highest caliber lawyers.

Two of Steptoe's DC-based partners, Steven Davidson and Paul Mickey, will coordinate the launch and integration of the Chicago office and will spend significant time working in Chicago. The office will open on January 1, at 161 North Clark Street, Suite 3200 in downtown Chicago.

This is the second new office for Steptoe in the past seven months. In July the firm opened an office in Century City, CA which now has 17 attorneys and is growing rapidly. In addition to the firm's headquarter's office in Washington and its new Chicago office, Steptoe has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, London and Brussels.

About Steptoe

With more than450 attorneys, Steptoe & Johnson LLP provides counsel and representation in a wide range of legal fields. In more than 60 years of practice, the firm has gained a national and international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has offices in New York, Washington, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Century City, London and Brussels.

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