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/////RAINMAKERS 2011

Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP Chicago, IL



Years Practicing:

26 Area of Practice: Finance

“T e idea that you rise to rainmaker status by yourself is incorrect,” says David Galainena. “You’ve got to know what you can and cannot do, and you’ve got to build a good team. It’s wise to sur- round yourself with smart lawyers.” Traditionally, bringing in new clients and generating

business has often been a measured and thoughtful process, says Galainena, but since the 2007 market meltdown, the legal business has changed. T ere is now greater pressure to produce revenue immediately. Over the past four years, Galainena’s practice has changed as well. “Some clients from before have disappeared while others are moving in new directions. It’s no longer a pure-fi nance practice. T ere’s defi nitely a private equity component involved now. And this is driven by the fact that we’re working with active clients and that’s where the market lies today—it’s not in traditional structured market fi nance. “Building and retaining a large book of portfolio clients

requires connecting the dots between clients and clients’ needs. If somebody wants to buy a business and you know somebody who’s selling and you put them together, you gain a lot of credibility. And while the last several years have been very diff erent, they’ve also been my most successful to date.” Prior to joining Winston & Strawn (where he chairs the

fi rm’s fi nance practice), Galainena was a fi nance partner at Chapman & Cutler in Chicago. He also worked as an invest- ment banker for CS First Boston. “Today things are volatile. T ere are no guarantees. I miss the stability of when you didn’t have to search out clients so aggressively, but I don’t know if those days will ever return.”


Principal , The Alexander Firm Oklahoma City, OK

Years Practicing:

35 Area of Practice: Product Liability

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1976 and clerking for the 10th Circuit, Robert H. Alexander Jr. returned to his native Oklahoma City and made partner in a big local law fi rm to show that an African American attorney could do it. (“Prior to me, fi rms weren’t hiring blacks,” he says.) And again in 1988, Alexander opened his own fi rm expressly to demonstrate that he could successfully compete with the city’s most elite trial lawyers, as well as to create a template for other minorities to follow. His fi ve-attorney fi rm’s national practice focuses on

defending clients against complex product liability claims, generally representing pharmaceutical and many other product manufacturers often when an entire product line is under attack. T e fi rm’s fi rst big client was Ford Motor. “T e A.B.A. was pairing big companies with minority fi rms. After winning some small cases, I eventually won a million-dollar case and they took notice. It was then that I learned most referrals are lateral.” As a child and young man, Alexander experienced

segregation fi rst hand. “I was part of a loving family and my parents surrounded me with a positive protective hedge.” Alexander’s father taught his children against rationalizing failure with “excellent excuses.” T ey were expected to suc- ceed despite any injustices they might encounter. “I’m a rainmaker as a by-product of being known as a

great lawyer who both understands and always places his cli- ents’ interests above all else. I protect my clients and over the years word has gotten around. Perceived negatives such as my being from a small city or small fi rm have become positives. Now clients will say ‘Get me that guy in Oklahoma.’”


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