Winstead's Kevin Sullivan Begins Term as New CEO and Chairman

01.03.11

Dallas, TX, Jan. 3, 2011 – Winstead PC announced that Shareholder Kevin A. Sullivan officially began his term as the firm's new CEO and chairman, on Jan. 1, 2011. Sullivan formerly served as chair of Winstead’s Real Estate Structured Finance practice group and the firm’s lateral hiring partner.

"I am honored to serve in my new role as CEO of Winstead and proud to work with the talented attorneys and staff who are passionate about what we do here,” said Sullivan. “As a shareholder and practice leader, I've been encouraged by leadership to focus on new programs that bring value to our clients and grow our business. The firm's previous CEOs, Denis Braham and Mike Baggett, both supported good ideas and proactive initiatives that demonstrated a commitment to the client and the firm. I intend to learn from their leadership and carry this tradition forward.”

As far as spirit goes, Sullivan has been considered a leader by many of his peers for making business happen. With over 28 years as a real estate lawyer, Sullivan headed Winstead’s structured finance practice, leading a team of attorneys who specialized in documenting securitized lending transactions secured by commercial properties. In the four years prior to 2007, Sullivan’s group of attorneys averaged over 1,000 loans per year.

When the real estate bubble burst, Sullivan regrouped his real estate practice to focus on regionally based loan originations, mezzanine and hybrid financings, and restructuring complicated financings. He survived a market that completely changed the entire nature of his practice and successfully changed his practice to answer his clients' new challenges.

In 2009, Winstead's Executive Committee asked Kevin to lead Winstead's lateral hiring program. "We knew that if we gave this project to Kevin, he would not only jump in head first, he would swim to the bottom and drink the whole pool," said Executive Committee Member John Nolan. "He puts his heart and soul into his projects and he comes up with results that are unprecedented."

Since taking lead of Winstead's lateral hiring committee, Sullivan's success rate with hires increased the firm's attorney head count by 42. Many of Winstead's new lateral hires are experienced attorneys, bringing significant client relationships and business with them. Sullivan's strategy is to go after strong, lateral attorneys during a transition, when most firms are reacting by slowing down hiring.

"We have actively developed relationships with senior attorneys who have first-rate clients and like Winstead because they don't have to deal with the pressures to bill at extraordinary rates here," said Sullivan. Once again, it's this unconventional approach to business that leads to proven results, and Sullivan is known for thinking two steps ahead of the play.

"While challenging in many ways, it can also be a good time to be in the law firm business," said Sullivan. "The playing field is different, clients expect a different kind of relationship with their attorneys and Winstead is about making what we give our clients the most valuable service possible. We want our clients to look good, feel good about working with us, and know that we have their business on our mind 24/7."

Sullivan is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and Leadership Dallas. He is a life member of the Dallas Regional Chamber, a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council and a board member of Downtown Dallas, Inc. He has been named a Texas Super Lawyer, a Best Lawyer in America and a Top Attorney by D Magazine. Sullivan received his J.D., cum laude from the University of Texas School of Law.

Winstead is among the largest business law firms in Texas. Winstead attorneys and consultants serve as trusted advisors to mid-market and large businesses, providing a core range of legal services that are critical to their operation and success. From its well-known reputation in real estate and financial services to its corporate and high-stakes litigation practice, Winstead delivers practical knowledge and responsive service. And it's all backed by a get-it-done attitude. Winstead has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and The Woodlands, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina and Washington, D.C. For detailed information about Winstead, visit www.winstead.com.

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