Ex-Mayor Daley’s new job is with law firm involved in city deals
By FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter June 1, 2011 6:46AM
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is joining Chicago law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
Updated: July 8, 2011 2:10PM
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is joining a Chicago law firm that took in $822,760 in legal fees from City Hall in Daley-engineered deals that privatized the Chicago Skyway, the city’s downtown parking garages and Chicago’s parking meters.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced at dawn Wednesday that Chicago’s longest-serving and newly retired mayor has joined the firm “of counsel,” a part-time role that traditionally involves legal “rainmaking” — bringing in business.
Katten Muchin has more than 600 lawyers at offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C and London. More important to Daley, who has made numerous trips to China to promote international trade, the firm also has a license pending to open an office in Shanghai.
Katten Muchin said Daley would “draw on his vast knowledge, experience and relationships globally to contribute to the continued growth” of the firm.
The firm, which did not disclose how much Daley will be paid, said he won’t participate in any of its work involving the city or other agencies of local government.
That’s a long list, records show.
Katten Muchin served as the lead negotiator on the 75-year, $1.15 billion deal that privatized Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters — and infuriated drivers with a botched transition and a steep schedule of rate hikes.
The firm was paid $662,760 on that deal — 49 percent of the legal fees tied to the transaction.
Katten Muchin also made $100,000 in legal fees on the 99-year, $1.83 billion deal to privatize the Chicago Skyway, the deal that started the great Chicago sell-off of city assets in the face of a growing financial crisis.
It also took in $60,000 in legal fees from the $563 million deal that privatized Chicago’s downtown parking garages.
For years, Katten Muchin has also been involved in city bond deals. Records show the city paid Katten Muchin a total of $3,675,262.54 over the past five years, for work on financial transactions, primarily bonds.
Daley, 69, is keeping busy since leaving City Hall last month after 22 years as mayor. He’s planning to write a book about his life in Chicago politics. He’s hoping to make speeches at $50,000 per appearance. He has also agreed to organize 10 guest lectures a year for each of the next five years as a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies. And he has leased space on Michigan Avenue for an undisclosed business venture with his son, Patrick Daley.
Now, Daley will add “of counsel” to his life after politics, at a firm that also employs one of his closest friends — attorney and former City Colleges of Chicago board member Terry Newman.
“I appreciate all of the professional offers I have received since announcing my plan to leave government,” the former mayor said in a written statement issued by Katten Muchin.
Daley said he had offers to join “other prominent law firms” but chose Katten Muchin because it’s a “well-managed group of talented professionals” that’s “expanding globally” and has an “innovative yet practical approach to helping clients accomplish their goals.
“The firm also has a demonstrated commitment to giving back to the community, which is important to me,” the former mayor said.
Vincent Sergi, national managing partner of Katten Muchin, said he was “honored” to welcome Daley, whose “advice and counsel” should be “invaluable.”
“In joining our firm, he clearly recognizes what we have accomplished and that we are poised for significant growth nationally and internationally,” Sergi said.