Q&A: McDermott’s Bobby Burchfield & Paul Thompson

The Blog Of Legal Times


April 22, 2013

It’s been almost two years since Paul Thompson and Bobby Burchfield have shared the title of co-managing partner of McDermott Will & Emery’s Washington office. In that time the firm has added partners to its ranks and made a high-profile move to Capitol Hill.

Thompson, who focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, congressional investigations and appellate work, recently celebrated his six-year anniversary with the firm. Burchfield, who has served as co-managing partner since he joined the firm in 2004, practices in corporate litigation. He is also a member of the firm’s management committee.

Legal Times sat down with Burchfield and Thompson in the firm’s office to discuss the firm’s business, goals for the D.C. office and Washington politics.

Legal Times: Why have two office managing partners as opposed to one?

Thompson: One of the things we try to pride ourselves on here is that our leadership also works as a fulltime lawyer. To have a partner who helps manage the office I think is a great asset. This is also our second largest office. We have about 205 attorneys and couple hundred more staff. Administratively it is a tough job, so it is nice to have two people to do that work.

Burchfield: I would also say that of our practices, of all of our offices, Paul and I have as active practices of law as any of the other office heads. Some of the other office heads, I think, find it to be a fulltime job and it can be a fulltime job. I enjoy practicing law and I like the craft of being a lawyer. I went to law school to be a practicing lawyer and that is something I still like after 35 years.