Thelen Celebrates Noted Corporate Attorney Walter Feldesman’s 67-Year Legal Career
90-year old senior counsel and authority on elder care retiring from active practice; Feldesman still bringing in the business; will advise clients on pro bono basis; at one point he served on more public corporate boards than any other attorney in the U.S.
NEW YORK (December 6, 2007) – Celebrating a widely respected legal career that has spanned over two-thirds of a century, Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP announced that Senior Counsel Walter Feldesman, who made his mark as one of New York’s top transactional and corporate governance lawyers, has just retired from active practice, though he will be continue to advise clients and also work on a full plate of pro bono matters.
Except for a stint in the Judge Advocate General’s School during World War II, where he served in the legal branch of the Quartermaster Corps. and was given a medal for his service, Mr. Feldesman has worked his entire career in New York City, initially in smaller corporate boutique firms he formed or led after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1940. He later became affiliated with Thelen and predecessor firms by merger, including Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner and Bear Marks & Upham.
Throughout his long career, Mr. Feldesman has been known for his acumen in representing clients in corporate, securities, general business, real estate, and trusts and estates matters. In the post-war years, Mr. Feldesman engineered an innovative system for handling legal business that has become a paradigm for today’s law firms. Mr. Feldesman effectively operated as a quasi-general counsel for many of his corporate clients, parceling out specialized work to some of New York’s leading law firms, while retaining the overall client relationships and directing the matters.
In 1983, The New York Times reported that Mr. Feldesman served on the boards of more public companies than any other attorney in the United States. He was especially sought after by apparel and fashion companies to advise them on corporate matters – some of his longtime board affiliations included National Shoe Company, Gaylords National and volume Merchandise. Currently, he is in process of stepping down from his last remaining board position, at Sterling Bancorp, when his term expires in May.
Despite his retirement from day-to-day affairs at Thelen, Mr. Feldesman continues to generate considerable business for the firm. In the month of November alone, he brought in three new matters, including a real estate litigation and a retail transaction involving an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. And he knew exactly which attorneys would be best suited to handle each project.