Geis to head Venable's Baltimore office

Longtime law firm creates position to help manage growth

January 23, 2002|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF

Venable Attorneys at Law, one of Baltimore's oldest law firms, announced yesterday that it has appointed Robert H. Geis to the newly created position of Baltimore office head to help manage the firm's growth.

Geis will be responsible for retaining and recruiting employees and managing office morale, community involvement and client development at the headquarters office in Baltimore.

He will also continue as co-chairman of Venable's Business Transactions Group.

"I'm basically going to make sure everything runs smoothly in the office," Geis said yesterday. "We have a top-notch administrative staff, so I won't be doing all the detailed work. I'll do more of the decision-making."

Venable's four other offices - in Rockville, Towson, Washington and Vienna, Va. - already have office heads. Until now the duties of that position in Baltimore have fallen on the shoulders of Venable Managing Partner James L. Shea.

But in the last three years the firm, which now has about 430 attorneys, has grown by 50 percent. The Baltimore office has hired 20 lawyers in the last two years and now has about 200. With the growth, Shea has found himself with more responsibilities outside of the Baltimore office and more of a need to appoint an office head, he said.

"There were a lot of issues that came up with the additional growth, and frankly, we needed more help managing the office," Shea said.

Geis started with Venable, formerly known as Venable, Baetjer and Howard, in 1989 shortly after receiving his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He became partner in 1996, and as co-chairman of the Business Transactions Group provides estate planning and tax and business counsel to closely held businesses.

"He's one of our finest attorneys and clearly one of our best young leaders," Shea said.

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