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Carol Felsenthal
On politics

Rich Daley Joins His Best Buddy at Chicago Law Firm

The former mayor joins Katten Muchin Rosenman, making him colleagues with “the ultimate Daley insider": 64-year-old partner and rainmaker Terry Newman.

The news this morning that Mayor Daley has joined the law firm, Katten Muchin Rosenman, does not surprise this reporter. When writing a profile of mayoral brother Bill Daley for this magazine, Terry Newman, 64, a partner/rainmaker at the firm,  was near the top of my to-call list because he was described to me by insiders as the ultimate Daley insider: a best friend and dining buddy of the Mayor’s. When the mayor attends social/city events, Newman, who is single, is almost always close at hand. I attended an Economic Club farewell tribute to Daley last February and Newman sat on the dais with such stalwarts of corporate Chicago as Lester Crown, John Bryan, Patrick Ryan, Edward Liddy, and Christopher Galvin.

Newman didn’t return my call that time or last month when I thought it time to write a profile of him, or today when I called seeking a comment on Daley’s coming to the firm (founded in Chicago in 1974).

Katten represented the city in negotiating the deal to privatize the city’s parking meters. And, more recently, Newman reportedly played a role in the deal to build a large grocery store and high-rise condo where the old Grant Hospital once operated at Lincoln and Webster.

One long-time political insider—close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel—explained that Rich Daley is “very shy and for decades has shared his confidences with Terry. Rich knows he can trust Terry and part of that is that Terry almost never talks to reporters about the Mayor or anyone else in the Daley family.”

In its announcement of this huge “get,” the firm, which employs more than 600 lawyers in the US and abroad (275 in Chicago) and is expanding  its presence in China with plans to open an office in Shaghai later this year—mentioned that Daley, who has signed on “of counsel,” won’t participate in any matters involving the city or its agencies. His salary was not revealed.

Carol Felsenthal is a lifelong Chicagoan and self-proclaimed political junkie. She writes occasionally for Politico Magazine and The Hill. Her books include biographies of Bill Clinton, Katharine Graham, and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Among her many stories for Chicago are memorable profiles of Michelle Obama and Bruce Rauner. Follow her on Twitter at @csfelsenthal.


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