Michael Nannes is Chairman Emeritus of Dickstein Shapiro. He served as Chairman/Managing Partner from 2004 through 2013 and as Deputy Managing Partner for 10 years before that. Under his leadership, the firm significantly expanded its national footprint, secured market leading positions in numerous cutting edge practice areas, and received many prestigious accolades for its diversity and quality of life programs.
At The Firm
In his role as Chairman Emeritus, Mike continues to serve as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, supportive of the efforts of his successor and the Firm’s Strategic Plan to advance its position as a market leading specialty firm.
Mike is also Co-Chair of the firm’s New Business Committee, focused on establishing client collaborative, and billing and alternative pricing practices in active, real time. Additionally, Mike is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee, committed to implementing real progress in the advancement of all attorneys regardless of race, origin, etc. and to supporting the development of young attorneys of color.
In The Community
Mike is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia. In 2008, he co-chaired the Society’s 19th Annual Servant of Justice Dinner. Mike serves on the board of directors of the Duke Ellington Fund, which supports high school students in the performing arts.
Mike also participates on Georgetown University Law Center’s Law Firm Senior Management Legal Ethics Roundtable, of which he was a co-founder in 2006. This program promotes regular discussion of legal ethics issues pertinent to leading law firms, with membership comprised of managing partners and general counsel from leading Washington, DC, law firms and faculty from Georgetown University Law Center. Mike is also a member of Georgetown Law’s Executive Education Advisory Board, a program focused on “leadership, management, team dynamics, decision-making and other topics relevant to lawyers in positions of responsibility within their firms.”
Mike is a member of the Advisory Council of the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance, successor to the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR), which works to stem unwanted attrition among lawyers by promoting work/life balance and the advancement of women in the legal profession. Mike was on the development team for the first ever PAR event, Diversity and Flexibility Connection – a program designed to bring together influential general counsel and managing partners for frank, moderated discussions about how in-house and outside counsel can work together in an approach that incorporates the most effective tactics from both diversity and flexibility efforts. The participating firms were nominated by PAR and chosen by the general counsels for their exceptional progress toward diversity and flexibility objectives.
An avid runner, Mike recently completed a marathon with a Dickstein Shapiro team assembled to support a children's charitable program.
As Chairman, Mike led the Firm through a turbulent period in the legal industry. The Firm successfully transited that period by keen collaboration and focused strategic planning, prudent geographical positioning, and client partnerships, built on a conservative fiscal platform that embraced intelligent risk. Lawdragon recognized Mike in its “100 Managing Partners You Need to Know” guide, commenting that, “He’s as good as it gets for pairing core values and caring leadership to create an attractive, top flight firm.”
Mike was instrumental in the development of many firmwide programs – including paternity leave, flexible scheduling, and Dickstein Shapiro University, which offers a variety of classes in specific areas of professional growth and personal development – founded on the proposition that support for an employees’ personal fulfillment, enhances loyalty and productivity. As a result of these progressive programs, Dickstein Shapiro was the first large law firm to receive The Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s Constance L. Belfiore Quality of Life Award (1999). The recognitions continued, including rankings in Washingtonian magazine and Washington Business Journal. In 2007, Dickstein Shapiro was ranked the number one firm overall in The American Lawyer’s annual “Mid-level Associate Satisfaction Survey,” as well as the number one firm in both Washington, DC, and New York, NY.
Similarly, the firm’s diversity efforts have been widely recognized by Multicultural Law magazine Human Rights Campaign, and Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. In June 2009, Dickstein Shapiro received the Washington Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division inaugural Celebration of Diversity Award in recognition of its strong support of minority attorneys. In 2008, the Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms ranked Dickstein Shapiro as number one on the “Best 20 Law Firms for Diversity” list, as well as in the “Top 20 for Diversity” categories specifically related to minorities, gays and lesbians, and women. The firm also is a winner of the American Bar Association’s National Association of Women Lawyers President’s Award for a “strong record of support for the advancement of women in the law.” Mike became one of the first two men to be awarded the District of Columbia Women’s Bar Association “Star of the Bar,” an award that recognizes members of the Washington, DC, legal community who have “made a difference in the professional lives of women attorneys by encouraging their advancement and retention.”
Under Mike’s leadership, Dickstein Shapiro has continued to grow its pro bono program and, in June 2008, was named the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in the large law firm category by the DC Bar Pro Bono Program.
Mike often is invited to speak at programs focused on matters of particular interest to law firms such as trends in law firm management, growth, mergers, diversity, mentoring, and hiring.
Prior to becoming Managing Partner, Mike focused his legal practice on matters related to energy and construction, project finance, privatization, and commercial arbitrations. He participated in the development of numerous infrastructure projects, including electric power plants, both domestic and international, wastewater treatment, gas storage, desalination, and other projects. He also developed and evaluated RFPs, negotiated contracts, and integrated contracts into complete financings. Before that, Mike practiced in the litigation area, with particular focus in the construction industry.
Prior to his arrival at Dickstein Shapiro, Mike served as a law clerk to the Honorable John H. Pratt, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.