Michael Nannes is Chairman Emeritus of Dickstein Shapiro. He served as Chairman from 2004 through 2013 and as Deputy Managing Partner for 10 years before that. Under his leadership, the firm significantly expanded its national footprint, and received many prestigious accolades for its diversity and quality of life programs in numerous high-profile business and trade publications.
In his role as Chairman Emeritus, Mike focuses on important firm and industry priorities, such as diversity; attorney professional development, recruitment, and retention; women's initiatives; quality of life; and pro bono service.
As Chairman, Mike was instrumental in the development of the firm’s quality of life programs, which include paternity leave, nanny care, “managed time” arrangements, and “Dickstein Shapiro University,” which offers a variety of classes in specific areas of professional growth and personal development. 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 in 1999. The recognitions have continued, including rankings in each biennial edition of Washingtonian magazine’s “Great Places to Work” list since 1999 and the Washington Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” issue, most recently in 2010. Mike is dedicated to continually improving the quality of life for firm associates, and in 2007, Dickstein Shapiro was ranked the number one firm overall, as well as the number one firm in both Washington, DC, and New York, NY, in The American Lawyer’s “Associates Survey.”
Similarly, the firm’s diversity efforts have been recognized in Multicultural Law magazine’s “Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity,” the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC’s “Best Law Firms for Women.” 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 addition, the 2008 edition of 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 is a recipient of the 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’ leadership, Dickstein Shapiro 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 growth, mergers, diversity, mentoring, and hiring. 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.”
Prior to serving as Chairman and 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. He also developed and evaluated RFPs, negotiated contracts, and integrated contracts into complete financings. 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.
OUTSIDE THE FIRM
Mike is a member of the Advisory Council of 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 invited to participate in the first ever PAR event, Diversity and Flexibility Connection. The Connection is 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 counsel for their exceptional progress toward diversity and flexibility objectives.
Mike serves on the executive committee of the Legal Aid Society and previously served on its board of trustees. In 2008, he co-chaired the Society’s 19th Annual Servant of Justice Dinner. Mike is also on the board of directors of the Duke Ellington Fund.
In 2006, Mike became a founding committee member of Georgetown University Law Center’s Law Firm Senior Management Legal Ethics Roundtable. 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.
An avid runner, Mike recently completed a marathon with a Dickstein Shapiro team assembled to support a children's charitable program.