ROBERT L. KAHAN, 66
FIRM: Eisner Kahan & Gorry
LAW SCHOOL: UCLA
SELECTED CLIENTS: California Pizza Kitchen founders Larry Flax and Richard Rosenfield, Tony Hawk, Alan Hamel, Suzanne Somers, VMG Partners, Ascent Capital Group Inc.
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 41
Biggest Deal: Sale of California Pizza Kitchen to PepsiCo.
Best Career Moment: Formation of Stein & Kahan in 1975.
Worst: A long and involved negotiation for the sale of a client ultimately fell apart on account of the sudden loss of value of its underlying assets on account of the economic downturn in 2006-07.
The Secret to Closing a Deal: I believe an effective deal lawyer handles challenging issues by recognizing the legitimacy of the other side’s position even if you disagree with it, rather than just dismissing it offhand – which often happens. But most important, I believe the secret to closing a deal is to understand what is driving the underlying deal in the first place.
If I Weren’t an Attorney: Sports announcer.
My Colleagues Don’t Know: I ran in the Olympic torch relay in 1984 in Los Angeles. There were thousands of people on my route waving American flags – what a great patriotic feeling!