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The G&O Story

Conn Kavanaugh welcomed attorneys Dennis J. Gallitano, Karen J. O’Connor, Heidi L. Bauders, and Marc D. Lawlor from Gallitano & O’Connor LLP (G&O) on October 15, 2020. The addition of the G&O attorneys provides the opportunity for Conn Kavanaugh clients to obtain support in technology and outsourcing transactions and broadens the ability for G&O clients to obtain additional legal services.

Formed as a boutique technology law firm in May 2005, G&O has focused exclusively on representing organizations requiring specialized technology legal services. Before forming the firm, Dennis and Karen were capital partners at Piper Rudnick, now DLA Piper, and co-chaired the Technology Law Practice for seven years. Since the inception of the technology practice, the G&O lawyers have served a diverse group of clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to governmental entities, to smaller non-profit and other organizations. Their clients do business in various industries, including retail, healthcare, government, university and higher education, trade association, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, consumer products, real estate, and manufacturing.

The G&O Story Begins

During his years as a Systems Engineer at IBM, Dennis Gallitano developed a deep understanding of technology and project management. After receiving his law degree (1984), Dennis began representing large healthcare systems in mergers and acquisitions. As healthcare systems became increasingly reliant on information technology, his technology experience and the law were natural for this emerging field. Dennis quickly became a trusted advisor to healthcare system clients contracting for IT solutions, leveraging his strong technical background and transactional and negotiation skills as a merger and acquisitions lawyer.

Karen O’Connor began her career as a technology litigator, handling technology transactions that failed for one reason or another. Karen joined the practice in the early 1990s and rapidly developed the capabilities needed to represent clients in extensive, sophisticated technology and outsourcing transactions.

Heidi Bauders and Marc Lawlor joined the practice in the early 2000’s at Piper Rudnick and have become trusted, “go-to” lawyers for G&O clients. Originally trained as a corporate transactional attorney, Heidi now has over 20 years of technology and outsourcing transactions experience. Her general corporate background and training, and her technology transactions experience, provide Heidi with a well-rounded perspective from which to advise the firm’s clients.

Marc began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Carol E. Jackson in the U.S. Federal District Court. After leaving the public sector for private practice in the late 1990s, Marc quickly focused on technology transactions and has now assisted clients in technology matters for over 20 years. Marc has represented both the buyer and vendor in technology transactions, enabling him to understand both sides of the transaction when assisting his clients.

Early Years in the Healthcare and Communications Fields

The G&O practice originated in the healthcare information technology area by representing healthcare systems in purchasing clinical information and patient accounting systems. The practice expanded into representing clients in the digital and fiber optics communications field when the FCC was clearing frequencies for the anticipated explosion of mobile phones and technologies. Clients have included MFS Communications (later purchased by WorldCom), WorldCom, MCI, Level 3 Communications, Allegiance Telecom, Looking Glass Networks, and others. As the representation of communications companies expanded, so did the firm’s knowledge of the fundamentals of communications and networking infrastructure, which led to the firm’s involvement in software development transactions that resulted in establishing the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

In the late 1990’s, the attorneys from G&O had the unique opportunity to represent General Motors and its new e-commerce division, e-GM. They were lead counsel on forming the joint venture between GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler in the first large B2B joint venture. After representing GM, G&O attorneys represented a host of other industry-led B2Bs.

Surge into Universities and Higher Education and Academic/Medical Research Centers

G&O further expanded its practice into the university and higher education field, focusing primarily on implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, including the complex student information systems, and expanded its healthcare information practice in representing major academic medical centers in the acquisition of clinical information systems. Clients have included both public and private universities, university-based medical centers, and research entities, including a medical research center in the Middle East.

Progression into Outsourcing

The growth in technology and business process outsourcing led G&O attorneys to apply their skills in this area. G&O attorneys have handled outsourcing transactions valued in the hundreds of million dollars, including full data center, data and voice communications, desktop and help desk support, applications management, and other services. G&O also frequently works to restructure and improve existing outsourcing arrangements.

Technology Associations – Bringing it all Together

As the technology field has grown, cooperation, compatibility, and common standards increasingly have become an essential part of the technology landscape. Rather than creating proprietary technologies that would not work together, major technology manufacturers began forming industry-based consortia to develop common standards and technology platforms from which to launch their products. To guide these cooperative efforts, these companies looked for lawyers skilled in the technology field. Today, G&O attorneys represent a global Internet of Things association formed to create standards to serve the connected device industry.

The Future

Clients have looked to G&O lawyers for innovative and creative lawyering in the technology field based on their experience, creativity, technical know-how, and sheer lawyering abilities. As the technology industry grows and new challenges are presented, Conn Kavanaugh is uniquely positioned to help its clients face these new challenges. Together, Conn Kavanaugh and the lawyers from G&O look forward to a bright future full of growth and opportunity.

We are not your standard law firm – Clients rely on us to collaborate with them to meet their needs and exceed their expectations. The firm’s new lawyers are trailblazers in the technology and outsourcing field, and Conn Kavanaugh is excited to have them as part of the firm.