Skip to main content

Business Development: Best Practices Post-Pandemic


Speaker(s): Deborah Brightman Farone, Gayle R. Klein, Keith R. Fullenweider, Timothy A Diemand
Recorded on: Feb. 17, 2021
PLI Program #: 318590

Keith Fullenweider is the co-head of Vinson & Elkins’ Corporate department and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Keith advises private equity firms and their portfolio companies on their investments, financings, and exit transactions. In addition, he counsels private equity firms on structuring capital raises, new business opportunities and corporate development matters. Keith also has extensive experience in public company merger transactions, particularly those involving conflict, special committee processes and regulated businesses.

Keith’s clients include some of the world’s most prominent private investors including TPG, Blackstone, KKR, Crestview, Quantum and EnCap.

Before taking the helm of V&E’s Corporate department, Keith led the firm’s private equity and M&A practice, from 2008 to 2016. During that time, the firm saw a significant expansion of its private equity representations. Under Keith’s watch, V&E became the country’s No. 1 private equity energy practice1 and solidified its position as a leading legal advisor to private equity firms across sectors. V&E also maintained its No. 1 ranking in energy M&A transactions during each year in this period.

1Mergermarket, Energy Private Equity Deals (volume), 2009-2019


Gayle R. Klein is co-chair of the Litigation Group and a nationally recognized trial lawyer with a proven track record of success. Gayle focuses her practice on business litigation, including disputes over complex financial transactions, breaches of fiduciary duty, theft of trade secrets and violations of non-competition agreements. She has extensive experience representing hedge funds, private equity firms, public companies and universities in the areas of antitrust, commercial and securities litigation. She also has significant experience defending putative consumer protection class actions. 

Gayle represents both plaintiffs and defendants in high stakes litigation. Over the past decade, she has both recovered in excess of $1 billion for her clients, as well as won defense verdicts and achieved settlements vindicating her clients’ business decisions. It is, therefore, not surprising that Gayle’s litigation prowess is hailed by both her clients and peers alike. She is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA for Commercial Litigation and Securities — Institutional Plaintiffs, which has noted that she is a ”very impressive” ”zealous advocate” and ”an effective trial lawyer.” Gayle also has been named a New York “Litigation Star” and one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” nationally by Benchmark Litigation since 2015, and has been named among the “500 Best Lawyers in the United States” by Lawdragon since 2013. 


Deborah has had the unique opportunity to play a role in developing the best practices in professional services marketing by working with the most respected and demanding professionals in the world.  

Deborah is the former long-time chief marketing officer of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where she created and managed the firm’s marketing and business development operations. On the business development side, she worked with colleagues to create a business and industry intelligence unit to help generate business opportunities, define new trends, and prepare partners for presentations. On the communications side, Deborah oversaw all strategic public relations and marketing communications.  Prior to joining Cravath, Deborah was the chief marketing officer at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Deborah is the author of the acclaimed Best Practices in Law Firm Business Development and Marketing (PLI 2019), a new book based on more than 60 interviews she conducted in 2018 with leading law firm leaders and marketers, general counsel, and innovators in the profession. Prior to entering law firm marketing, she worked at Towers Watson and Ketchum Communications and taught several courses at NYU in the area of marketing professional services. Deborah is the past President of the LMA NY Chapter and was recently honored with LMA New York’s Legacy Award, in recognition of making a distinguishable mark on the chapter and the profession.

In 2017, she launched her own consulting practice, Farone Advisors LLC, where she advises law and other professional service firms on business strategy and targeted marketing and is a speaker at professional forums and partner retreats.


Tim is a Partner in the Litigation Department, Co-Chair of the Insurance Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He has made his mark defending and representing clients around the country in high stakes matters such as complex insurance class actions, copyright claims against major record labels and recording artists, malpractice defense, catastrophic injury claims, and contractor disputes stemming from Iraq and Afghanistan war reconstruction projects.

Tim has been recognized by Chambers USA in the Commercial Litigation category, recognized by Benchmark Litigation in its Litigation Stars category, and Super Lawyers selected Tim for inclusion in its New England Super Lawyers publication in the category of Civil Litigation. Benchmark Litigation noted that Tim was lauded by a peer for “a great sense of dealing with the business people, amassing the facts and arguing effectively.” Wiggin and Dana’s litigation department regularly receives top rankings in Chambers USA(Band 1), Benchmark Litigation and Super Lawyers. In 2017, Tim was named one of the Connecticut Law Tribune’s (CLT) Distinguished Leaders. CLT states that this award is meant to “[recognize] lawyers who achieved impressive results and demonstrated clear leadership skills that helped them achieve those results.”

Tim is an active member of the Connecticut legal community, serves as the President of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, as the Co-Chair of the CBA’s Professionalism Committee and is the past Co-Chair of the Federal Practice Section. Tim has been recognized for his charitable and pro bono work, including being honored in 2014 by Connecticut Legal Services for his successful representation of a CLS client in a federal court lawsuit.