We have some incredibly unfortunate news to report out of California, where one of the founding partners of Am Law 100 firm Gordon & Rees recently passed away. Donald W. Rees, 86, worked at the firm for nearly 50 years, and was able to watch it grow into one of the best firms in America.
Rees, a graduate of Stanford Law, co-founded the firm in October 1974 alongside his partner, Stuart Gordon. Rees and Gordon had worked together at legacy firm Fields Gordon & Rees before breaking away and starting anew. Their firm now has 74 U.S. offices (with at least one in each state), employs more than 1,100 attorneys, and ranks as the 24th largest firm in the country.
Here’s what Gordon had to say of his longtime partner and friend in the firm’s lovely memoriam to Donald Rees:
“It has made us so proud to realize how our dream has come true in so many ways. Don can rest in peace knowing we accomplished everything we hoped for, and even so much more, all the time steering the firm in the right direction. He will always be in my thoughts and in my heart for I was so lucky to have the experience to work with him for more than 52 years,” said founding partner, Stu Gordon.
Firmwide managing partner Dion Cominos offered compassionate words about Rees’s passing. “Don was one of the principal pillars upon which the foundation of the firm rested. He will always be remembered fondly for his warmth, good humor and encyclopedic knowledge of the law,” he said. “His respectful and collegial treatment of everyone established a professional standard that we all have aspired to follow closely over the past nearly 50 years of Gordon & Rees’[s] existence.”
The conclusion of the firm’s memoriam serves as a reminder of the kind of remarkable person Rees was during his life:
We will remember Don as a great lawyer, and most importantly, a friend. We are all better for having known him.
We here at Above the Law would like to extend our condolences to Don Rees’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.
In Memoriam of Donald W. Rees, Founding Partner [Gordon & Rees]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.