ABA president

New York attorney tapped as 2013 ABA president

New York City attorney James Silkenat of Sullivan & Worcester will become president of the American Bar Association in 2013, the New York State Bar Association said Monday.

Silkenat, 65, was officially named president-elect designee Monday during the ABA's midyear meeting in New Orleans. He will become the group's president-elect in August, when current president-elect Laurel Bellows, a Chicago attorney, takes over as president from William Robinson III.

Silkenat will be the 21st New Yorker to head the ABA, which was first founded in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the state bar association said.

A partner at Sullivan, Silkenat focuses on international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, and private equity investment funds.

Silkenat joined the ABA in the 1970s as a delegate to China and has been a member of its House of Delegates since 1990. He spent 10 years as the chair of the New York state delegation and has led a number of committees.

"The ABA will be well served by Jim Silkenat's leadership skills and his vigorous advocacy on behalf of the legal profession and justice system," said Vincent E. Doyle III, the state bar president, in a statement. "Jim possesses not only a deep understanding of the law, but also an analytical mind, wisdom and a great sense of humor."

Silkenat, in New Orleans for the midyear meeting, was not available for comment on Monday afternoon.

(Published by Reuters - February 6, 2012)

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