Gina Kastel to Chair Large Faegre Drinker Law Firm
Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath merged in February 2020

Gina Kastel to Chair Large Faegre Drinker Law Firm

Minneapolis-based Kastel led integration efforts for the 2020 merger that created a firm with 21 offices.

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1999, Gina Kastel joined the Faegre & Benson law firm as an associate. On Thursday, the Faegre Drinker law firm announced that Kastel will chair the firm, which employs more than 1,200 attorneys and other professionals.

Kastel was tested in numerous leadership roles before being selected to serve as chair, which entails growing the firm’s client roster, strengthening client relationships, and attracting top talent to the firm.

“In collaboration with attorneys and business professionals across our offices, I plan to build on our foundation of exceptional clients, talent and culture, while leading efforts to continue innovating our services, organization and the client experience,” Kastel said in a Thursday news release.

Gina Kastel
Gina Kastel first joined the Faegre & Benson law firm as an associate.

Just before the pandemic arrived, the merger of Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath occurred in February 2020. Kastel led efforts to integrate the staffs of lawyers and consultants of the two firms.

She took on that big assignment after gaining knowledge from the experience of Minneapolis-based Faegre & Benson combining with Indianapolis-based Baker & Daniels in 2012.

“We know how to bring two large law firms together and our colleagues understand the benefits of adding depth and breadth of expertise because they have experienced those benefits firsthand,” Kastel told Twin Cities Business in late 2020.

She gained a wealth of experience as her law firm grew over the past two decades. Currently her title is executive partner and she serves on the firm’s executive leadership team and board. Firmwide, she is the highest-ranking attorney based in Minneapolis. The firm has offices in 21 locations in the United States, London, and Shanghai. Kastel also co-chairs the firm’s compensation committee.

While at Faegre Baker Daniels, Kastel served as vice chair and chief operating partner and was a member of the management board and executive committee.

In announcing her selection, the firm said Thursday: “Kastel was selected following an extensive and thorough vetting process led by a board-appointed governance succession committee, with the help of a nationally recognized outside consultant. As part of the selection process, the committee sought feedback from the firm’s partners and principals and received extensive input on critical actions and key areas of emphasis on which the next chair should focus.”

She will assume the role of chair on April 1. Over the next several months, she will be traveling to Faegre Drinker offices to meet with attorneys and clients. She’ll also be working on transition efforts with the outgoing co-chairs Tom Froehle and Andrew Kassner. Froehle characterized Kastel as “an invaluable servant leader.”

As a practicing attorney, Kastel has worked with health care and nonprofit organizations. She’s also been quick to adapt to change and saw the need to support and execute big mergers.

“Think about the business community here in the Twin Cities, which has an amazing array of large national and international companies,” Kastel said in 2020 in a TCB story on large mergers. “They need legal capability that has depth and breadth and geographic reach.” She said the two firms that combined to become Faegre Drinker were a strong match because the four largest practice groups overlapped—corporate, business litigation, product liability, and intellectual property.

Kastel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Notre Dame in 1992. She currently serves as a board member for the Jeremiah Program, Visitation School, and Ten Thousand Things Theater Company.

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