Mr. Kalis is the Chairman and Global Managing Partner of K&L Gates. During his tenure as Chairman, the firm has grown from under 400 lawyers in six offices in the Eastern Time Zone to over 2,000 lawyers in 45 offices on five continents. He is the only law firm leader to be recognized on three of the industry’s most prestigious lists, with The American Lawyer having identified Mr. Kalis as among the 50 most influential innovators in the global legal industry in the last 50 years, The National Law Journal having included him on its inaugural list of the top 50 legal business trailblazers and pioneers, and a leading UK legal industry publication The Lawyer having named Mr. Kalis as among the ten individuals in the global profession who will shape the international market for legal services in the next decade. He is a 2015 recipient of The Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award and also was recently named to Lawyers of Color’s Fourth Annual Power List of the most influential minority attorneys and non-minority diversity advocates.
As leader of a team of +2000 lawyers essentially dedicated to the preservation of the rule of law across five continents, Kalis shared his insights on how he experiences the rule of law within an international corporate firm setting. Kalis pointed out that although the rule of law has delivered humanity from the scourge of war and tyranny, it remains tested by the trilogy of globalization, regulation and innovation. As Scholars grapple with how to effectively ‘fight the worlds fight’, a significant part of the challenge is indeed to defend the gains humankind has made. We must guard the process and substance of the rule of law from being abused and corrupted. The discussion explored the interplay of politics and economics, and how inequality is perpetuated by greed fuelled by the dominance of capitalism to the detriment of many. As is the norm in the Scholar community, a consensus was absent, with differing views on issues and how to overcome them. Nonetheless, an aspect generally agreed upon is this: the rule of law must remain nourished and sustained.