Firm News

Jeffrey A. Cohen Passes Leadership Baton at Capes Sokol


Over the past several years, St. Louis law firm Capes Sokol has deliberately advanced its strategic vision with thoughtful planned growth, succession planning and talent acquisitions. Today, the firm has announced another step in this long-term vision.

Capes Sokol’s Jeffrey A. Cohen, who has served as Managing Shareholder for nine years, will move to the position of Chairperson as of January 1, 2024. During his time as the firm’s leader, Mr. Cohen has been focused on spearheading the firm’s strategic initiatives and management of day-to-day operations.

“As one of the last founding members of the firm to remain as a Shareholder, I am very proud of what we have accomplished together including the firm’s strategic growth, diversification of our practice areas and people, generational transitions from the original named partners, and long-term succession planning,” said Cohen. “We are on a great trajectory with our people and expertise, and it is time to pass the baton to someone else.”

After a unanimous vote, Douglas S. Dove has been elected to the role of Managing Shareholder effective January 1, 2024. Mr. Dove joined the firm in 2012. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial real estate financing and acquisition. Mr. Dove devotes a significant portion of his time working on commercial real estate transactions (representing both borrowers and lenders) involving the acquisition and disposition of office, industrial, retail and multi-family properties. He also represents closely held businesses in a wide variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, succession planning and governance.

“I met Doug 20 years ago as an opposing counsel,” said Mr. Cohen. “He came on board to Capes Sokol a few years later, and he has proven to be an exceptional contributor to the firm ever since. He is an excellent attorney, collaborative colleague, and has the ability to lead the firm with the type of precision that will allow us to expertly implement the strategic initiatives to serve our clients set forth by the Board and Shareholders.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead Capes Sokol as the firm approaches its 25th anniversary,” said Mr. Dove. “It is a tremendous honor to have this chance to represent my partners and colleagues and continue the firm’s tradition of leadership in the St. Louis community. As Jeff transitions from day-to-day management responsibilities, it will allow him to continue to focus on long-range strategy as we continue to grow the firm to meet our clients’ needs.”

Other Capes Sokol Leadership Moves

Executive Director Deborah Trachsel is retiring after 17 years of service at Capes Sokol. “Debbie has served the firm with diligence, compassion and integrity,” said Mr. Cohen.  “She has assisted us in our growth and has helped us attract and retain some of the best people in the legal industry. She will be greatly missed.”

Katie Bircher has joined Capes Sokol as its first Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Bircher comes to the firm after a distinguished career at Northwest Mutual – The Hempstead Financial Group in St. Louis. There, she rose through the ranks to serve as Chief Development Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

“Katie is a passionate, forward-thinking leader with a deep background in IT, finance, employee relations and strategic planning. We are fortunate to have her on our team,” said Mr. Cohen. “As planned, we are positioned to move forward in an excellent position to serve our clients.”

About Capes Sokol

At Capes Sokol, we strive to find the best solutions to our client's legal problems and to turn even complex challenges into opportunities. That’s why each member of our St. Louis-based team is committed to looking at every issue from multiple angles. We bring teamwork and collaboration across disciplines. We take the time to listen and understand our clients' industries, problems and challenges. And then we apply deep legal knowledge, experience and creativity all leading to strategies and execution that just make sense.

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