Kenneth H. Slade, a partner in the firm's Boston office, died on Sunday, March 21, 2004, while helping to rescue his two nieces who were caught in a rip current off Palm Beach, Florida. He was 48. Mr. Slade was widely known and highly respected as a leader in the technology and life sciences community, both nationally and internationally. Mr. Slade is remembered for many reasons including his brilliant and enthusiastic approach to practicing law and for his kindness and generosity as a leader, mentor and friend. Since joining Hale and Dorr as a partner in 1993, Mr. Slade made significant contributions as a leader of the firm’s Technology Transactions and Licensing and Internet law practices.
Mr. Slade focused his global law practice on the formation of licensing, distribution, sales representative, manufacturing and supply arrangements. In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Slade was a passionate mentor to younger lawyers and teacher to his clients. He authored computer “expert system” programs that were used by attorneys in 60 different countries. These programs generated customized international distribution, license and value-added reseller agreements. Mr. Slade was a frequent writer and lecturer on international licensing and distribution transactions, strategic alliances, negotiating strategies, Internet and e-commerce law, electronic agreements, and the European Union’s various e-commerce and privacy directives.
Before joining Hale and Dorr, Mr. Slade was a partner at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles, where he concentrated in international commercial law and served as one of the leaders of Morgan Lewis’s Tokyo office. Mr. Slade also practiced law with Vinson & Elkins in Washington, D.C. and with Coudert Brothers in London and New York. He was a member of the American Bar Association and its sections of International Law and Practice, and Science and Technology.
Ken was a devoted fan of the Boston Red Sox and enjoyed spending weekends boating and relaxing with his family and friends in Gloucester. He was known for his generosity and hospitality, and particularly for welcoming many of the firm’s foreign visitors to his home. Ken was extremely proud of his wife and two daughters, and regularly shared updates of their activities and accomplishments with his colleagues.
Mike Bevilacqua, who co-chaired Hale and Dorr’s Technology Transactions and Licensing Group with Ken, noted, “Ken was unabashedly enthusiastic about everything he was involved in–whether it be his beloved Red Sox, his “expert system,” his clients and colleagues, his new second home in Gloucester and, most significantly, his family.”
Steve Singer, one of Ken’s partners and friends, stated, “Most professionals say all the right things about putting their families first, but Ken meant it and lived it every day–he went out of his way to schedule his work obligations around the needs of his family, without ever letting down his clients or colleagues.”
Mr. Slade received a J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1979, and an A.B., magna cum laude, from Princeton University in 1977, where he majored in international affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
As friends, family and colleagues learned the news of Mr. Slade’s untimely death, messages of condolence literally poured in from around the world.
Ken Slade is survived by his wife Judi Freeman and daughters, Jessica Freeman-Slade and Rebecca Freeman-Slade, by his parents Claire and Irving Slade, and by his brothers David and Jonathan.
Ken Slade will be deeply missed as a colleague, a partner and a friend.