US white-shoe firm of counsel falls to his death from NYC apartment

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Kenneth Freeling, of counsel at US white-shoe firm Covington & Burling, died last Thursday after he fell from his luxury Park Avenue apartment in New York.

The 59-year-old, who was previously a litigation partner at Dewey & LaBoeuf, the largest law firm to go bankrupt in the US, leaped from his ninth floor apartment and landed on a second-floor terrace at around 7a.m., the New York Post reported.

An unnamed resident who was exercising at the building’s second-floor gym with her daughter reportedly saw the incident. The woman said she tried to help Freeling, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Ken’s passing. He made important contributions to the firm and was a good, earnest colleague who cared deeply about the firm,” a Covington spokesperson told The American Lawyer.

According to the publication, Freeling worked at white-shoe firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft before joining Kaye Scholer. He then joined legacy Dewey Ballantine in 2007. Dewey Ballantine would go on to merge with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae later that year. He became managing partner of the firm’s Doha, Qatar office.

Freeling then transferred in 2011 to K&L gates in Washington, D.C., before moving again to Doha to establish the American BigLaw’s office there. He joined Covington in 2014.

In 2013, Freeling lost his 21-year-old son Samuel to suicide.

Throughout his career, Freeling handled a broad range of cases. He acted for clients in the financial, telecoms, media, pharmaceutical, industrial, construction, and other major sectors in antitrust, patent, and complex commercial matters. He has appeared before federal, state, and international courts, as well as international arbitration tribunals.


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