After six years at the helm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, co-managing partners William Perlstein and William Lee have announced who will succeed them. As of Jan. 1, 2012, the firm will be led by partners Susan Murley and Robert Novick.
The Am Law Daily reports that Murley chairs the firm's transactional practice; Novick chairs the firm's regulatory and government affairs practice.
As with Perlstein and Lee, the next leaders come from different sides of the firm, which was formed by the 2004 merger of Washington, D.C.-based Wilmer Cutler and Boston-based Hale and Dorr. Boston-based Murley was a partner with predecessor firm Hale and Dorr; Washington, D.C.-based Novick had joined Wilmer Cutler in 2001. But, Lee told The Am Law Daily, there is no rule that Wilmer's co-managing partners must represent each of the predecessor firms. And the firm wasn't set on the exact same management structure. The nominating committee considered other structures, Lee says, including one with a chairman and a managing partner. Ultimately, the committee decided to stick with the current co-managing partners setup.
"At the time of the merger, having co-managing partners was necessary to make the merger work," Lee says. "But we have learned if you have co-leaders working together effectively there are many benefits to the decision making process."
Read The Am Law Daily’s full report here.