Gardere Announces Expanded Board, New Leadership Roles

10 June 2013 News

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP is announcing a new management structure, reflecting the initial implementation of enhanced goals and strategic planning for the historic Texas-based legal practice.

Effective immediately, Holland N. O'Neil, a partner in the Firm's Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization Practice Group in Dallas, will serve as the Firm's chair. Longtime Managing Partner Steve Good will remain in a key leadership role, serving as the Firm's chief executive officer.

In addition to Ms. O'Neil's new role as chair, the Firm is announcing that Eric A. Blumrosen, a partner in the Firm's Corporate Practice Group in Houston, has been named the Firm's vice chair. The new structure adopted by the Firm's partners also includes the establishment of a nine-person board, an expansion from the former five-person management committee.

"During the past several months, as part of our strategic planning process, there have been extensive discussions among a broad cross-section of the partners in the Firm about the development of both short-term and long-term strategic plans," says Ms. O'Neil. "Growing out of that exercise, this new structure will support our goals for future growth in profitability, geographic expansion and number of attorneys."

Ms. O'Neil notes several opportunities and goals for the Firm in responding to the needs of clients and a changing business and legal environment as outlined in the strategic plan, including:

  • Increasing the number of attorneys in those practice areas with the greatest current and prospective client demand,
  • Pursuing combinations or affiliations with other firms in key geographic markets, and
  • Realigning certain existing practice groups to serve client needs in a more comprehensive and effective manner, and to create new business opportunities.

"Gardere has earned an excellent reputation as a well-run organization under the traditional law firm structure. These updates to our governance represent an ongoing process that more effectively aligns our goals with the needs of our clients, with a similar management structure to many of those corporations," says Ms. O’Neil. "Eric and I look forward to an increased involvement in strategic planning, while maintaining our full-time legal practices."

"Each of our existing offices is important as we move forward in responding to client needs and opportunities," says Mr. Blumrosen. "It's also important to recognize that each Gardere office has a number of strengths to build on. In particular, this change will allow me to focus on our well-regarded energy industry expertise in Houston, which will continue to be emphasized and supported at the highest level."

Mr. Good, who has served as the Firm's managing partner for the past 13 years and will continue to serve as CEO, says the Firm's partners recognize the time commitment involved in successfully managing the day-to-day operations of the practice, particularly in an increasingly dynamic and competitive business environment, while also placing a renewed focus on strategic planning matters.

"Our attorneys are confident that by expanding our board and establishing more distinct responsibilities for Firm management, we can enhance our already high level of excellence, put new energy and perspectives into strategic planning, and benefit both our clients and the Firm," says Mr. Good.