Foley & Lardner LLP is proud to announce that Christopher McKenna and Anne Sekel have been named managing partners of Foley’s Boston and New York offices, respectively, both effective on November 1, 2021.
McKenna succeeds partner Susan Pravda who held the position in Boston since 2005. Pravda was recently appointed to serve as the leader of the firm’s Health Care & Life Sciences Sector and she will continue in her role as the firm’s chief strategic talent acquisition partner. Sekel succeeds Peter Wang who held the position in New York since 2004. Wang will continue to counsel clients as part of his vibrant litigation practice. Pravda and Wang are both former members of the firm’s Management Committee. They were Foley’s longest-serving office managing partners and both the first to hold the position in their respective offices.
“On behalf of the firm, we are delighted that Chris and Anne have accepted the roles as office managing partners,” said Jay Rothman, Foley chairman and CEO. “Chris has been at Foley for 11 years and has successfully demonstrated his leadership ability in various roles throughout his career here. Anne started with Foley as an associate 15 years ago and has stood out as an exceptional leader both at the firm and in the community. I am confident that both Chris and Anne will serve the firm well in their new roles. We are also extremely grateful to Susan and Peter for their years of dedication and commitment to serving the firm.”
As office managing partners, McKenna will be responsible for approximately 160 lawyers and professional staff in Boston and Sekel will be responsible for the more than 70 lawyers and professional staff in New York. They will both focus on strategically growing their respective offices, expanding Foley’s presence in their local markets, and continuing to steward community involvement.
McKenna is a member of the leadership team of the firm's Innovative Technology Sector and practices in the areas of intellectual property counseling, protection, and transactions acting as a strategic advisor to high technology companies to protect, manage, and commercialize their intellectual property assets across the full company life cycle. He is also co-chair of the Electronics Practice Group. He previously served as co-chair of the Technology Industry Team.
“I’m honored to take on this new leadership role as office managing partner and build on the solid and successful foundation that Susan, my partners, and associates have laid to strengthen Foley’s national platform in Boston,” said McKenna. “I look forward to further formulating and implementing the firm’s strategy to expand Foley’s presence in the market and best serve clients in the city’s prospering industries and businesses, as well as continuing our longstanding tradition of giving back to our community.”
He continues, “I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the next chapter of the Boston office and continue to strengthen our collaborative and client-service culture focused on the professional development of all our team members as we look to further grow our local footprint. The depth and breadth of talent in the Boston office is well-positioned to deliver top legal talent with innovative services that provide business-oriented solutions from the lens of our clients in our sector strengths of innovative technology, health care and life sciences, manufacturing, and energy.”
Sekel is a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Labor & Employment Practice Groups. She has successfully represented clients in all phases of commercial disputes, ranging from pre-litigation dispute resolution all the way through trial or arbitration. Sekel is also the New York office chair of the Litigation Department and serves as the department’s training chair.
“The talent we have in New York is remarkable. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to lead our office and continue our dedication to professional excellence and first-rate client service,” said Sekel. “As a steward of the office, I also want to preserve and foster the wonderful culture of both collaboration and individualism that Peter and our colleagues have carefully cultivated here. I’m eager to grow the New York office consistent with our firm’s strategic goals and to strengthen our connections with the firm’s local community, including through our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.”
McKenna and Sekel are the latest set of partners to take on this leadership role for the firm. Andrew Wronski and David Sanders were named managing partners of Foley’s Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. offices, respectively, in August 2021.
Christopher McKenna is a strategic advisor and counselor who helps leading-edge technology companies capture, protect, manage, and leverage their intellectual property assets with practical, business-orientated prescriptive guidance based on his significant experience spanning technology, business, and law.
McKenna earned his JD, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School and his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
Sekel assists her clients with a broad range of commercial litigation matters, including employment discrimination and retaliation, trade secret/non-compete, commercial and financial fraud and breach of contract claims. She also devotes considerable time to representing clients on a pro bono basis and frequently works on the firm’s loss prevention and professional responsibility matters. Sekel previously served as national chair of Foley’s Associates Committee. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section.
Sekel earned her JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University and her BA from Columbia University.
Foley & Lardner LLP looks beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and their industries. With approximately 1,100 lawyers in 25 offices across the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia, Foley approaches client service by first understanding our clients’ priorities, objectives and challenges. We work hard to understand our clients’ issues and forge long-term relationships with them to help achieve successful outcomes and solve their legal issues through practical business advice and cutting-edge legal insight. Our clients view us as trusted business advisors because we understand that great legal service is only valuable if it is relevant, practical and beneficial to their businesses.