Morgan Lewis Elects Phila. Litigator as New Chair
Milone agreed, saying the fact that McKeon happens to currently be based in Philadelphia "was completely irrelevant" to the partnership's decision to elect her as chairwoman.
Instead, Milone said, the nominating committee was interested in finding the attorney who would be "the best steward of the firm."
"They could have been in Dallas, they could have been in Paris," Milone said.
Regardless of where McKeon was based, she would have been "at the top of the list," according to Milone, who also noted that McKeon spends a considerable amount of time practicing in New York.
But McKeon was quick to point out that the firm has no intention of distancing itself from its Philadelphia roots.
Similarly, J. Gordon Cooney Jr., managing partner of Morgan Lewis' Philadelphia office, said the firm has "been both focused on our global expansion while remaining very committed and true to our heritage here in Philadelphia."
"We consider our clients, friends and neighbors in the community here to be exceptionally important," Cooney said.
Recruiter Frank D'Amore said McKeon represents a "best of all worlds" scenario for Morgan Lewis because she's a Philadelphia-based litigator who also has a deep familiarity with the firm's West Coast presence, having spent eight years in San Francisco building up the firm's California offices.
D'Amore said McKeon was particularly instrumental in the firm's acquisition of nearly 150 lawyers from the now-defunct San Francisco firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison.
"Because the California presence has been important to them, I think Jami being out there for a length of time made a real difference" in the firm's leadership selection, D'Amore said.