Morgan Lewis Elects Phila. Litigator as New Chair
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has elected litigation head Jami Wintz McKeon as its new chair, bucking the recent trend of Philadelphia firms moving their leadership outside the city.
Morgan Lewis announced Tuesday that its partnership elected McKeon to a five-year term starting next October. McKeon currently sits on the firm's 18-member advisory board and heads up the 700-lawyer litigation practice.
McKeon will replace Francis M. Milone, who has served as the firm's chairman since 1999.
The move keeps Morgan Lewis' leadership base in Philadelphia at a time when some of the city's largest firms have passed the torch to lawyers in other markets.
Most recently, for example, Saul Ewing selected Baltimore partner and business and finance practice chair Barry F. Levin to be its next managing partner, effective January 21, 2014.
Levin will be the first managing partner in Saul Ewing's history to be based outside the Philadelphia area.
In February, Pepper Hamilton announced New York-based partner Louis J. Freeh as chairman of its executive committee about a year after the firm hired New York-based nonlawyer Scott Green to serve in the newly created role of chief executive officer.
Before that, in July 2011, Barton J. Winokur, the Philadelphia-based chairman and chief executive officer of Dechert, handed off a portion of his duties to New York-based Andrew J. Levander, who now serves as chairman, while Philadelphia-based partner Daniel O'Donnell serves as CEO.
McKeon said that while Philadelphia has been and continues to be a very important market for Morgan Lewis, the firm did not specifically set out to elect another Philadelphia-based chair.
"I don't think we think of ourselves as having a headquarters," McKeon said.