White and Williams Names First Female Managing Partner

, The Legal Intelligencer


Patricia Santelle
Patricia Santelle

Less than a month after the unexpected death of managing partner Guy Cellucci, Philadelphia-based White and Williams has elected Patricia Santelle to a three-year term as its new managing partner and chair of its executive committee, effective immediately.

Santelle is the first woman to be elected to that position in the firm's history.

Santelle was unavailable for comment Monday, but was quoted in a press release as saying she has "mixed emotions" about taking on the role.

"In the face of such tragic circumstances, I am deeply honored and also extremely humbled to be elected to this position," Santelle said in the press release. "I was very close with Guy both professionally and personally, and shared in his vision for the firm. He was a valued mentor to me and I look forward to building on the plans he had begun but did not have the opportunity to complete."

Cellucci died in his sleep Nov. 16. He was 59 years old.

He had taken over as managing partner of the firm in November 2010 after spending more than a decade leading the 230-lawyer firm's commercial litigation department.

The firm's nine-person executive committee, of which Cellucci was the chairman, met immediately following his death to discuss how the firm would operate moving forward and ultimately decided on Santelle.

Santelle joined White and Williams in 1990 and became a partner in 1995.

In 1999, she became co-chair of the firm's insurance coverage and bad-faith group. In 2011, she was elected chair of the firm's commercial litigation department, succeeding Cellucci.

Santelle is also a member of the firm's executive and compensation committees.

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