Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler has elected Lisa Cleary as its new cochair and managing partner, succeeding Robert LoBue, who has held that position for the last seven years. She will serve alongside William Cavanaugh Jr., another firm cochair.

Cleary, 56, leads Patterson’s employment law practice, often advising boards of directors on the negotiation of executive compensation, performance, transition and employment termination of CEOs. She has led the firm’s pro bono committee for more than a decade.

Cleary said LoBue will remain a partner at the 200-attorney firm and continue his litigation practice, noting the firm regularly rotates firm leaders.

In her new position, which allows her to continue her employment law practice, she said she will help set strategic direction and tone and support business development. “I don’t contemplate major changes but our firm has always looked at opportunities whenever they presented themselves,” she said of her own plans in the new role.

Cleary noted the firm previously had two women managing partners: Antonia Grumbach, from 1990-96, and Rochelle Korman, 2002–07. “It’s a law firm with many, many talented lawyers and a history of women in leadership positions,’ she said.