Hans Haglund
Hans Haglund ()

Blank Rome has hired Hans T. Haglund from Patton Boggs to serve as the firm’s first chief business development and marketing officer, Blank Rome said Friday.

Haglund, who is based in Washington, D.C., will oversee the firm’s marketing, business development and communications departments. He will report to firm Chairman Alan J. Hoffman and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Cavanaugh. He started at the firm Jan. 13.

Haglund served in a similar role at Patton Boggs since 2011. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Paul Hastings, leading the firm’s business development efforts out of its Los Angeles office. He had also co-founded two software companies geared toward the legal industry, Legal Anywhere and Manzama.

Blank Rome had a chief marketing officer, Catherine Bishop, from 2004 through 2011. The position went unfilled from April 2011 until Haglund joined last week. He said the former CMO position focused on what its title suggested—marketing. He said his title, and the new position, speaks to where Blank Rome wants to focus its efforts to grow the business.

“The firm has been focused on raising the brand and doing marketing efforts,” Haglund said. “But now, with business development, [Blank Rome] wanted to refocus their efforts on looking at new opportunities in new markets and expanding their current client base and practice portfolio makeup.”

Since leaving Blank Rome, Bishop started Bishop MarCom, a marketing and communications consulting firm based in Maryland that represents clients in the legal and other professional services industries.

Haglund said his background with sales and business startups will help to inform his role at Blank Rome. He said business development is a process. Understanding what that process looks like and how it works at Blank Rome will be a key component of his role, Haglund said. 
”Seeing how Blank Rome partners currently develop relationships is where I will start,” Haglund said.

There are between 16 and 20 people in Blank Rome’s marketing, business development and communications teams, all of whom will report to Haglund, he said.

“Hans possesses the precise combination of entrepreneurial drive and law firm expertise we were seeking in a CMO,” Hoffman said in a statement. “He has significant experience building effective marketing initiatives and managing relationships with sophisticated clients, and his strategic vision and pragmatic approach are a great fit for our talented attorneys.”

Haglund said he was impressed with Blank Rome’s management along with the team’s efforts to plan for 2014 and its willingness to execute that strategy. Haglund will be responsible for the firm’s business development and marketing efforts firmwide. Blank Rome currently has around 500 lawyers and 11 offices across the United States and in China.

As Blank Rome brings in Haglund to the firm, it apparently has said goodbye to Beatrice Seravello, who joined Blank Rome in 2012 as its first chief strategy officer. Seravello was on Blank Rome’s website as of Jan. 12, but the page is no longer active and she is no longer listed on the firm’s staff page. It is unclear where Seravello is currently employed. A firm spokeswoman said the separation was effective Monday. She said the firm was not eliminating the position.

Haglund said the chief strategy officer role is separate and distinct from the firm’s marketing and business development functions. The chief strategy officer position focused on practice group management. The practice management scheme Seravello and Hoffman designed is still in place, Haglund said. He said the system is “really fantastic” and has created a streamlined delivery of legal services clients are coming to expect.

Seravello was charged with the development and implementation of revenue generating strategies and policies, according to her former website bio. She managed the firm’s practice support organization and implemented best practices and firmwide alignment on business plan development, financial performance analysis, marketing strategies, staffing strategies, information management and training and development.

Prior to joining Blank Rome, Seravello had been firmwide practice group leader for Dechert. She was based in New York.

Gina Passarella can be contacted at 215-557-2494 or at gpassarella@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @GPassarellaTLI.