Just one day after an eight-partner group that broke off from Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith went public with plans to take more than 100 attorneys with them, Lewis Brisbois announced its founding partner and longtime chairman Bob Lewis, at 86, would step down from his chairman post, and it would form an expanded management committee.

Some sources familiar with the situation say the transition was already in the works given the length of Lewis’ tenure. Asked to comment on whether Lewis’ departure was voluntary, Lewis Brisbois co-chair Bob Smith said in a statement to The American Lawyer that Lewis had a great 43-year run. “Over the past couple years, the management committee, along with Bob, has been in discussions about the best time for Bob to step into the emeritus role. Bob recognized that now was the right time,” Smith said, noting Lewis will remain on the management committee until the end of his term.