Richard “Dick” Bigelow is a first. In late 2002 he became the first chief operating officer of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, a 200-lawyer firm based in San Diego. The move to law firm life marked quite a change for Bigelow, who had spent his career at Arthur Andersen — he started in the accounting firm’s Cleveland office in 1969 and ultimately served as the managing partner of its San Diego office.

Luce Forward established a COO position because its executive committee was looking to off-load some of its day-to-day management tasks, says Bigelow, so that its four members could spend more time working on matters pertaining to strategy and the overall direction of the firm.

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