Latham & Watkins has internally circulated a short list of candidates up for election to lead the $3 billion, 2,400-lawyer firm.
The move follows the resignation of former chairman William Voge earlier this year amidst allegations of misconduct involving a woman outside of the firm.
A Latham spokeswoman declined to comment on Monday.
Eight partners based in Latham offices in the United States and U.K. were named as candidates in the weekend announcement, a source confirmed. They are:
- Alice Fisher, a government enforcement and investigations partner based in Washington, D.C., who’s also on the firm’s executive committee;
- Richard Trobman, a London-based capital markets partner who has served as Latham’s vice chairman and is currently acting on an interim basis as co-chair;
- Jeffrey Greenberg, a project finance partner and managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office;
- Charles Ruck, a New York and Orange County, California-based corporate partner;
- Daniel Lennon, a former chair of the firm’s global corporate department based in Washington;
- Michèle Penzer, the managing partner of Latham’s New York office, who specializes in banking and finance;
- James Gorton, a New York-based transactional partner and executive committee member;
- Bob Steinberg, a Washington and Los Angeles-based litigation partner focused on patent disputes.
The election process is unfolding in wake of Voge’s sudden resignation in March, which Latham said had been sparked by ”communications of a sexual nature” involving Voge and a woman unconnected to the firm.
Voge, a project finance lawyer based most recently in London, had served as chairman since early 2015, when he replaced longtime former chairman Robert Dell after a 2014 election.
“Mr. Voge’s conduct did not involve the firm, any of its clients, or its personnel,” the firm said in a March 20 statement. “Mr. Voge engaged in subsequent conduct relating to this matter that, while not unlawful, the executive committee concluded was not befitting the leader of the firm. Accordingly, the firm’s executive committee accepted Mr. Voge’s resignation, determining that these lapses in personal judgment made continued service as chair untenable.”
Voge also acknowledged the conduct in a statement at the time, saying that he bore “considerable fault and humiliation” for a “lapse of judgment.”
Press outlets including The American Lawyer and U.K. affiliate Legal Week have examined the firm’s succession plans since Voge stepped down, and some of the names on the short list have appeared in earlier reports, including Gorton and Fisher and interim co-chair Trobman.
Greenberg, who as a project finance partner practiced in the same group as Voge was also among the three finalists in the firm’s last chair election in 2014.
It’s not immediately clear when a vote might take place, but the circulation of the short list follows a nomination period among the partnership. In the past, the chair has been elected to a five-year term that can be renewed. When Voge ran in 2014, he had indicated that he planned to serve only one term, which was due to end in 2020.