In the latest shakeup among marketing leaders at Big Law firms, a top Paul Hastings’ business development member has left for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.
Matthew James, who spent the last 13 years at Paul Hastings, began at Fried Frank on Monday as global director of business development and marketing. He was firmwide managing director of business development at Paul Hastings. Meg Sullivan remains head of the department at Paul Hastings as the chief business development and marketing officer.
Fried Frank was searching for a new marketing director after the departure of Luke Ferrandino, who left for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison earlier this year.
As previously reported, Fried Frank, led by chairman David Greenwald, has implemented a tight focus on the firm’s finances and profitability and has undertaken significant changes in the last few years, including overhauling its compensation system and tripling its nonequity partner ranks.
“As law firms become more commercially-minded,” said James in a statement, “it is important to have a robust business development and marketing function that adds real strategic value. I am grateful for the opportunity to help do that and further advance the firm’s strategy.”
In his own statement, Greenwald said James’ experience “will help us continue to advance our strategy of serving as the go-to firm for our clients’ most complex matters.”
Fried Frank is not the only Wall Street firm making changes to its marketing team lately. In recent months, Sullivan & Cromwell hired Bonnie Ciaramella as a chief business development officer, after she worked for the firm previously as a consultant. Meanwhile, Cravath, Swaine & Moore this year hired Larissa Palmer, arriving from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, as director of business development. Cravath’s longtime chief marketing director, Deborah Farone, left last year to open her own marketing consultancy
This year saw an unusual level of marketing director lateral activity, with new marketing officers landing at Hogan Lovells; Paul Weiss; Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Winston & Strawn. But the end of the year is usually quiet for such moves.
“From a financial perspective, a lot of CMOs receive significant compensation in the form of bonuses, so they sit tight in the fourth quarter,” said Trish Lilley, chief marketing and business development officer of Stroock and president-elect for the Northeast region of the Legal Marketing Association.
More CMO moves may occur in January and February when firms turn their attention to getting in shape with new business development strategies, she said.