Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, an Am Law 200 firm with more than 500 lawyers, has elected transactional lawyer Jonathan Skeeters to serve as chairman of the board and firmwide managing partner.
Bradley detailed the leadership change in an announcement on Wednesday, noting that Skeeters’ base of Nashville, Tennessee, is the firm’s second largest office, after its historical headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Bradley’s statement said Skeeters’ presence in Nashville can be viewed as a sign of the firm’s expansion efforts and “underscores Bradley’s growing national presence.”
Skeeters, whose practice has focused on transactions in the health care sector, takes over the top management spot from Dawn Helms Sharff, a Birmingham-based real estate partner who had been serving as chairwoman on an interim basis since June. Sharff will now serve as office managing partner in Birmingham. She had replaced former chairman and longtime Bradley partner Beau Grenier, who remains with the firm.
Although Skeeters has now ascended to the firm’s top management position, he is no stranger to leadership roles at Bradley. Previously, he served on the firm’s board of directors, finance committee and recruiting committee. Sharff referenced that experience in a statement, expressing confidence in Skeeters’ ability to carry out the new role.
“Jon has been a well-respected and outstanding member of the firm’s board and has earned his new position through his dedicated commitment,” Sharff said in a statement. “He will ensure that Bradley continues to deliver the firm’s highest standards of value, ethics, and professional excellence in the practice of law. We are excited about Bradley’s future under his leadership.”
Skeeters said that he was honored to take over the leadership role at Bradley and reaffirmed a commitment to values that have defined the firm throughout a 150-year history.
“We believe in helping our lawyers achieve their personal and professional goals, which establishes a trust within the firm, and promotes teamwork and innovation,” he said in a statement. “I am excited to continue to empower our lawyers to deliver strategies and solutions that provide value to our clients and to carry forward this heritage of excellent client service.”
Bradley’s leadership announcement comes on the heels of what has been a busy few months for the firm in terms of lateral hiring.
Bradley continued hiring as the summer went on, adding a trio of energy-focused litigation partners in Houston who had previously practiced out of Foley Gardere, a firm formed in April from the merger of Gardere Wynne Sewell and Foley & Lardner. That team comprised Jeffrey Davis and Peter Scaff, who now co-lead the firm’s oil and gas team, as well as Mary Elizondo Frazier, who’s part of a Texas growth and expansion task force at Bradley.
The Texas trio joined a relatively new outpost for Bradley—the firm opened its Houston office in 2016. In addition to its Houston, Nashville and Birmingham locations, Bradley also has two more Alabama offices in Montgomery and Huntsville, along with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; Jackson, Mississippi; and Washington, D.C.
Prior to the Texas additions, Bradley expanded its Charlotte office in June with a five-lawyer group from North Carolina firm Smith Moore Leatherwood. That set of hires included Smith Moore Leatherwood’s former Charlotte office leader Robert Marcus and partner C. Bailey King Jr., a former head of the North Carolina firm’s litigation group.