To meet a "more robust" economic environment, Gardere Wynne Sewell of Dallas expanded its management committee and added a chairwoman and vice chairman to the management team.
Holland O’Neil, a bankruptcy and business reorganization partner in Dallas, is the firm’s new chairwoman. Eric Blumrosen, a corporate partner in Houston, is the new vice chairman. Dallas partner Steve Good, the firm’s managing partner for the last 13 years, continues in a full-time management role as the firm’s chief executive officer. O’Neil and Blumrosen will continue to practice full time.
O’Neil says the management revamp, which was effective June 10, is the result of strategic planning this year and approved by the partnership. With business being "more robust" than during the economic downturn, she says it is time to adopt a broader-based, corporate-style board structure.
The firm expanded its management committee to nine members, up from five.
Good says the firm slimmed down its management committee about 10 years ago on the theory that it was more efficient.
"What we’ve found is law firms are more horizontal. We tried to come up with a structure that gets more people involved," he says.
Good says he will continue to manage the firm on a day-to-day basis, but O’Neil and Blumrosen and the new, larger board will also be involved in strategic planning.
"They will focus on those big-picture issues, adding talent to that process," he says.
Over the last year and a half, O’Neil says, she spent time on lateral hiring, and she will continue to work in that area as chairwoman of the firm.
The firm’s strategic plan, according to a press release, calls for adding attorneys in busy practice areas, "pursuing combinations or affiliations with other firms in key geographic markets" and realigning certain practice groups to create new business opportunities.
Good says the firm doesn’t have any mergers or large lateral acquisitions on the front burner, but it is looking to grow in Texas "through combinations or lateral hiring." That’s because Texas is one of the hottest markets in the country, he says.
Gardere, comprised of 230 lawyers, has offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin and Mexico City.