Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr will initiate its first management transition since the merger of Washington, D.C.-based Wilmer Cutler and Boston-based Hale and Dorr established the 1,000 lawyer firm in 2004.
Wilmer announced partners Susan Murley and Robert Novick will assume the roles of co-managing partners on January 1, 2012. Murley chairs the firm’s transactional practice; Novick chairs the firm’s regulatory and government affairs practice.
Murley and Novick succeed partners William Perlstein and William Lee. The two current co-managing partners orchestrated the 2004 merger.
As with Perlstein and Lee, the next leaders come from different sides of the firm and will be based in separate offices. Boston-based Murley was a partner with predecessor firm Hale and Dorr; Washington, D.C.-based Novick had joined Wilmer Cutler in 2001.
In an article at amlawdaily.com, Lee was quoted as saying: “At the time of the merger, having co-managing partners was necessary to make the merger work. But we have learned if you have co-leaders working together effectively there are many benefits to the decision making process.”
When Lee and Perlstein were elected to an additional three-year term as co-managing partners in 2008, the pair said it would be their last as firm leaders. Lee was quoted as syaing: “We thought it was important for the law firm to have new leadership for a new generation,” Lee says. “I’m 60. The firm is more about people who are 30 than it is about me. Perlstein also turned 60 this year.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP has twelve offices across the USA, Europe and Asia.