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Latham & Watkins Chair Bill Voge Resigns over Sexual Communication Scandal
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Bill Voge

Summary: Latham & Watkins chair and managing partner will be stepping down and retiring from the law firm for exchanging sexual messages with a woman he has never met.

Bill Voge, chair and managing partner for Latham & Watkins, will be resigning and retiring, according to the law firm’s executive committee. The statement explains that Voge engaged in “the exchange of communications of a sexual nature with a woman whom he has never met in person and who had no connection to the firm,” according to the ABA Journal.

  
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The statement continues, “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.” They have accepted his resignation, “determining that these lapses in personal judgment made continued service as chair untenable.”

Voge personally stated, “I made a personal mistake for which I bear considerable fault and humiliation. I deeply regret my lapse of judgment and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues. My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career. My disappointment in myself is all the more acute because this lapse does not represent who I am and what I believe, and because I have let down our firm and its people, all of whom I so deeply cherish and respect.”

Voge’s actions did not involve the firm, its clients or firm personnel directly but as the leader of the firm, his actions affect the firm’s reputation. He was elected as the law firm’s global chairman and managing partner in 2014 when Robert Dell stepped down, before that he was a member of the firm’s Executive Committee for eight years. He has been based out of the London and New York offices.

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The last time there was a change in leadership at the law firm was 20 years before that when Dell first took over. Voge, a project finance attorney, won the top spot in a runoff election against another finance partner, according to Law.com. The law firm thrived under Voge’s rule, just announcing a few weeks ago when the firm became the first ever to announce over $3 billion in annual revenue.

Voge had been with the firm since 1983, moving to a partner in 1991. His work during his time as an associate and partner included advising clients on global energy projects. This includes working with project sponsors, banks, underwriters, and other parties involved in electricity and oil and gas projects.



Current vice chairs Ora Fisher and Richard Trobman will take on his responsibilities for the time until a new leader can be elected.

Do you think Voge should be expected to resign when the sexual communications were not illegal or with anyone related to the firm? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about Latham & Watkins, read these articles:

Photo: americanlawyer.com



 

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