07 December 2017

McGuireWoods selects new chair and managing partner

Clifford Chance appoints Matthew Newick as Global Head of litigation, dispute resolution and risk management.

McGuireWoods has elected Jonathan Harmon to succeed Richard Cullen as chairman and appointed J Tracy Walker IV to follow Thomas Cabaniss as the firm's managing partner.

Both Mr Harmon and Mr Walker have assumed their new duties with Mr Cullen and Mr Cabaniss - who recommended them in May - remaining as partners and continuing their practices at the law firm. ‘This is the right time for a new generation of leaders,’ Mr Cullen said. ‘Jon and Tracy are popular choices to take over. They are well respected by our partners and clients. I am excited for them and know that the firm is in very capable hands.' Mr Harmon who joined the firm in 1995 said: ‘I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as chairman and uphold the standard of excellence set by Richard Cullen and his predecessors.. We have built a strong international law and public affairs platform under Richard’s leadership and will continue his unwavering commitment to delivering the highest level of service to our clients.’ 

Litigation 

Mr Harmon has led McGuireWoods’ Business & Securities Litigation Department since 2015. Mr Walker served since 2015 as the firm’s deputy managing partner and head of its litigation practice. He is national trial, class action and appellate counsel for a range of corporate clients. ‘I am proud to follow Tom Cabanas, who has done so much as Managing Partner to establish McGuireWoods as a market leader,’ said Mr Walker, who arrived at the firm in 1998. ‘It is an exciting time to practice law at our firm.'

Major corporations

Meanwhile, Mr Cullen served as chairman since 2006. Acclaimed as an elite white-collar litigator, his clients include major corporations and executives, elected officials and other prominent figures in government investigations and highly sensitive matters of national and international significance. He represents vice president Mike Pence in relation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation and Sepp Blatter, former head of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), in US and Swiss investigations of alleged bribery. 

Changing times

Mr Cabaniss joined McGuireWoods in 1985 and in 1998 helped establish the firm’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina, a city known as a leading global financial services center. He became managing partner in 2007. Now based in Richmond, Virginia, he is a member of the firm’s Restructuring & Insolvency Department and focuses his practice on complex bankruptcy matters, commercial and real estate workouts and restructurings. 

Expansion

Under the leadership of Mr Cullen and Mr Cabaniss, McGuireWoods expanded its US and international footprint from 750 lawyers in 15 offices to 1,100 lawyers in 23 offices. During that time, the firm added offices in California and Texas, formed McGuireWoods London LLP and established a presence in Asia with a unique affiliation with Shanghai-based FuJae Partners.