Pepper Hamilton hires non-lawyer as new CEO

By Jon Campisi | Feb 8, 2012

A new chief executive officer has been named to lead a large Philadelphia-area law firm – and he’s not an attorney.

A new chief executive officer has been named to lead a large Philadelphia-area law firm – and he’s not an attorney.

The law firm of Pepper Hamilton announced Tuesday that it has hired Scott Green as its new CEO, the first time the firm has appointed a non-lawyer to the position since its founding in 1890.

Since 2007, Green served as executive director of the law firm WilmerHale, according to a Pepper Hamilton news release announcing Green’s hiring.

There, he oversaw 1,400 employees at 10 offices in five countries.

In his new position, Green will handle Pepper Hamilton’s business strategy and general operations.

Nina M. Gussack, who chairs Pepper Hamilton’s executive committee, said the firm decided to hire a non-lawyer executive after engaging in a yearlong process that included analyzing succession planning, alternative management structures and best practices in organizational governance.

“We began with our clients’ desire for value, creativity, quality and efficiency,” Gussack said in a statement. “We concluded that a management model that more closely resembles those of our clients would enable the lawyers at Pepper Hamilton to focus on providing legal services in the most effective way for our clients.”

In his new position, Green will serve on the executive committee and work closely with Gussack, the executive partner, and other executive committee members to “shape and execute Pepper’s strategic plan,” the news release states.

Both the legal and management functions of the firm, which includes managing partners, human resources, finance, IT, and marketing, will be overseen by Green.

“Scott is a skilled and proven leader with a successful track record in the law firm and professional services arena,” Gussack continued in her statement. “He will be instrumental in the development and implementation of our strategic goals, and he will enhance our ability to continue to provide distinguished client service efficiently and effectively.”

In his own statement, Green, 49, said he greatly looks forward to his new position.

“I am very excited to be asked to lead Pepper Hamilton,” he said. “Pepper is an outstanding firm, with highly skilled lawyers, nationally recognized practices and a diversified and strong client base.

“As the practice of law has grown exponentially more complex and competitive, developing and executing a law firm’s strategy in today’s environment requires innovate thinking,” Green’s statement continued. “I look forward to working with the partners of Pepper Hamilton to develop and execute the strategies that will provide both outstanding value and service to our clients and achieve significant growth for the firm.”

Green is a Certified Public Accountant who has served in various management roles throughout the years for the likes of Goldman Sachs, ING Barings and the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Pepper Hamilton, which was founded in the late 19th Century, employs more than 500 lawyers nationwide. The firm specializes in litigation, corporate and regulatory legal services to businesses, governments and nonprofit groups both nationally and internationally.

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