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Washington-Based Litigator Becomes Hogan Lovells' New CEO

published December 13, 2013

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Washington-Based Litigator Becomes Hogan Lovells ' New CEO

Hogan Lovells' Washington-based partner Steve Immelt will be chairing the helm as the law firm's new chief executive officer from July 2014. Hogan Lovell currently has two co-CEOs, but Immelt will solely handle the responsibilities.

Immelt was approved by a vote of the firm's partners after he was unanimously recommended for the post by the firm's board. London finance partner David Hudd, the firm's current head of the Global Finance Practice will become the deputy CEO.

The current co-CEOs, Warren Gorrell and David Harris, were instrumental in forming the merger between US-based Hogan & Hartson and Europe-based Lovells, in 2010. While Gorrell will continue to practice in the firm and focus on corporate practice, Harris will be retiring. The transition in leadership is all on a positive note as the four-year term of Gorrell and Harris, both aged 59, are set to expire in July 2014.

Speaking on the transition in leadership, Nicholas Cheffings, the chairman of Hogan Lovell's said in a statement, "Our partners were clear that now is the right time to move to a single CEO." Speaking about Immelt, he said, "Steve is the obvious and clear choice. He is a clear and strategic thinker with wide knowledge of the firm."

Steve Immelt has been leading the management of the firm in many of its efforts for long. He played a key role in the international expansion and combination of the firm. Immelt is currently a member of the firm's International Management Committee and a global co-head of its Litigation, Arbitration and Employment practice. The other co-head of the practice is London partner Michael Davison.

Elaborating on Immelt's track-record, Cheffings said in his statement, "He was a key part of the management team involved in the creation of Hogan Lovells and has a very good sense of what it takes to manage a law firm of this size and scope." For Immelt, being CEO can also be considered a family thing - his brother, Jeff Immelt is the current CEO at GE.

Hogan Lovells has had a recent spate of international expansions including entering the markets of Brazil, Indonesia, Mongolia, Luxembourg and South Africa. As a leading force of the law firm's International Management Committee, Immelt is superbly placed to follow up on the expansions and consolidate the firm's foothold in newly acquired territories.

Hogan Lovells is based on a Swiss verein structure where members share the name but maintain separate financial pools distinct from each other, and not merged into a centralized fund. The law firm has about 1,700 lawyers at 45 offices in 25 countries around the world.