San Francisco's Brobeck Phleger & Harrison has announced a new chairman and managing partner to follow in the footsteps of Tower Snow.
The new chairman will be Los Angeles partner Richard Odom. This is the first time the firm has picked a leader from outside its San Francisco head office. Last month, Snow revealed he was standing down at the end of his second two-year term. His replacement was expected to be announced at the beginning of next year, but it is understood a consensus within the partnership meant the process was rushed through. There has been much uncertainty in the firm since Snow's announcement, as he had pledged that there would be no layoffs under his leadership. The future policy dealing with the technology-focused firm's overcapacity will be one of the first issues Odom will have to face. San Diego partner Richard Parker will become managing partner and Snow will become senior partner. Although the incoming management is not due to take over until the start of next year, Snow has stood down as chairman already. Odom assumed his new responsibilities last Thursday (15 November), a day after the partnership voted him in. The London managing partner of Brobeck's joint venture firm Brobeck Hale and Dorr, Tom Kellerman, said: "Dick Odom has historically been a big case litigator handling long-running multi-party, multijurisdictional matters. He's been running the complex litigation group, so in terms of managerial experience he's got a lot." Parker has been head of the San Diego office for the last year, before which he was firmwide leader of the tax group. Kellerman said that the firm would not be affected by the fact that the leadership was outside the largest office. "It's the first time that the chairman has been outside of San Francisco, but these days it's such a multi-office firm and a lot of the other offices are pretty big. Other management positions have been dispersed so I don't think it's going to matter very much, but it is new," he said.