Integration gathers pace as Pillsbury rejigs board

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has overhauled its management team in an attempt to further integrate Pillsbury and Shaw Pitman after the two firms’ merger last year.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has overhauled its management team in an attempt to further integrate Pillsbury and Shaw Pitman after the two firms’ merger last year.

Outgoing chairwoman Mary Cranston told The Lawyer: “The merger with Shaw Pittman had a lot of potential and it’s been very exciting this year to work with new clients and new opportunities.”
“[The new leadership] will be focusing a lot on getting the most out of the merger.”

The firm’s 370-strong partnership elected Pillsbury real estate partner James Rishwain as chairman and installed a new 12-person board.

Stephen Hutler, managing partner of Shaw Pittman before the merger, became executive vice-chairman.

Only one outsourcing specialist, ex-Shaw Pitman partner Bob Zahler, was elected to the board, which includes four corporate securities partners.

Pillsbury also revived the position of lead director, electing New York insolvency partner Richard Epling to the post. Lead director was a position Shaw Pitman had pre-merger. Epling will be charged with organising the board meetings.

The new board includes four corporate securities partners as well as two from the insolvency department and one each from finance, litigation, real estate and global outsourcing.

The results came through after a long voting process. The firm’s partners voted to form a nomination committee, which then voted on who will comprise the new board, who then in turn voted on a chairman and executive vice-chairman. The rest of the firm’s partnership then voted to approve the choices.

Pillsbury’s leader since 1999, Cranston will step down in six months to become senior partner.