Cooleys rejigs management structure

San Francisco-based Cooley Godward is radically overhauling its management structure.

The position of managing partner has been scrapped following the resignation of incumbent Lee Benton.

In place of Benton, litigation department chair Stephen Neal will become chairman and chief executive officer. Fellow litigator Mark Pitchford will become chief operating officer.

Pitchford will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm. He has already held a variety of management roles within the firm, including head of the Palo Alto office, vice chair of litigation and chair of the recruiting committee.

Current head of intellectual property litigation Janet Cullum will take over from Neal as head of the litigation group.

Benton will remain a member of the firm’s management and strategic planning committees, but he will concentrate on fee-earning.