Morgan Lewis & Bockius has replaced its executive director position with the role of chief operating officer (COO), taking on Dechert’s COO Anthony Licata.
Licata replaces the firm’s longstanding executive director Frank Fee, with the new title pushed through by the firm’s chair-elect Jami McKeon.
McKeon has overseen a number of management changes since she was appointed to the role last year, making employment partner Steve Wall and finance partner David Pollak co-managing partners.
The former litigation chief, who was instrumental in growing the firm’s litigation practice in London, will be the first woman to run the Philadelphia firm when she formally takes up the top job in October (11 October 2013).
Chairman Francis Milone, who has led Morgan Lewis since 1999, said: “Tony is an important addition to the management structure Jami is building to lead the firm into the future.”
A spokesperson at Morgan Lewis said the firm chose to introduce the title of COO because it reflects “new realities” of the legal business.
Licata had been with Dechert since 2008, working as chief financial officer until he was promoted to COO last July.
He will manage the firm’s operations, including finance, information techology and human resources, from Philadelphia.