Veteran disputes lawyer Michael Hausfeld steps down
Women take the UK and US managing partner roles as the firm's co-chairpersons
Veteran disputes lawyer Michael Hausfeld has stepped down as chairman of Hausfeld, the firm that he founded.
The change that will come into effect on 1 January 2022 would also see the promotion of two women lawyers to regional managing partner positions. While head of commercial disputes Lianne Craig will become UK managing partner, leading class actions anti-trust lawyer Melinda Coolidge will assume the responsibility of overseeing the US arm.
Hausfeld, who becomes chair emeritus, will take an advisory role, while also undertaking teaching and writing works.
He will be replaced by co-chairs Anthony Maton and Brian Ratner as part of a succession plan announced in 2019 when the two took up their current roles as his deputies. Current global managing partner Brett Landau remains in the post and will work with Maton and Ratner to lead the firm.
Praising Hausfeld, Ratner said, "He has done an unparalleled job building and leading the firm."
Noting the firm's growth globally to 160 lawyers in 12 offices in the last 13 years, Hausfeld said the firm's "global management challenges and opportunities have grown commensurately."
The firm's future, he said, was assured under Maton, Ratner, and Landau's leadership "along with the talent of our managing partners and global management group, and the dedication and skill of our entire team."
Craig thanked Maton for his "strong leadership and unwavering belief" and mentioned that she would seek to build on his achievements, which had been "pivotal to our success in London."
She said, "The shifts currently taking place in the way we live and work, present an unprecedented opportunity to find more 'human' ways to live our professional lives, access new markets and embrace legal innovations."
"It is within that dynamic and changing environment that firms such as Hausfeld really thrive," she added.
Craig will replace Maton as UK managing partner, a role he held since the London office was founded in 2008. Litigator John McElroy succeeds her as head of disputes.
Coolidge, who has served on Hausfeld's board since 2019, was the firm's first US associate hire, according to Laundau, making her "the perfect person to take on this important role."
Craig and Coolidge's promotions burnish the firm's track record on diversity; 35 per cent of the firm's partners are women, (44 per cent in London) as are 40 per cent of its lawyers globally. The firm's board also saw gender-positive appointments with three new partners, Reena Gambhir, Megan Jones and Ann-Christine Richter, ensuring that over 50 per cent of the board members were women.