Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP announced today that its Managing Partners, the firm’s elected governing body, have elected Andrew C. Kassner as the firm’s next Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2015. Kassner, who has been serving as the firm’s Executive Partner, will succeed Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., who has been the firm’s Chairman and CEO since 2005.
“Andy was the natural choice,” said Putnam. “He has been our Executive Partner, with extensive management responsibilities, for almost a decade and our partners see him as an effective leader with the experience and expertise to guide the firm going forward.”
Kassner, who has been at the firm for 28 years, is a well-known restructuring lawyer who led the firm’s corporate restructuring practice group for almost 20 years. He has held several management positions with the firm, including a number of terms as a Managing Partner of the firm. During Putnam’s and Kassner’s terms as Chairman and Executive Partner, Drinker Biddle has grown from a firm of 360 lawyers primarily located in the mid-Atlantic region to a national firm of 630 attorneys in offices from coast-to-coast.
“Over the past ten years, the firm has implemented strategic initiatives that continued our tradition of maintaining national litigation and business practices across a number of industries and disciplines,” Kassner observed. “We will continue to recruit top talent in our existing markets – and perhaps enter others – in order to serve our clients, while at the same time retaining the core values that define us as a firm.”
The firm's Managing Partners also appointed three new Executive Partners to join Kassner as part of the senior leadership team: Mary Devlin Capizzi will oversee the firm’s regulatory services practice groups and client relations, marketing and business development functions, Robert C. Juelke will oversee the firm’s transactional practice groups and finance functions, and Michael W. McTigue, Jr. will oversee the firm’s litigations services and talent management functions.
Putnam explained: “Mary, Bob, and Mike are leading lawyers in their fields, and have been involved in the firm leadership for a long time. The Managing Partners asked each of them to assume additional identified day-to -day firm management responsibilities so as to allow Andy to concentrate on firm strategy and growth.”
Kassner says he looks forward to his new role and expects his principal challenges to be guiding the firm to address accelerating globalization of the legal services sector, the increasing use of technology to enhance how the firm delivers services and value, and ensuring that the firm continues to recruit and develop top talent who are thought leaders in providing legal solutions for clients. “We live in an ever changing legal environment.”
Kassner joined Drinker Biddle in 1986 after practicing restructuring law in New York. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. cum laude from New York Law School. He is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy, is regularly selected in editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and is ranked in Chambers & Partners USA as one of three “Star Individuals” in Pennsylvania in the area of bankruptcy law.