Sullivan & Cromwell is getting a new chair of the firm. Strike that. Two new co-chairs. For the first time in the Biglaw firm’s history, instead of one lawyer leading the firm, they’ll have a pair doing it together. Litigator Robert Giuffra and corporate attorney Scott Miller will be sharing the duties, taking over from Joseph Shenker who held the chair position since 2010.
As reported by Wall Street Journal, the first priority for the leadership is navigating the veritable minefield of the COVID pandemic:
Guiding the 900-lawyer firm through the rest of the coronavirus pandemic will be one of the pair’s first challenges, Mr. Miller said. The firm has seen more lawyers return to the office this year than many of its peers, he said, helped in part by Sullivan & Cromwell owning its building in lower Manhattan, which gives it more real estate to use to space people out.
Law firms have traditionally stressed the importance of working side-by-side as the best way to train the next generation. Mr. Miller said he is focused on “how you instill a culture while allowing people a little bit of freedom to work in a nonoffice environment at least some of the time.”
And for a prestigious — and old school — firm like S&C, that means doing what they do best, as Giuffra noted, “We’re not much for some of the fads you see in the legal market, people suddenly changing things year to year.” What is new at the firm is having a litigator in the (co) chair role; Giuffra is the first to do so in the firm’s 140+ year history.
In 2020, S&C made $1,555,441,000 in gross revenue, making it 18th on the Am Law 100. The new firm leaders say 2021 was even better financially for the firm, with revenue and profits rising by a double-digit percentage.
Best of luck to Giuffra and Miller in their new roles.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).