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Thought Leadership

Catherine Hanaway Becomes Husch Blackwell Chair

Firm's First Female Chair Takes Reins from Greg Smith



April 01, 2021
News Releases

Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Catherine Hanaway has assumed the leadership role as the firm’s Chair, effective today, after a 12-month transition period during which she served as the firm’s Chair-Elect. Hanaway becomes the firm’s first female Chair and just the fourth person to serve in that role since the 2008 merger between St. Louis-based Husch & Eppenberger and Kansas City-based Blackwell Sanders that created the firm’s current configuration.

“Catherine has been a part of every major decision we made in response to the pandemic, from working with client teams on specific engagements to communicating the firm’s 2021 roadmap to our 700-plus attorneys,” said Husch Blackwell’s Chief Executive Paul Eberle. “Catherine’s leadership has played a significant role in the success of our firm, and she is the clear choice to serve as Husch Blackwell Chair and help shape the future of our firm.”

Hanaway follows Gregory Smith as the firm’s Chair, who also served six years as the firm’s Chief Executive prior to becoming Chair. Smith will return full time to his real estate and development law practice.

Formerly the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri and Speaker of Missouri’s House of Representatives, Hanaway joined Husch Blackwell in 2013 and played a key role in forming—and then leading—the firm’s Government Solutions and White Collar, Internal Investigations and Compliance groups.

“It is my great honor and privilege to lead Husch Blackwell. Greg Smith’s tenure as Chair was marked by unprecedented growth and financial performance. I look forward to building on those successes through an unwavering commitment to our clients’ success and an enduring commitment to recruiting and retaining incredible, diverse talent” said Hanaway.

Based in St. Louis, Hanaway has led Husch Blackwell litigation teams on some of the most sensitive and commercially significant matters handled by the firm, including criminal and civil investigations, complex commercial litigation, and regulatory enforcement actions. As U.S. Attorney, she supervised more than 4,000 criminal, affirmative and defensive civil cases and personally tried cases to jury verdicts.

Hanaway’s first day as Chair coincides with the firm’s announcement of a major expansion in the state of California, welcoming a 35-person team and the opening of offices in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I think it’s fitting that the narrative here on my first day is all about growth,” said Hanaway. “We have been strategically focused on growing our firm in geographic and legal practice areas where our clients need us most, while maintaining our incredibly close-knit, collaborative and inclusive culture. That remains the core of who we are as a firm, and I look forward to playing a leadership role in the next chapter of Husch Blackwell’s story.”


Gregory R. Smith

Senior Counsel