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Husch Blackwell Announces Firm Leadership Transition

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Husch Blackwell LLP announced on Thursday completion of the scheduled process to review the firm’s governance structure and propose firm leaders to begin in 2012. The firm’s partner board is recommending to the full partnership that Maurice A. Watson be elected Chairman of the firm and that Gregory R. Smith be elected CEO and Managing Partner, effective April 1, 2012.

Joe Conran, current Co-Chairman of the firm, observed: “When we merged our firms in 2008, we committed to this process of governance review and leadership succession which began this spring. The firm’s governance and nominating committee worked very hard in the last few months to identify a strong new leadership team in Maurice and Greg, along with a dynamic group of Executive Board members. Our clients and partners will be well served by this group of leaders for many years to come.”

Conran and Co-Chairman Dave Fenley, each having served as firm leaders for more than a decade, will guide the transition over the next several months. Conran and Fenley will continue on the Executive Board and will continue working with the firm’s clients. "As satisfying as our roles have been, both Dave and I are excited about returning to the full time practice of law," said Joe Conran.

“We are all indebted to Dave and Joe for their vision and sure and steady leadership in challenging times. Among their many achievements is the successful integration of three separate firms and hundreds of lawyers in 13 cities, here and abroad,” said Watson, who will become the firm’s chair.

The new Executive Board will be expanded to 10 members, including five new members, Jim Ash, Joyce Dixon, Steve FeldmanChris Miller and Doug Schmidt, and five returning members, Joe Conran, Dave Fenley, Greg SmithBob Tomaso and Maurice Watson.

“The full partnership will vote on this new leadership team before month-end, and I am confident the partners will support this leadership slate,” said Dave Fenley.