Cozen O’Connor announced the first steps in its succession plan for firm management. Michael Heller, chair of the business law department, will take on additional management responsibilities as president and executive partner of the firm. Vince McGuinness, formerly chief administrative partner, is now managing partner. Tad Decker remains Chief Executive Officer and will continue to work closely with Heller and McGuinness as they take a more active role in the strategic direction of the firm.
“Michael and Vince are clearly two future leaders of Cozen O’Connor,” said Decker. “This structure recognizes that fact and is part of the succession planning process that was begun four years ago when I rejoined the firm. Along with our COO, Dave Ellman, they are part of the Office of the CEO and will work with me in implementing the strategy of the firm, including our plans for strategic growth.”
Heller will continue to lead Cozen O’Connor’s business attorneys and maintain his successful venture capital and emerging growth practice. He joined the firm in 1995 as its first business lawyer and became chair of the business law department in 2007 during which time he oversaw the recent exponential growth of the transactional practice to its present number of more than 170 attorneys including corporate, real estate, intellectual property and private client services.
As Managing Partner, Vince will take on additional day-to-day administrative tasks involved with running the firm and its 21 offices. He will also maintain his active subrogation and recovery practice. McGuinness joined the firm in 1981 and has previously held a number of management positions within the firm, including vice-chair of the subrogation & recovery department and co-director of the firm's Canadian alliance, Cozen O'Connor Subrogation Consultants, Inc.
Decker originally joined Cozen O'Connor in 2000 as the firm's managing partner, and served in that role until 2004 at which time he was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell as the inaugural chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Decker rejoined the firm as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2007. He previously held senior executive positions for a number of major corporations, including Saint-Gobain Corp, where he was Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, and Unisource Worldwide and Asbury Automotive Group, where he was Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel.
“Tad led this firm though a period of profitable growth during the worst downturn in the history of the legal industry,” said Heller. “I’m honored to serve with Tad and Vince to continue to execute on our strategic plan."