Hogan Lovells has placed global growth firmly on its agenda with the creation of a new management position at the global law firm.
The newly created global managing partner for growth position is the brainchild of Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar, who took the top job in July 2020. The goal is to have a partner focused on growing the firm’s strategic client relationships, and leveraging Hogan Lovells’ strengths in key industry sectors.
New York-based partner Phoebe Wilkinson has been appointed to role, which comes with a three-year term and a seat on the firm’s international management committee.
“Putting clients at the center of everything we do is one of our strategic priorities,” said Zaldivar. “Phoebe brings a wealth of experience in developing and maintaining deep client relationships across multiple industries, including consumer, life sciences and health care, and energy.”
Zaldivar has also created a global managing partner role, which has been filled, as of July 1, by Patrick Ayad. The purpose of that new role is to work closely with the global managing partner for growth and the firm’s sector group leaders to “further” build out client and industry sector programs.
“Creating these two new roles … clearly indicates a significant juncture in our clients and industries program,” Zaldivar said in a statement.
The two new roles effectively double the senior management resources dedicated to growth at the firm. For the past six years, Ina Brock has held the position of managing partner for clients and industries. In a statement, the firm said Brock will continue to focus on her disputes practice and continue playing an “important” role in strategic client development efforts.
Brock’s role was created six years ago when Hogan Lovells began in earnest to brand itself as having a deep sector focus.
“That strategy has been enormously successful,” said Wilkinson, adding that the end of Brock’s second term has provided the opportunity to extend those wins.
“This is about bringing the whole of the firm to the whole of the client. It is about thinking about what’s coming around the corner for clients—what do they need, where do they need it, and who are the right people to service those needs?”
Wilkinson said she and Ayad will spend the summer talking to partners and clients to understand what growth should look like for the firm.
“I don’t think there’s going to be hard and fast growth metrics, per se,” she said. ”The goal is to be growing and deepening our client relationships—because that’s the lifeblood of what we do.”
Wilkinson said she will be focused on understanding what the legal market is going to need and what demand is going to be so the firm can position itself to service those needs.
“When we look at measuring success down the road, it will be whether or not we anticipated a need and grew in ways the market demanded and our clients needed,” she said.
And meeting client needs may mean branching out into non-traditional legal services, Wilkinson said.
“We strive to be—and we are, in many instances—trusted advisers to our clients, not necessarily just trusted lawyers. We are trusted advisers because we’re coming at [client service] not just from the perspective of billable hours for doing legal work, but helping to solve issues or address problems, which often expands beyond just providing legal services,” said Wilkinson, who believes the goal of being trusted advisers has been significantly advanced by the firm’s focus on sectors. “Clients really feel we know their business, we know their sector, and we bring that knowledge to by being a lawyer, but really by achieving trusted adviser status.”
Wilkinson is a member of the firm’s litigation, arbitration, and employment practice group, and already has significant experience in leadership positions at the firm. She served for several years on the firm’s board, heading its advancement committee, as well as having practice area leadership positions.
Ayad is based in Munich, and is a partner in the global regulatory practice group, leading both the mobility and transportation sector and the firm’s strategic operations, agreements and regulation (SOAR) practice.