February 22, 2019 – The McCormick Group, an Arlington, VA-based executive recruitment firm, has been enlisted to find the next chief operating officer for the international law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Stephen Nelson, executive principal, and Cassie Battle, principal, are leading the assignment for the search firm.
Steptoe & Johnson, based in Washington, D.C., wants an experienced management professional with demonstrated success leading the operations of a law firm, other professional services firms or other business organizations, said the McCormick Group. The ideal candidate must have strong business acumen and human resources skills, and bring a “firm first” approach to this position.
The COO will be given considerable authority in helping to achieve the firm’s strategic goals and objectives, including improved operating efficiencies, revenue growth and enhanced profitability, said the search firm. The candidate must have effective organizational, communications and interpersonal skills, must be an excellent problem-solver, and team player, and must work effectively with other motivated professionals in a fast-paced environment.
As a key member of Steptoe & Johnson’s management team, the COO will work closely with the firm’s leadership and executive committee to carry out the organization’s strategic plan with an emphasis on profitable growth achieved through outstanding client service and efficient operations, said the McCormick Group. The COO will have responsibility and oversight over the firm’s business, financial and administrative operations and be expected to identify, plan for and respond to the changing external forces and needs of a dynamic organization and marketplace.
The COO will be expected to provide leadership to Steptoe & Johnson’s administrative functions including its accounting and finance department, marketing and business development department, research and information services department, information and technology department, human resources department, facilities department, as well as talent management, knowledge management, pricing and client value initiatives.
Candidates must have significant prior experience at the senior executive level in a large, complex, organization with a reputation for world-class financial and administrative management, said the search firm. Prospects who have served at the top level of a large law firm or other professional service organization with multiple locations are preferred.
Also required is a demonstrated track record in effectively managing a broad range of functions to successfully achieve enterprise goals while providing a high level of internal customer satisfaction; experience serving as a key strategic and business partner to management and as an integral member of a senior, multi-office professional services firm; an understanding of the culture of a top tier professional services firm, particularly those that often emphasize collaboration and consensus-building; and proven business and financial acumen with a sound understanding of how professional service firms operate.
Strong academic credentials, with an MBA, or equivalent degree, are preferred for the role, said the McCormick Group.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe & Johnson has achieved an international reputation for representation of clients before governmental agencies, advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and advice in structuring business transactions. Key areas of representation include: white-collar defense and other government investigations and enforcement; high-stakes litigation particularly involving complex commercial claims and cross-border disputes; patent and technology litigation; preventive international corporate; and challenging regulatory issues before the U.S. government particularly agencies addressing energy, transportation, telecommunications, technology, the internet and the environment, as well as regulatory matters in Brussels, London, and Beijing. Steptoe & Johnson has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1974 by Bill McCormick, the McCormick Group provides executive search services to associations, corporate government affairs offices and law firms, among others. The firm offers clients a full range of human capital services, including recruitment, human resources strategic planning and consulting, compensation studies and surveys, management succession consulting and restructuring, and outplacement consulting.
Mr. Nelson’s expertise includes government affairs, law firm management and legal. Before joining the McCormick Group, he served as managing editor and news editor at the Legal Times and as executive editor and director of the Washington office for Prentice Hall Law & Business. His career highlights include revamping the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary and development of an annual directory of the largest law firms in the country. Prior to his career in publishing, he practiced antitrust and trade regulation law at Arent Fox.
Ms. Battle specializes in executive searches for marketing, business development, practice management, pricing, and project management professionals for major law firms and professional services firms. She draws on a nationwide network of candidates, ranging from managers to directors to C-level officer to quickly identify and recruit highly-qualified and accomplished candidates. She joined The McCormick Group in 1997. Her areas of expertise are: communications and public relations, law Firm management, and sales and marketing.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media