Latham & Watkins has filled out its top leadership positions with the elevation Thursday of Chicago-based banking partner Brad Kotler to vice chairman of the $3 billion firm.
Kotler’s promotion at Latham comes a little more than a month after the election of London-based capital markets partner Richard Trobman to fill an unexpected vacancy at the top. The 2,400-lawyer firm had been set to hold leadership elections in 2020 before former chairman William Voge suddenly resigned in scandal.
Ora Fisher, an executive committee member and Silicon Valley-based partner, also remains a vice chairwoman for the firm, a role she served in alongside Trobman during Voge’s leadership. Kotler was not part of a list of eight chair candidates whose names were circulated in April.
Kotler, who joined Latham after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1992, has represented major banks and financial firms, including Bank of America Corp., Deutsche Bank AG and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as well as corporate clients such as Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Koch Industries Inc. He is known for handling financing for major transactions.
“Over the years, working with some of the best legal minds in the field and serving with committed colleagues in management, I’ve seen firsthand what makes the firm so unique: The teamwork, the relentless focus on client service, the bold ambition,” Kotler said in a statement. “Being elected vice chair of our great firm is an intensely humbling and proud moment for me.”
Kotler, who currently serves on Latham’s executive committee, has a long list of leadership roles already to his credit. He has served as managing partner of Latham’s Chicago office, whose opening in 1982 put the firm on a path to becoming a global legal giant. He has also served as vice chairman of the firm’s global finance department, local finance department chairman in Chicago and a member of the pro bono, recruiting and Women Enriching Business committees.
Trobman, 52, is a rainmaking finance partner who comes from the same department as Kotler. Trobman lists among his clients investment banks such as Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co.
“Brad has been a driving force who brings critical thinking, good judgment and sharp intellect to every decision, every situation, every time,” Trobman said in a statement announcing Kotler’s new role as vice chairman. “I’ve seen him bring the same passion, intensity and dedication to his myriad leadership roles as he does to serving clients.”
In two other recent high-profile moves, Latham this week hired noted technology industry dealmaker R. Gregory Roussel from Fenwick & West in Menlo Park, California, while also bringing on Sidley Austin restructuring partners Yen Sum and Jennifer Brennan in London. Latham did see corporate partner Sean Wheeler, a well-known lawyer to the oil and gas industry who joined the firm in 2010 when it expanded into Houston, leave for rival Kirkland & Ellis.