After graduating from Northwestern University School of Law in 1976, I began practicing labor and employment law at the Chicago headquarters of Seyfarth Shaw, a large national firm. Thrown into the full array of L&E, I learned substance and strategy from the firm’s nationally-recognized experts. Less than five years later, The Procter & Gamble Company invited me to start its in-house L&E practice at its global headquarters in Cincinnati.
Before I “graduated” from P&G in June 2012, I had designed P&G’s approach to downsizing which has seen tens of thousands of people leave the company without a single indefensible legal challenge. I also focused on how P&G could best integrate people from other companies it acquired, helped build infrastructures that minimized lawsuits and charges, and increased the professional capabilities of hundreds of lawyers and managers around the world. And I had fun doing it all.
Our in-house practice advised management at all levels and represented the company before governmental agencies and labor arbitrators, but we engaged outside counsel for court litigation. While spending tens of millions of dollars in legal fees during my career there, I hired and fired numerous law firms across the country and worked alongside many outstanding practitioners. This afforded me rare insight into how different firms operate, and what delivers better results for firms and their clients.
Now I advise law firms around the country about managing the people side of their operations. As small and large firms struggle with the legal industry’s reinvention which began in late 2008, I help them derive more value from the people they are already paying.
I live in Kansas City with my wife Sue, who left her 27 year career in human resources to become a social worker. We have three adult children all of whom are married and have kids of their own. They live in New York, Chicago and Kansas City, so it is a good thing that Sue and I enjoy traveling. Having served on the boards of three United Way agencies and my synagogue in Cincinnati, I am searching for a meaningful volunteer opportunity now that I am a relative newcomer to Kansas City.