A shrewd business move, Pepper Hamilton has appointed a nonlawyer as the Chief Executive Officer of the law firm. He is, reports Gina Passarella in THE LEGAL INELLIGENCER, Scott Green who has an MBA from Harvard University and is a certified public accountant. This is a first for an Am Law 100 or 200 firm and will be closely watched.
Of course having a numbers guy on top means continuing with the pursuit of cost efficiency which started after the Crash of 2007. But that's the tip of the iceberg.
Essentially, Green will be the strategic prime mover. Through him, Pepper Mill might be able to figure out and implement a business model for the professional services firm. In general, law firms are managed poorly.
In addition, as the face of the firm or brand to the world, a businessman will have an easier time attracting new business and retaining what's already in the hopper. Businesspeople feel comfortable dealing with other businesspeople. After all, their assumptions about value are the same. And they speak the same language. In corporations, functions which weren't line were often at a disadvantage because they weren't viewed as part of the business of the business and frequently their members weren't literate in the language of business. They framed discussions in the terminology of the staff function.
My hunch is that when Pepper Hamilton pitches for new accounts that proposal will be weighted heavily with business concepts. Their win rate is bound to increase.