Hinshaw & Culbertson has elected litigator Peter D. Sullivan as its newest chairman, the firm’s top leadership role.
Sullivan, a member of both Hinshaw’s executive committee and management committee, was elected by the firm’s equity partners and assumed the role immediately. He succeeds Kevin Joseph Burke in the job.
Sullivan’s plans for the Chicago-based firm feature a focus on recruitment, including through laterals, he told Bloomberg Law.
“We would like to grow our firm back to the 500 lawyer-level and even greater than that, because we believe we have the administrative capacity to service a larger number of lawyers as well as the space,” said Sullivan. The firm has fluctuated between about 400 and 500 lawyers, and currently has approximately 420 lawyers in 21 offices, he said.
“That being said, we want to focus on recruiting lawyers and groups of lawyers that are a good fit for Hinshaw, that fit with our culture and that fit with our key office locations and key practice areas,” added Sullivan, who is based at firm headquarters.
Hinshaw’s top practice areas include insurance services, professional liability, consumer financial services and class action defense, middle-market corporate and real estate transactions, general tort defense and product liability, according to Sullivan.
He joined Hinshaw in 1983 and previously led the firm’s business litigation department. His litigation practice is focused on complex professional liability matters, including suits brought against accountants, attorneys, directors and offers. He also litigates consumer class action and breach of contract cases.
He’s from a family of attorneys, including his sister Sharon M. Sullivan, who is presiding judge of the County Division in Cook County. The new chairman late father, Howard W. Sullivan, was presiding judge of the Cook County Municipal Division.
Peter Sullivan is filling in the remainder of a three-year term vacated by Burke, who stepped down as chairman to focus on his legal practice.
Burke is also assuming a newly-created role where he will spearhead Hinshaw’s strategic relationships and innovation efforts, according to the firm. The role does not have an official title.
“Peter and I have been focused on the ongoing period of enormous change in the legal services market,” Burke said in a statement. “Our goal is to deepen our understanding of the change and help our clients benefit from it.”