Latham Taps Firm Veteran Richard Trobman as Chair

July 2, 2018, 9:01 PM

Latham & Watkins, anxious to turn the page after the unexpected departure of William Voge, named firm veteran Richard Trobman to replace him as chair.

Trobman, 52, is a London-based capital markets partner and a former vice chair who joined Latham out of law school. His appointment, announced Friday, was effective immediately.

Voge left in March amid allegations of questionable communications with a woman unconnected to the firm, and several partners sought to replace him.

Voge, a project finance lawyer, also worked in Latham’s London office, and Trobman’s elevation appears to underscore the premium its partners place on accelerating practice growth in financial centers.

Trobman takes over the No. 2 highest-grossing firm, with more than $3 billion in revenue last year.

Since the financial crisis, it has rebuilt its fortunes across a number of practice areas, especially corporate transactions, finance and litigation. With some 2,400 attorneys, it’s also beefed up its ranks, particularly in London and other financial centers.

Trobman has “a proven track record of bold and innovative leadership” and “brings a deep understanding of the ever-evolving dynamics of the market to the role,” the firm said.

Trobman showed a “deep commitment” and “sound judgment” as well as “calm and a sense of equanimity,” Ora Fisher, the firm’s vice chair, said.

“Over the years, he has played instrumental roles at the firm, bringing bold thinking and strategic insight. Perhaps most important of all, Rich deeply understands our culture,” Fisher added.

Latham declined to make Trobman available for an interview with Bloomberg Law.

In a statement, he attributed the firm’s eight years of revenue growth to client service and teamwork, and to “our disciplined focus on building high-end practices.”

Trobman signed on with Latham in 1991 in Los Angeles before moving to New York and then London in 2000.

There, he’s represented investment banking and private equity firms, and companies in public and private offerings, restructurings, and M&A transactions.

His clients have included The Carlyle Group and Nordic Capital, as well as investment banks, including JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs.

Trobman served on Latham’s executive committee before being elected vice chair in 2017.

Latham takes over as law firms seek to expand services for their multinational clients to successfully address complex cross-border issues.

Earlier this year, for example, Latham indicated it plans to grow its real estate practice domestically and abroad when it hired a new real estate co-chair, Michael Haas.

Trobman may also still have to deal with any fallout from disclosures that a firm client, Columbus Nova, reportedly funded by a Russian energy oligarch, poured money into an unusual and once-secretive consulting venture owned by President Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

The extent to which Cohen’s records will be disclosed publicly is being decided in federal court.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at egolson1@gmail.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Casey Sullivan at cSullivan@bloomberglaw.com

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