September 26, 2019 (New York) – International law firm Proskauer announced today that Steven M. Ellis, co-chair of the Firm's market-leading Private Credit Group and a member of the Firm's Executive Committee, has been elected by the partnership to serve as Chair of the Firm commencing at the end of January 2020.
Mr. Ellis will succeed Joseph M. Leccese, who served the maximum possible term of nine years, making him Proskauer's longest serving chair.
Mr. Ellis has been with the Firm since 2004 and founded the Firm's Private Credit Group. He said: "I am honored to take on this role and am humbled by the support and encouragement of my partners. Under Joe's leadership, the Firm has experienced enormous financial success while maintaining its vibrant, entrepreneurial spirit and supportive culture. As we collaborate closely in the years ahead, I look forward to continuing to build on the Firm's success and relentless focus on client service and talent development."
Mr. Leccese said: "I am delighted by Steve's election as chair. We have worked closely together for years. He is a natural leader, a trusted business advisor to many of the most influential executives in the asset management industry, and the right person to continue the Firm's growth and momentum."
During Mr. Leccese's tenure, Proskauer's profits have nearly doubled. The Firm also has regularly rated near the top of associate and summer associate satisfaction surveys; been widely recognized for its progressive policies for women and diverse lawyers and its desirability as a place to work; elevated its pro bono and CSR programs to core Firm initiatives; and experienced an enormous expansion in its transactional practices and London office.
Proskauer also invested heavily in professional development, including through its long-standing partnership with Columbia Business School to create the "business savvy lawyer" learning and development model for its associates that Mr. Leccese advocated.
Mr. Leccese, 58, maintained his practice throughout his term and has led many of the most significant deals in sports and media over the past decade. He will continue to co-lead the Firm's renowned Sports Practice.
Mr. Ellis also will continue to maintain his practice and will remain co-chair of the Firm's Private Credit Group.