A locally based law firm with offices across the state has elected a new group of leaders.
Varnum said this month it named a new chair, executive partner and members of its policy committee, which is the firm’s primary governing body.
Ronald DeWaard is the new chair of the partnership and the firm’s policy committee, which is responsible for strategy and partner compensation.
Dave Khorey served as the chair for the last two years.
Scott Hill is the new executive partner, tasked with chairing the firm’s executive committee, which is responsible for policy implementation, lean processes and attorney development.
Tom Kyros served as the executive partner since 2012.
The transition comes after Grand Rapids-based Varnum recently opened its fourth office in southeast Michigan. The firm is also planning to move its Ann Arbor office to a larger space to accommodate growth in the market.
“We have established the Varnum brand in markets well beyond our original West Michigan base, and our goal in the near term is to accelerate growth in those markets,” DeWaard said. “In addition, we will continue to focus on using technology and innovative practices to provide the best possible value to our clients.”
Hill said Varnum continues to “have success through organic growth from our entry-level hiring, as well as our lateral attraction efforts.”
He added that the “integration of these two groups” within the firm’s culture is “essential to our long-term success.”
“The pace of change in our profession is accelerating, and while we enjoy the strength of a firm founded 131 years ago, we recognize that we need to proactively walk with our clients to best serve their needs,” Hill said.
DeWaard was formerly chair of the firm's litigation practice team.
DeWaard is a trial attorney who focuses on civil and white-collar litigation, as well as internal investigations.
He began his career at Varnum in 1990. After four years, he left the firm and took a position as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida – Miami. There, he served in the economic crimes division and later as deputy chief of the major crimes division. He returned to Varnum in 2001.
Hill was formerly the leader of the firm’s corporate practice team and attorney recruitment committee.
Hill is a corporate attorney who focuses on business representation, including M&A, private equity and joint ventures.
He joined Varnum in 2003. He has spent the last four years managing his own practice, as well as assisting with the integration of lateral attorneys and coaching attorneys on practice development.
New policy committee members
Kimberly Clarke and Peter Roth are new members on Varnum's eight-person policy committee, and Perrin Rynders was tapped for a second term. Each one will serve a three-year term.
The policy committee’s other members are Kimberly Baber, Jon Bylsma and Richard Hewlett, as well as DeWaard and Hill.