Emily Parker (pictured), the first female lawyer at Thompson & Knight and its first female partner, will become its first female managing partner on Feb. 15.
Parker, a tax partner in Dallas, will succeed Jeffrey Zlotky, who has been managing partner since July 1, 2009. Parker says her priorities are to increase the 337-lawyer firm’s presence in Houston, New York City and at its Dallas headquarters.
She notes that the firm completed a strategic planning process over the past year. “[W]e’ve reached a clear consensus for growth in response to client needs, and I think that’s where I would like to take the firm,” she says.
Parker says over the past few months, the firm’s management committee vetted a number of potential candidates for managing partner, and then the committee nominated her to become the managing partner. She says the firm’s equity partners voted on her candidacy, and that vote was completed on Jan. 20. Parker says she was elected to a one-year term, but she has committed to serve a minimum of three years.
Parker joined Thompson & Knight in 1973, after graduating from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. She has been at the firm throughout her career, except for 2002 through 2004, when she was deputy chief counsel and acting chief counsel at the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Parker says she decided to take on the managing partner job to “make a difference here.”
Zlotky says he wanted to step down as managing partner, and is looking forward to returning to his transactional practice. He says that when he became managing partner in July 2009 because then-managing partner Pete Riley was ill, he thought it would be a temporary assignment, but Riley passed away a few weeks later.
“At that particular time, we needed someone to step in quickly who had the support of our partners, but at my age then and my age now, I’ve never wanted to give up the practice,” Zlotky says.
Parker says she will take over on Feb. 15 at the firm’s annual partners’ retreat.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys