The firm announced today that its 351 partners have elected Stewart chairman of the Houston-based firm’s executive committee. He is currently partner-in-charge of the firm’s Dallas office and is a member of the firm’s policy committee and partners committee. He will succeed Steven B. Pfeiffer, of Washington, D.C., who has been chair of the firm’s executive committee since January 2003.
Stewart has been a corporate partner with the firm since 1987, according to the firm’s announcement. Neither Pfeiffer nor Stewart immediately returned a telephone call seeking comment.
UPDATE: On Jan. 1, 2013, Kenneth L. Stewart says he will be transitioning out of his private practice to focus his full-time energies on leading the firm. “It’s a big job, it takes a lot of time and I want to be a hands-on-leader,” he says. “I do have a lot of long-term client relationships and expect that they will want my judgment and expertise at times and I will certainly be available to answer those calls. But the vast majority of my time in the future will be leading the law firm.”
Stewart says he will have offices in Dallas and Houston but will spend a lot of time visiting the firm’s 17 offices worldwide. “Probably, technically, I will office in an airplane,” he says. “The management of our firm, and the chair in particular, spend a lot of time with our clients and I will be a part of that client service team.”
The chair’s term is four years. “I can try to stand for another term if I want to at that time, but there is no number of term limits per se,” he says. The firm requires partners to step down from management positions in the year that they turn 65, he says. The firm elected a new chair because its current chair, Steven B. Pfeiffer, is turning 65 this year, Stewart says.
-- Jeanne Graham