David Boies to stand down as chair of Boies Schiller Flexner

Partners to vote on succession next month; renowned litigator to stay on as a partner
awyer David Boies & wife Mary Boies attend the Time 100 Gala for Most Influential People in the World at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City.

David Boies and his wife Mary Boies in 2014

Boies Schiller Flexner’s (BSF’s) founder and chair, David Boies, is to step down as the firm’s leader.

The renowned litigator will relinquish his chairmanship by December 2024 although he will continue on as a partner, according to a statement released by the firm on Friday (17 November).

A new chair, or co-chairs, will be selected at a partners’ meeting next month. According to Bloomberg Law, two of the firm’s three co-managing partners, Matthew Schwartz and Sigrid McCawley, are front runners to succeed Boies.

“We greatly appreciate the faith David and the rest of the firm has placed in us,” the duo, along with fellow managing partner Alan Vickery, said in a statement. 

“David’s leadership and guidance have been a constant for BSF since the firm opened its doors. As we have taken over the firm’s day-to-day affairs over the last several years, we’ve benefited tremendously from his advice and experience.”

The trio were appointed to their roles in December 2020 as the firm experienced a sustained period of turbulence against the background of partner departures that has seen it roughly halve in size over the past five years.

BSF began grappling with the thorny issue of succession planning in late 2018, when it created a four-member management committee – made up of Damien Marshall, Karen Dunn, Nicholas Gravante and Phil Korologos – to assume the administrative duties of founding partners Boies and Jonathan Schiller, fellow founder Donald Flexner having stepped down as co-managing partner in 2017. 

Of that quartet, just one, Korologos, remains at the firm. Marshall joined King & Spalding in June 2020 along with three other partners, the same month that Dunn moved across to Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. 

Gravante, who had subsequently been made co-managing partner alongside London head Natasha Harrison, quit for Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in December 2020 with three other partners. 

It was his departure that triggered the appointment of the current trio of co-managing partners. At the same time, Harrison was made deputy chair, a role she subsequently relinquished before quitting BSF to found Pallas Partners in January 2022 with virtually the entire London office.

While Boies’s tenure at the head of the firm is finally drawing to a close, the 82-year-old shows little sign of slowing down. He made his name litigating landmark cases, including the federal government’s antitrust suit against Microsoft in 2000. Last year, he secured an out of court settlement with Prince Andrew for an undisclosed sum on behalf of Virginia Giuffre.

However, he suffered from a run of bad publicity over his former representation of now convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and his association with discredited blood-testing company Theranos, where he was a board member.

Flexner passed away in March, aged 81.

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