14 Apr 2020

DLA Piper announces new US co-managing partners as part of wider national reshuffle

Jackie Kim Park and Richard Chesley replace Stasia Kelly who moves to client relations role


The appointment of Jackie Kim Park and Richard Chesley follows the election last year of Frank Ryan as the firm's US chair Shutterstock

DLA Piper has named Jackie Kim Park and Richard Chesley as its new co-US managing partners, replacing Stasia Kelly who is stepping down after seven years in the role to become executive director for client relations.

Park was previously vice-chair of the firm’s US real estate practice and co-managing partner of its Los Angeles office, while Chesley was previously co-managing partner of its Chicago office. Chesley will also continue his role as global co-chair of DLA Piper’s restructuring practice.

The firm said Kelly’s new client relationship role will allow her to draw on her previous experience as general counsel at companies including AIG and MCI Worldcom to help the firm better serve the needs of its clients at a time of major disruption for US companies as the coronavirus pandemic rattles the global economy.

Roger Meltzer, global and Americas co-chairman, said: “In recent years, our firm and the legal profession have both seen a great deal of change, and we are excited to turn over the reins of the managing partner role to Jackie and Rick. At the same time, we are immensely grateful to Stasia for the leadership she showed during her tenure in the position.”

Park and Chesley’s promotions follow the election last year of Frank Ryan as the firm’s US chair, whose four-year term starts next January.

Ryan said: "As I prepare to step into the role of chair, I am looking forward to working with Jackie and Rick. They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement of the firm and its people and clients, as well as impressive problem-solving capabilities and leadership skills, and I am proud to have them on our team.”

Last month DLA Piper announced a raft of changes to its US offices and practice group leadership teams. Raj Shah was named co-managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office, with Angela Agrusa named managing partner for Los Angeles, Dean Fealk for San Francisco, Victoria Lee for Silicon Valley and Matthew Denn for Wilmington. 

Lee was also named regional managing partner for Norther California, while Barbara Trachtenberg joined Richard Klawiter as co-vice chair of the firm’s US real estate practice. Thomas Califano was also named US chair of its restructuring practice.

Further reading on law firm leadership changes

'I couldn't have asked for a more difficult time to start a new role' — New leaders take reins at Boyes Turner, TLT, Freeths and Torys in teeth of Covid-19 crisis

The competition specialist charged with driving Norton Rose Fulbright's EMEA strategy — Peter Scott aims to leverage knowledge of global verein in new role as EMEA managing partner

Global law firm network Meritas names new president — Sona Pancholy will assume role in May, taking over from Tanna Moore

Allen & Overy's partners opt for continuity as they vote in new leadership — Magic circle firm votes in new managing partner but sticks with Wim Dejonghe for top role

Hogan Lovells votes in Asia head Zaldivar as new CEO — Venezuelan partner is chosen as international firm's next leader

Norton Rose and Clayton Utz appoint new leaders in Australia — First female managing partner for Norton Rose; Clayton Utz promotes international strategy head

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