BOSTON, July 11, 2012 — Bingham McCutchen LLP announces the appointment of L. Tracee Whitley as its new Chief Operating Officer, effective July 1, 2012. Whitley, most recently Deputy Chief Operating Officer, succeeds William A. Bachman, COO since 1989, now appointed as the firm’s Executive Director, Partner Leadership Development.
“This is an exciting time for Bingham,” said Chairman Jay S. Zimmerman, who worked closely with Bachman since 1994 and completed 10 combinations since 1997, transforming Bingham from a 175-lawyer regional firm to a 1,000-lawyer global enterprise. “Bill helped make Bingham what it is today, a leading international law firm. Tracee is the next generation of senior administrative leadership that will continue to build upon our solid foundation.”
Whitley was appointed Deputy COO to Bachman in January as part of the firm’s senior administration transition to facilitate Bachman’s retirement from the COO role. “As we expected, the transition of duties went quickly and well through thoughtful planning, Bill’s and Tracee’s commitment to ensuring smooth handoffs, the strength and collegiality of their professional relationship, as well as the demonstrated support of our partnership for a successful transition between them,” said Zimmerman.
“Bingham is a special place for me, professionally and personally,” said Whitley, who started her career at Bingham as a mid-level lateral associate in 2001. “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been able to work closely with and learn from two recognized industry leaders in Jay and Bill and to establish so many rewarding relationships with Bingham’s partners, other lawyers and staff members. I’m deeply honored to be following in the footsteps of Bill Bachman, who is a dear friend as well as mentor, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Bingham’s administrative team in the firm’s next chapter.”
Bachman, a recognized name in law firm senior administrative circles and past president of the Association of Legal Administrators, will focus on Bingham’s new partnership leadership development programs as well as assume business teaching and advisory roles at Boston University School of Management and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
“Thanks to the support of many at the firm, I’ve had an exceptional career here at Bingham,” said Bachman. “True to its nature, Bingham remains a learning institution, and I am looking forward to helping cultivate the next generation of partner leaders in my new role as Executive Director, Partner Leadership Development. I also wish Tracee much continued success in her new role. She is hard-working, strategic, collaborative and deeply committed to the firm and its people. As friends and colleagues for the past eight years, we have had a wonderful time working together, and I am confident that she will do a great job as Bingham’s new COO.”
Before becoming Deputy COO this January, Whitley served as Bingham’s Chief Administrative Officer with oversight of all office administrative and global operations teams. Prior to that, she was the firm’s Chief of Staff, working closely with Zimmerman in the Office of the Chair for seven years, while directing the firm’s internal and external communications functions and supporting the firm’s partner leadership and firm counsel with respect to governance matters. For nearly five of those years, she also had oversight responsibility for the Marketing and Business Development Department. Throughout this period, Whitley also worked directly with Bachman on the strategic development of many of Bingham’s administrative capabilities.
As an associate, Whitley practiced in the corporate, estate planning and ERISA practices, participated in the firm’s recruiting and pro bono initiatives, and was an active member of its Committee on Associates. She has an array of academic credentials: a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University, a Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University, and a Master’s of Business Administration, with Honors, from Boston University.
Bachman is now dedicated to spearheading Bingham’s new leadership development initiative for its partners, a critically important part of continuing to distinguish Bingham as a learning organization. In addition to more than three decades of experience managing law firms, Bachman is leveraging a wealth of professorial experience in organizational behavior and other business management subjects, which he previously taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“We are excited about the quality and relevance of the important programs Bill is developing, working closely with me and an advisory board of partners from across the firm,” said Zimmerman. “These customized programs, which draw on our relationships with a number of academics and other leaders in the field of business and law firm management, as well as Bill’s own teaching background and expertise, will enable our senior and emerging partner leaders to deepen their business management knowledge and hone their leadership skills.”