Squire, Sanders & Dempsey has named leading law firm strategist and business development consultant Susan Saltonstall Duncan to the newly created position of Chief Strategy and Development Officer. Duncan, currently president of RainMaking Oasis, Inc., will formally begin her new position with the top-25 global legal practice on April 1 and will be based in the New York office.
“This is yet another important step in Squire Sanders’ development,” said James J. Maiwurm, chair and global chief executive officer of Squire Sanders, which completed its combination with Hammonds LLP on January 1. “It makes an important statement about our commitment to being ever more client focused and proactive in dealing with changes in the legal marketplace.”
Since beginning her consulting practice in 1987, Duncan has worked with more than 120 law firms and thousands of lawyers in a range of management, planning and business development consulting engagements. She was one of the United States’ first in-house marketing directors in 1984 when she created the position for Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz. She was a founding member of the Legal Marketing Association and last year was elected as a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. As a consultant, she has provided services in strategic planning, practice and industry group planning, client service interviews, programs and team strategies, business development training for associates and partners, customer service training for staff and individual business development coaching for hundreds of partners. She is known for her forward-thinking approaches to the profession and helping her clients be more market driven.
Duncan explained: “This opportunity became apparent to both Squire Sanders and me as I began doing some consulting for the firm at the end of November related to its combination with Hammonds.” Despite having a burgeoning and very rewarding consulting practice in which she has enjoyed ongoing relationships with clients, she is excited about the opportunities that the new position offers. These include the opportunity to help position Squire Sanders much more visibly and effectively in its new broader and deeper global platform and build on several innovative steps the firm has put into place to deliver services and value to clients in terms of knowledge management, project management and process improvement.
“People with Susan’s depth of experience and knowledge in business development and related areas are few and far between,” Maiwurm said. “She is a great fit on a personal basis, and this is a perfect time for us to add a person with her background and insight. Susan will be a key participant in making sure we best leverage our combination with Hammonds to benefit our clients.”
Duncan said she also looks forward to working closely with a forward-thinking and committed leadership team that shares her vision of the industry’s direction and the opportunities for legal practices such as Squire Sanders.
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