Human Resources and Law

Varnum law firm revamps management structure

November 16, 2012
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Varnum law firm revamps management structure
Varnum law firm is comprised of more than 150 lawyers who work out of five offices across Michigan, including the Bridgewater Place highrise in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com

As Varnum prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2013, the firm is showing that it hasn’t become set in its ways. Instead, it will adopt a new management structure with the onset of the New Year.

Larry Murphy, current managing partner, Scott Huizinga, partner and former chair of the corporate services group, and Tom Kyros, a partner and former chair of the estate planning, tax and benefits group and former member of the firm's policy committee, will lead the firm under the new structure.

Murphy’s term is set to expire at the end of 2012, but under the new structure, he will retain his position overseeing the firm's business development, client service and community partnerships. Huizenga will become chair of the partnership and policy committee, which is the firm's internal management body and is primarily responsible for firm strategy and partner compensation. Kyros will serve as executive partner, and will be responsible for policy implementation, lean processes and firm administration.

"As we consider evolving client expectations regarding legal service delivery, we recognize that our management structure should evolve as well," said Murphy. "We believe this team approach will increase our responsiveness and flexibility in critical areas."

Varnum has operated under a shared management structure in the past, having had, at times during the past 20 years, managing and administrative partners.

Representatives of the firm have said that the move shows the firm’s commitment to innovation and creative approaches.

“For as long as I've been with the firm, there has been a willingness to think creatively and support new ideas and perspectives," Huizenga said. "We believe this new structure will have a significant positive effect on our internal culture as well as our service to clients."

The firm said that its new management structure received overwhelming support from its partnership.

It expects that the new management approach will allow Murphy, Huizenga and Kyros to continue to focus on their legal practices while ensuring that client service, management functions and community partnership responsibilities are thoroughly fulfilled.

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