Jonathan P. Harmon becomes new chairman of McGuireWoods
Jonathan P. Harmon has been named the chairman of McGuireWoods, succeeding the law firm’s longtime leader Richard Cullen. In addition, the board of partners said Monday that it appointed J. Tracy Walker IV to follow Thomas E. Cabaniss as managing partner.
Harmon and Walker assumed their new duties Monday, the culmination of a long-planned leadership transition.
Cullen and Cabaniss — who recommended Harmon and Walker in May — are both capping more than a decade of leadership. They remain partners at McGuireWoods and continue their practices at the international law firm.
“This is the right time for a new generation of leaders,” Cullen said in a statement. “Jon and Tracy are popular choices to take over. They are well respected by our partners and clients. I am excited for them and know that the firm is in very capable hands.”
Harmon said he will continue the firm's focus on empowering clients to meet their strategic goals.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as chairman and uphold the standard of excellence set by Richard Cullen and his predecessors,” said Harmon in a statement. “We have built a strong international law and public affairs platform under Richard's leadership and will continue his unwavering commitment to delivering the highest level of service to our clients.”
Harmon, who joined McGuireWoods in 1995, has led the firm’s Business & Securities Litigation Department since 2015. He represents Fortune 500 companies in complex, high-exposure litigation.
Harmon has twice been named to BTI Consulting Group's Client Service All-Stars list, an elite group of lawyers singled out by corporate counsel for client service excellence.
He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Before earning a law degree at the University of Texas School of Law, he served in Operation Desert Storm as a first lieutenant in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division.
Walker arrived at the firm in 1998. Since 2015, he has served as the deputy managing partner and head of its litigation practice. He is a trial, class action and appellate counsel for a range of corporate clients.
Cullen's tenure as chairman began in 2006. He is known as an elite white-collar litigator, with clients including major corporations and executives, elected officials and other prominent figures.
He represents Vice President Mike Pence in relation to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation and Sepp Blatter, former head of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), in U.S. and Swiss investigations of alleged bribery.
Cullen joined McGuireWoods in 1977 and has spent his career at the firm, except for stints as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia from 1991 to 1994 and as Virginia attorney general from 1997 to 1998.
Cabaniss joined McGuireWoods in 1985 and in 1998 helped establish the firm's office in Charlotte, N.C. He became managing partner in 2007.
Now based in Richmond, Cabaniss is a member of the firm's Restructuring & Insolvency Department and focuses his practice on complex bankruptcy matters, commercial and real estate workouts and restructurings.
Under the leadership of Cullen and Cabaniss, McGuireWoods expanded its U.S. and international footprint from 750 lawyers in 15 offices to 1,100 lawyers in 23 offices.
During that time, the firm also added offices in California and Texas, formed McGuireWoods London LLP and established a presence in Asia with an affiliation with Shanghai-based FuJae Partners.