Jenner & Block has named partners Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg as the firm’s next co-managing partners to take effect in the New Year.
The firm early this year named litigation partner Craig Martin as its new chair, taking the reins from longtime leader Anton Valukas.
The New York-based Jestin and Chicago-based Mehrberg will take over from Terrence Truax, a Windy City litigation partner who has been the firm’s managing partner since 2014. He will return to full-time law practice, the firm said in a statement.
Jestin is currently the co-leader of the firm’s investigations, compliance and defense practice while Mehrberg heads up its energy industry practice alongside Suedeen Kelly. Jestin will be the firm’s first managing partner based outside of Chicago, which she said reflects the firm’s growth into a global firm.
“We handle cases all over the world,” Jestin said. “It reflects where we are, and it’s a great statement about where we’re going as we continue to do incredible work for a great roster of clients.”
In a statement, Martin praised the duo’s leadership and management skills and said they held the confidence of the firm’s clients and partners.
“I am looking forward to working with them and the rest of our leadership team on our strategic plan as we continue our commitment to focus on our core values of professional excellence, pro bono and civic engagement, and diversity and inclusion,” Martin said.
Jestin joined Jenner in 2007 after serving as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where she handled criminal investigations including fraud and white collar matters.
Jenner & Block has been a go-to firm for large corporate investigations, having burnished its reputation on cases including the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the General Motors’ ignition switch investigation, and the New Jersey “Bridgegate” scandal involving the administration of former Gov. Chris Christie.
After starting his career at Jenner, Mehrberg rejoined the firm in 2016. He had spent significant time in-house including as general counsel of Exelon and president of PSEG Energy Holdings. Mehrberg said the alignment among the Jenner partnership around the firm’s core values is a “real differentiator” in the market.
“I see greater alignment here frankly than I’ve seen in organizations elsewhere,” he said. “That is a great place to start and build on.”
Jenner’s energy practice officially launched when Mehrberg joined the firm. In April, the practice received a significant shot in the arm with the addition of eight lawyers who had previously worked at a Chicago-area boutique firm. That group had previous connections with Exelon, a major Jenner client.
Jenner & Block has strong ties to a list of other large companies with headquarters or major presences in Chicago including General Dynamics, United Airlines, Aon and the Crown family.
Still, the firm’s growth has stalled with three straight years of revenue declines, according to American Lawyer’s financial rankings. The trade publication reported the firm brought in $441.3 million last year, while its partners took home profits averaging just north of $1.5 million.
Martin declined to comment on the firm’s performance so far this year beyond saying it would be a “solid” year.
“We are really excited,” he said, commenting on the new leaders. “And that excitement is not just in the room, it’s throughout our partnership.”
(Updates with comments throughout from interview with Martin, Mehrberg, Jestin and Truax.)
To contact the reporter on this story: