Over his 20+ year career in the legal industry, Tom has established himself as a globally recognized thought leader and expert in practice management & economics, information management, legal technology, and knowledge management. During his career, he has held several C-level positions at leading Amlaw 100 firms including Cadwalader, Reed Smith and Sheppard Mullin. In 2016 he was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Law Practice Management and in 2013 was named by the National Law Journal to their inaugural list of 50 Business of Law Trailblazers & Pioneers.
As a Partner at Fireman & Company, Tom specializes in building and leading teams aimed at improving firm efficiencies, profitability, attorney working practices and user experiences. His career success stems from a deep understanding of law firm financials and business practices then strategically aligning them with legal processes, attorney behaviors, and best of breed legal technologies.
Tom has been a member of a number of industry boards including the Thomson Reuters Engage Advisory Board, Law Technology News Editorial Advisory Board, the Lexis Nexis Advisory Council, and the Law.com Technology Advisory Board. He is regularly asked to present at and chair international and domestic conferences covering emerging trends in the legal industry.
Senior Manager of Strategic Pricing and Client Strategy
Nicole Beck Senior Manager of Strategic Pricing and Client Strategy
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Nicole leads Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s firm-wide pricing and process improvement initiative. She works closely with lawyers, firm leadership, business directors and knowledge management teams to create pricing models, work flows, business objectives and guidelines consistent with the internal pricing and process improvement strategy. She interfaces directly with clients to assess their needs and foster stronger, broader relationships through transparency and collaboration. Responsible for pricing and planning in concert with increasing the delivery of value to clients, Nicole works to identify and implement knowledge management best practices, including capturing, organizing and harnessing institutional knowledge to ensure that legal teams have access to the right information at the right time. She continues to expand capabilities firm-wide in all practice areas, with keen focus on client-driven initiatives.
Marcie Borgal Shunk is President & Founder of The Tilt Institute, specializing in helping firms shepherd significant transformation. Marcie trains and coaches leadership teams and emerging leaders to create dynamic plans, shift mindsets and motivate action. She combines the principles of leading change with deep analytical experience in the business of law to give her clients a comprehensive toolkit to apply to ever-changing challenges and opportunities. Marcie also co-founded and piloted The Leadership Institute with John “The Purple Coach” Mitchell to prepare law firm leaders to lead through dynamic change.
Marcie is an outspoken proponent of change and is quoted in leading legal publications globally including Bloomberg, The American Lawyer, Law360, Practice Innovations, The Legal Intelligencer. She speaks regularly at industry events including CFO/COO Forum, Marketing Partner Forum, Legal Value Network, CI in the Modern Law Firm, Law Firm Profitability and various Managing Partner roundtables.
Marcie is a Fellow of College of Law Practice Management, an ALM Intelligence Fellow, Faculty Member of Executive Institute on Inclusion, Board Member of BizDev Gals and former board member of Legal Marketing Association. She holds numerous certifications including cultural assessments through Human Synergistics International and Smart Collaboration Accelerator. She graduated Harvard University in 1996.
Toby Brown is the Chief Practice Management Officer for Perkins Coie (www.perkinscoie.com). In this role Toby works with firm partners and clients in developing pricing arrangements and service delivery models that drive successful relationships. This role includes practice management, pricing, legal project management, lateral partner acquisition, practice innovation and alternative staffing approaches. Prior to this, Toby served as the Chief Practice Officer for Akin Gump (www.akingump.com) and served in pricing roles for both Vinson & Elkins (www.velaw.com) and Fulbright & Jaworski (www.fulbright.com). Before joining Fulbright, Toby served as a Director for the Utah State Bar (www.utahbar.org).
Toby presents nationally on legal pricing, practice management, knowledge management, marketing, technology and law firm management for associations, law firms, legal departments and law schools. He is the founder of the P3 Conference (http://www.legalmarketing.org/P3Conference) and was the founding chair of the Client Value group that owns the conference. Toby is also the founding President of the Board for SALI (www.sali.org). SALI is the standards body for the legal industry. He has published numerous articles, along with the book, Law Firm Pricing: Strategies, Roles, and Responsibilities. Toby has served on a number of legal services boards, bar association task forces and legal market organizations. He was named to The National Law Journal ‘s 2013 list of Legal Business Trailblazers & Pioneers and received the Peer Excellence Award, the President’s Award and the Anne Charles Award from the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE – www.nabenet.org). Toby received his BS and MS in Economics from the University of Utah.
Kyle Day is the CFO for Snell & Wilmer and manages the Accounting & Finance department as he seeks to deliver new tools and capabilities to stakeholders inside and outside the firm. His strengths include accounting specialties related to partnership operations, financial reporting, and tax compliance; and he is focused on budgeting, pricing, and profitability business intelligence tools and analytics.
Previous to joining Snell & Wilmer, Kyle was a manager in PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) national Tax Technology practice. As a team, they built an application used for tiered-partnership tax compliance in the Asset Management space (private equity, real estate, venture capital, hedge funds), which served a client base of over $600M in revenue. Kyle served as the liaison between the development team and the broader tax practice and managed relationships with more than 3500 internal partners and staff who represented over 500 of the firm’s largest clients.
In July 2016, Kyle was part of a four person team that won PwC's firm-wide Innovation Competition and was awarded funding for prototyping an algorithm that predicts and prevents tax audits and tax controversy.
Kyle is a licensed CPA in Arizona and was recognized in 2012 for being in the top 10 of all Arizona CPA exam scores. Kyle has instructed at PwC's Tax Leadership Conference (TLC), Arizona's Tax Executive Institute (TEI), and PwC's Americas' School of Mines related to multiple areas of accounting and tax law.
Michelle Ferrara is the Chief Financial Officer for Sandberg Phoenix and Von Gontard, P.C. (www.sandbergphoenix.com). In this role, Michelle oversees accounting, billing, information technology, facilities, and operations, and leads a team of 28. Michelle plays a key role in working with practice group leaders and management to improve firm efficiencies, enhance profitability reporting and analytics, and optimize financial performance through strategic business opportunities. She also manages budgeting, firm policy, compliance, and risk management but her true passion lies in using business intelligence and AI to enhance law firm profitability and finding operational efficiencies through automation.
Before joining Sandberg Phoenix, Michelle worked as a CFO in the financial services sector. Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her MBA from Washington University.
Matt Finke, Thompson Coburn LLP’s Chief Financial Officer, oversees all accounting, billing and tax work, and leads the 30-member financial team that plays a key role in the firm’s accounting, taxes and budgeting, as well as mergers and expansions. Before joining Thompson Coburn, Finke worked as a CPA and business consultant with RubinBrown. As former Partner-in-Charge of RubinBrown’s Law Firm Services Group, he provided consulting services to some of the region’s largest firms — including Thompson Coburn.
Jessica G. Gichner Sr. Director, Pricing & LPM Solutions
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Jessica Gichner is the Chief Value and Solutions Officer at Pillsbury. She leads a team responsible for matter budgeting and monitoring, process improvement, legal project management, knowledge management, technology solutions, litigation support and eDiscovery. She regularly collaborates with the firm's attorneys to develop solutions that are tailored to meet individual client needs, as well as provide transparency and predictability.
Jessica also has experience in matter management, business development coaching, marketing strategy, associate development, attorney staffing, and law firm women’s initiatives.
Prior to working in pricing and legal project management, worked as a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP, where she focused on finance transactions, both as borrower’s counsel and lender’s counsel.
Anusia Gillespie is Vice President, Solutions Lead at UnitedLex, an enterprise legal and technology services company that optimizes legal departments for the world’s most iconic brands. Anusia builds and scales UnitedLex solutions across all service lines and works with clients to ensure gold standard impact across legal department workflow, culture, talent, and technology. Anusia joined UnitedLex from her role as the Global Co-Head of Innovation at Eversheds Sutherland (US), where she led innovation strategy and built client impact solutions across practice groups. She began her journey in NewLaw during her prior post at Harvard Law School Executive Education, where she designed and launched business of law programs for practicing lawyers from around the world. Connect with Anusia on LinkedIn.
Kathy Hall is an accomplished financial executive with more than 30 years of law firm financial leadership experience.
Kathy serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Winstead PC, a national business law firm with nearly 300 attorneys across 8 offices. In this role, Kathy leads the day-to-day financial strategies and accounting management for Winstead, and works with the Board of Directors to maximize the firm’s financial performance.
Over the course of her career, Kathy has worked for a variety of AMLaw 200 law firms across the country, partnering with leadership and staff teams to manage financial strategies, accounting information, analysis and recommendations for key business initiatives, and performance monitoring and improvements. She has helped drive a variety of complex financial and accounting system conversions and implementations.
Kathy serves on the Global Advisory Board for AchieveNEXT, which serves public and private mid-market corporations and organizations in North America and specializes in making valuable peer-to-peer and vetted vendor connections for financial and human resources executives.
Kathy’s passion for finance and accounting began at the University of Mississippi where she completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy. Kathy enjoys collaborating on ways to help law firms increase overall firm profits and improvements in the management of practice groups and client relationships.
Tom is the CEO/President of Iridium Technology -- the firm that is 100% focused on business intelligence (BI) for law firms. Tom has been focused on business intelligence and profitability for law firms for over 20 years. Prior to starting Iridium Technology, Tom worked for ADERANT for 13 years, with most of his tenure as the Product Manager for ADERANT's business intelligence offering. Tom is a regular presenter at ILTACON and has served as the Chairman for the ARK Profitability and ARK BI conferences for the four three years. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara, and was selected as the outstanding Computer Science student in his graduating class. He lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and two sons. All of the Jones family members are avid skiers, fitness nuts, golf crazy, and love to travel.
Robert McGowan Chief Operating and Finance Officer
Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
Robert McGowan plays a key role in maintaining the financial health and vision of the firm. He oversees all business, financial and administrative operations, and is responsible for establishing internal procedures and controls, implementing new tools to drive profitability and overseeing all tax, audit, and compliance issues.
Prior to CSG, he served as the CFO of a New York City-based international law firm and as the Global Director of Finance & Accounting for an AmLaw 100 firm. He was also the CFO of an aviation services company based in Groton, Connecticut and worked as an audit manager for a “Big Four” accounting firm.
At the start of his career, he spent more than 17 years as an active US Army Infantry and Aviation officer, attaining the rank of Major.
Patrick J. McKenna is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, strategist, and seasoned advisor to the leaders of premier law firms; having had the honor of working with at least one of the largest firms in over a dozen different countries. A sparing partner and sounding board to firm leaders, McKenna helps by asking the right questions, confronting orthodoxies, unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit, building strategy alignment and enhancing profitability
He is the author of eleven books most notably his international business best seller, First Among Equals, currently in its sixth printing and translated into nine languages; with his most recent work entitled Strategy Innovation: Getting To The Future FIRST (Legal Business World, 2019).
Patrick’s decades of experience led to his being the subject of a Harvard Law School Case Study entitled: Innovations In Legal Consulting (2011). Examples of that innovation include his being instrumental in working with the College of Law Practice Management back in 2004 to develop the annual InnovAction awards; wherein he was responsible for selecting the name for the awards, participating in framing the award categories and criteria, and serving on the judging panel for the first three consecutive years. He is also known to have launched the first instructional program designed to specifically address the issues that new firm leaders of larger firms face in their First 100 Days – which graduated over 80 new leaders, many from AmLaw 100 and 200-sized law firms, as well as from notable accounting and consulting firms
Patrick serves on the advisory boards of companies in the international media; legaltech; and healthcare industries. He is a contributing editor to Of Counsel, The Legal Practice and Management Report based in New York; writes a periodic column for Legal Executive Institute; is the recipient of an “Honorary Fellowship” from Leaders Excellence of Harvard Square; and was voted by the readers of Legal Business World as an international Thought Leader (2017 – 2019).
Senior Director, Product & Business Management, OnePlace Operations & Finance
Jill Nelson Senior Director, Product & Business Management, OnePlace Operations & Finance
Jill Nelson looks after the business end of OnePlace Operations & Finance, including Intapp Time, Intapp Pricing and the intersections of those products with Intapp Terms. She combines 20 years of legal tech experience across finance, product management, and product marketing with a strong affinity for analytics to offer a multidimensional approach to providing Intapp clients and stakeholders solutions that make a meaningful impact on their firms.
James Omerza Director of Pricing and Practice Management
Snell & Wilmer
James Omerza began his career at PwC, one of the world's largest accounting firms as a practicing Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Between 2009 and 2017, he serviced and managed numerous high-profile clients. James received a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a Master of Science in Taxation from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He also received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance, Business Strategy, and Organizational Behavior from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University.
James is currently the Director of Pricing and Practice Management at Snell & Wilmer LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm. James oversees the firm’s profitability reporting, pricing strategies, and alternative fee arrangements. He also assists practice group leadership with managing and developing business strategy, practice areas and industry groups, knowledge management, matter management software, and legal research.
Tanvir Rahman is the Chief of Planning & Analytics at McDermott Will & Emery.
He has senior level experience in strategic planning and talent management at several large firms. Special interest topics and experience relevant to the conference include leverage, pricing, profitability, real estate, lateral partner hiring, and practice area and firm expansion.
Tanvir received his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford and MBA from Kellogg.
Rob is a partner in LP's Trusts & Estate Practice group and has served as Levenfeld Pearlstein's Chairman and Managing Partner since January 2013. Throughout his decades of experience as a Trusts & Estates attorney, Rob has counseled high net worth individuals, owners of closely held businesses, and their families on an array of estate, gift and income tax planning, and business succession planning. He welcomes the opportunity to work with clients to creatively problem solve the issues that matter most to them - their families, their businesses, and their legacy.
Rob's knows estate and tax law can be complex and recognizes that a large part of his job is to present information in a digestible, applicable format that keeps his clients and their families informed and involved. He strives to explain how asset protection planning and the creation of sophisticated structures will help legitimately protect his clients' wealth from the claims of potential future creditors. Estate planning matters commonly involve long-term and multigenerational planning. As a natural outgrowth of that, Rob has been actively involved in both contested and routine administration of trusts, guardianship, and decedents' estates.
To better assist his clients, Rob stays on top ever-changing tax and estate laws through active involvement in the trusts and estates legal community. He was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in 2002. Rob's election to ACTEC was in recognition of his professional reputation, expertise in the field of trusts and estates and his continuing contributions to these fields through speaking, writing, and bar activities. He is a frequent speaker on estate and tax planning matters and has been a member of the faculty of the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education's (IICLE) annual Estate Planning Short Course for 20 years.
In addition to his practice, Rob is also active in charitable and civic matters. He is a past President of Moriah Congregation in Deerfield, Illinois, past chair of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and serves as an advisor to several charitable organizations in Chicago. Rob also is a member of the Executives' Club of Chicago and a proud graduate of the renowned Wexner Heritage Foundation program for Jewish leaders.
Rob appreciates the confidence given to him by clients in an area of the law that takes trust and innovation to bring insight and integrity to a client's matters.
John Sterling Chief Strategy and Practice Development Officer
Chapman and Cutler LLP
John Sterling is Chapman’s Chief Strategy and Practice Development Officer. John works with the Chief Executive Partner and the Policy Committee on strategic planning initiatives, with practice groups on practice development and management matters, and Chapman Practice Innovations on strategic growth and business development initiatives, among other projects.
John has over 25 years of experience in law firm strategy, practice development and management, and market research. He is the author of two books on law firm strategic planning and strategy implementation; is a contributing editor to Strategy & Leadership, a leading strategic management journal; and is a past president of the Association for Strategic Planning Chicago Chapter, as well as the Strategic Management Association in Chicago and the Strategic Leadership Forum.
Prior to joining Chapman, John served as Chief Marketing Officer for a leading intellectual property specialty firm. In addition, John worked for over 25 years as a management consultant, where he helped industrial and consumer product companies, health care and professional service firms, as well as not-for-profit organizations develop strategic and business/practice development plans and address specific practice management issues.
Pieter van der Hoeven, a former M&A lawyer with 15 years of experience in the legal industry, is the co-founder and CEO of Clocktimizer. Clocktimizer is an award-winning legal technology company that helps law firms to understand who is doing what, when, where, and at what cost. Global 100, Am Law 100, and Am Law 200 law firms use Clocktimizer to make data-driven decisions around matter management, budgeting, and pricing. Before starting Clocktimizer in 2014, Pieter was an M&A lawyer at DLA Piper and earned his MBA from Rotterdam School of Management and IE Business School.
Pat has served as Chair and Managing Partner of Spencer Fane since 2013. During that time, Spencer Fane has been among the fastest growing firms in the AmLaw 200 more than tripling in size. Pat has been recognized by clients and colleagues as one of the: best in the country in delivering outstanding client service to General Counsel of the world’s largest companies (BTI Consulting, Law360); Most Influential Lawyers in the Country (The Business Journals), the Country’s CyberSecurity & Data Privacy Trailblazers (National Law Journal); Law Firm Leaders of the Year for driving greater value and efficiency to clients while growing Spencer Fane (Missouri Lawyers Weekly); and Most Influential Business Leaders in the Region (Ingram’s Business Magazine).
Pat received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, MBA from The University of Texas Graduate School of Business (San Antonio); Economics Degree from the University of Kansas; and certification in Management Excellence from the Harvard Business School.