For the first time in more than two decades, Ulmer & Berne will have new leadership beginning October 1. The 108-year-old Midwest regional law firm today announced the election of Scott P. Kadish as its fourth-ever managing partner, and the appointment of Patricia A. Shlonsky as partner-in-charge of its Cleveland office. Kadish and Shlonsky will succeed Harold “Kip” Reader as managing partner and Cleveland partner-in-charge, respectively. This transition has been planned over a period of years as a part of Ulmer’s commitment to proactive succession planning – a vital strategic component of a law firm’s long-term success.
Reader led the firm to unprecedented growth and success during his 21-year tenure as managing partner and Cleveland partner-in-charge. This included opening a Cincinnati office in 2000 to respond to an increasingly sophisticated state, regional and national clientele; the firm’s first expansion outside of Ohio with the 2001 opening of a Chicago office; the development of several new practice groups; and the recruitment of key attorneys throughout the firm as part of its strategic growth initiatives. Reader will remain with Ulmer as a partner, where he will continue to serve his clients in the areas of complex business litigation, insurance coverage litigation and product liability.
“It’s rare in the modern legal industry for a managing partner to lead a firm for as long as Kip has led Ulmer,” Kadish said. “But for those who have been fortunate enough to work with Kip, his longevity should come as no surprise. His judgment, integrity and tireless and selfless efforts simply cannot be replicated. We are grateful to Kip for the contributions he has made to the firm’s success and all of our careers, and I know I speak for our entire firm in thanking him for his service over the last 21 years. I’m honored to take on the monumental task of following in Kip’s footsteps, and will work as hard as humanly possible to live up to the example Kip set.”
Based in Ulmer’s Cincinnati office, Kadish is one of the firm’s most-respected attorneys and leaders. He has spent his entire 16-year career at Ulmer as a member of the firm’s Management Committee, as partner-in-charge of the Cincinnati office, and as chair of the Leasing and Retail groups.
In addition to overseeing Ulmer’s strategic direction and day-to-day operations, he will maintain his office and practice leadership roles, while continuing to serve his clients. Kadish’s national practice focuses on representing landlords and tenants in the development and lease-up of shopping centers. He also counsels clients on a wide variety of real estate and business transactions, and general business law.
“Scott has been a leader here at Ulmer since the moment he joined, so his transition to managing partner feels very evolutionary,” Reader said. “As our first-ever managing partner from an office other than Cleveland, Scott’s election represents Ulmer’s true regional scope. While we have significant roots in Cleveland, we are pleased to have the opportunity to attract the best legal talent from across the Midwest. So it’s only natural that we would eventually have a leader based in one of our other offices.”
In succeeding Reader as partner-in-charge of Ulmer’s Cleveland office, Shlonsky will oversee the office’s daily operations and performance, keeping them aligned with the firm’s overall strategic direction, and ensuring that Ulmer remains an outstanding place to work.
A highly respected attorney, Shlonsky has been chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits and Tax Groups for many years, a member of the firm’s Management Committee since 2012 and the Compensation Committee for 15 years.
“I’m excited for us to have the opportunity to appoint an attorney of Patty’s caliber to lead our Cleveland office,” Kadish said. “A longtime partner and leader at our firm, she understands our culture and strengths as well as, if not better than, anyone else at Ulmer, and has the admiration and respect of everyone in the office. She may also be the smartest person I know. Patty is the ideal choice to succeed Kip as leader of our Cleveland office.”