Cozen O'Connor recently announced fundamental changes to the firm's governance structure to carry the firm forward as it transitions from its first generation leadership.
The new governance is based on a continuation of the firm's strong executive culture, with broad powers to the CEO, a management committee to lead day-to-day practice and business activities and a board of directors predominantly elected by the firm's shareholders and reflective of the firm's geographic reach throughout the United States, London and Toronto.
Shareholder voting on the election of directors, the admission of new shareholders and other important matters will be on a weighted voting system with weighting based on compensation. All shareholders will have the same number of shares.
Founders Stephen A. Cozen and Patrick J. O'Connor have relinquished their control positions but will remain active in the firm's practice and policymaking, and will serve as chairman and vice chairman of the firm, respectively. Mr. O'Connor will continue to serve as CEO until a successor is selected.
The Honorable Nelson A. Diaz, former city solicitor of Philadelphia, general counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and administrative judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, has joined Cozen O'Connor.
In private practice for more than 10 years with Blank Rome, Mr. Diaz concentrates his government relations and dispute resolution practice on public and affordable housing.
The youngest judge elected in Philadelphia to the Court of Common Pleas, and the first Latino judge in Pennsylvania's history, Judge Diaz served the court until 1993. He went on to become the first Latino to be confirmed and named to a general counsel position in a presidential administration, when President Clinton appointed him as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.