Derek J. Hardesty is our Chief Operating Officer and has ultimate responsibility for all nonlegal operations of the firm. Working with the heads of finance, marketing, PR, sales, human resources, recruiting, professional development and facilities, Derek drives improvements in the support the firm provides its lawyers so they can help our clients solve their business and legal challenges.
In his leadership role, Derek manages the numerous elements that make our global law firm run smoothly and efficiently. He is also closely involved in the design and execution of the firm’s business and people strategies.
Prior to becoming COO, Derek was the firm’s Director of Strategic Projects where he worked with our Chair, Policy Committee, and industry, practice and office leaders to design and execute strategies to align the firm more effectively with our client’s needs and to grow the depth and breadth of the firm’s expertise in its key areas of strength. In that role, Derek also worked with firm leaders to design and implement changes to our compensation, bonus and recruiting processes.
Previously, Derek served as our Director of Professional Development, where he was responsible for leading the firm’s training programs for our lawyers and clients.
Before devoting his full time to firm management, Derek was a litigation associate and focused on tort and product liability matters and private equity. He has experience litigating individual matters, class actions and multi-district suits in the southeastern U.S., as well as with investment fund formation and the issuance of convertible debt.
From 1999–2001, Derek was an associate in McKinsey & Company’s Atlanta office. During this time, he worked on a variety of engagements involving strategy, customer segmentation, customer retention, management training and operations.
Derek frequently speaks on law firm management, effective support of practicing lawyers and leadership in law firms.
- J.D., Harvard University
- B.A., Duke University
- State Bar of Georgia
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