Richard Davis has joined McGuireWoods as the firm’s chief operating officer, bringing more than two decades of executive experience in global professional services firms. Davis succeeds Executive Director Robert Couture, who will continue to focus on law firms and the legal industry as a senior research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession.
Following a transition period, Davis will assume leadership responsibility for McGuireWoods’ operational departments and assist the senior management team in the development and pursuit of the firm’s strategic business priorities.
Davis joins McGuireWoods from Navigant Consulting Inc., which provides specialized consulting, outsourcing and technology services primarily to clients in the healthcare, energy and financial services industries. As a managing director with Navigant in New York, he led firmwide operational and strategic initiatives, including key account programs and the deployment of a new resource management system. He also chaired Navigant’s Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Prior to Navigant, Davis spent 10 years in senior executive positions at the global business advisory firm FTI Consulting. He previously worked at PwC, providing strategy consulting services to Fortune 500 and middle-market accounts. Davis earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA with concentrations in finance and strategy from Columbia Business School.
McGuireWoods Managing Partner J. Tracy Walker IV said Davis’ skills and experience make him a strong fit for McGuireWoods.
“Rich has played important leadership roles helping global professional services companies expand and innovate,” Walker said. “His experience managing client-facing initiatives and large-scale transformation projects will be a tremendous asset as we push forward toward our strategic goals. In addition, Rich’s collaborative leadership style fits perfectly with our firm’s culture.”
Noted Davis, “McGuireWoods has assembled a team of world-class lawyers and professional staff who are committed to excellence. As new opportunities and challenges emerge for firm clients, I look forward to putting my experience to work to strengthen its position as a market leader in delivering results and value.”
Couture has served as McGuireWoods’ executive director since 2005, a period of strong and consistent growth during which the firm dramatically expanded its geographic footprint and earned a reputation as one of the nation’s most innovative law firms. At Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, his research will focus on the steps large law firms are taking to compete with the Big 4 accounting networks. Couture also is exploring the use of “higher order” artificial intelligence applications and how they impact the practice of law. In 2017, he wrote the lead story in the CLP publication The Practice titled “ Postrecession Strategies: Legal market segmentation as the foundation for successful strategic planning.”
“Bob has been indispensable to McGuireWoods’ growth and success over the past 14 years,” Walker said. “He provided invaluable insight to senior management and oversaw major, client-focused initiatives in our operational departments that helped us earn recognition as one of the most innovative firms in the business of law. His contributions to the firm have been immense and we cannot thank him enough.”