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Harry Trueheart, III

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Harry Trueheart, III - Page Text Content

1: On the occasion of this celebration and recognition of your many accomplishments as our Managing Partner, it is with great delight that we present you with reflections from your partners and colleagues about your leadership impact. June 6, 2012

2: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams

4: Harry has had a significant impact on my career at NP—he is probably the one person responsible for my (still) being here. Initially, his leadership by example taught me key lessons about how to practice law—do it right, don’t accept anything less than excellence, be proud of the firm’s reputation for quality. Over time, I saw those same principles applied to his leadership style. I describe Harry as perspicacious, derived from the Late Latin word perspicacious meaning "sharpness of sight." Harry had that sharpness of sight described as vision; he knew that Nixon Hargrave needed to grow by merger, and then that Nixon Peabody needed to grow. He was discerning, perceptive, and penetrating (all synonyms for perspicacious). His extraordinarily high standards challenged us all to rise and push geographic boundaries beyond expectations. Those who fell short did encounter the Harry look (eyes closed, glasses raised to forehead while he rubbed his head or the bridge of his nose in obvious distress). I made it through the associate ranks in large part because Harry was transitioning to leadership roles and needed his bag carrier (me) to take over. It was pretty modern to advance a young female litigator back in the 1980s. But he did, and for that I am (still) grateful. - Carolyn Nussbaum

6: Harry's vision of a national law firm enabled me to raise the quality of my practice to the highest and most rewarding level, from a team-building, intellectual, and financial perspective. - Andrew Glincher

7: Harry mentored and coached me over the many years we worked together. I was forever asking for more challenges. He believed in me, and together we grew my role within the firm. He encouraged me to always stretch for excellence - and with his support, I had the confidence to do it. - Terri Pease

8: As to impact, in large part I believe that Harry's vision is our firm. - Jim Hood

9: Harry encouraged me (to put it very mildly) to “reach up.” He convinced me to take a giant leap of faith with my practice. It was probably the best professional advice I ever received, and I am very grateful. - Susan Roney | Harry’s leadership transformed this firm from a local firm, into a regional firm, into a national firm, and finally into an international firm. It’s very easy for people (especially lawyers) to forget who we once were, how far we have come, and who deserves the credit for navigating the shark-infested waters along the way. - Lori Green

10: He supervised and orchestrated the merger and growth of the firm making us what we are today. I do not think that we could service the types of clients that we have if the firm had not undergone this transition. - Jim Bourdeau

11: But for Harry Trueheart, I doubt NP would have ever come to exist. - Larry DiCara

12: “Disaggregate”—a core HPT leadership precept describing his belief that, to be understood and solved, complex challenges were to be reduced to their simpler parts and then worked on. As Mark Twain wrote: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” For me, Harry’s leadership portrays the valuable but sometimes difficult lesson that, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot, only by challenging yourself to improve and perhaps risk going too far is it possible to see just how far you can go. - Kevin Fitzgerald

15: Harry’s leadership impacted me by giving me the opportunity to form our Private Equity practice, which has turned out to be one of the firm’s most successful and well-known practices. Without his support and assistance, I never would have had the chance to run with this opportunity that has benefited both the firm and me over the last 10 years. As to his impact on the firm, Harry’s vision of what he wanted the firm to be led us to grow through our mergers with Peabody & Brown and Lillick & Charles, and to expand the firm’s footprint and reputation. Without his thoughtful approach to both of these transactions, we would not be where we are today. - Charley Jacobs

16: Harry’s leadership impacted me in my second year at the firm. I was handed a set of musty red-ropes containing files from the meetings surrounding the enactment of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law in 1969. They became my holy grail in dealing with NY nonprofit issues until I worked on the bar committee to amend the law in 2002. The author of those memos was a newly-minted associate, HPT III. - Mike Cooney

18: One of Harry’s strengths is the ability and disciplined focus to think and act strategically. Such a mindset has had a profound impact on the firm’s growth. His willingness and patience to review and consider growth by mergers and assimilations, and likewise to envision how such developments might shape the future direction of the firm, led to significant growth of the firm and its emergence on more of a national platform for its services. His insights were a key building block for the firm that exists today. | Harry also has had a significant impact on my life. His encouragement and support for my lateral move from another law firm to partnership in this firm has, as they say, “made all the difference.” I have thoroughly enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, my professional experiences and friendships within the firm, and I have never looked back. My career in the firm is a blessing for me, which I share with younger partners. - Jim Locke

19: Acutely aware of the challenges facing the profession, Harry had a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate that vision to both attorneys and staff. He made you feel like you had a role and a stake in helping the firm achieve that vision. Whether you agreed with his vision or his leadership style, it was clear that his motivation was the firm’s continued success. - Liz Chiapperi

20: The firm thrived under Harry’s leadership. Staff felt that management listened to them. - Janet St. Pierre

21: Harry's leadership caused us to be transformed from a firm with excellent local practices to one that now includes excellent national and international practices. History has shown firms that did not undergo this transformation have either not survived or have struggled. Harry's leadership saved us from those fates. - Steve Zubiago

22: As for his impact, I think as the moving force behind the Peabody merger Harry got us started and is more responsible than anyone else for our becoming the firm we are today. As a member of the Management Committee at that time I got to see his role first hand. He guided the process very skillfully at a time when there was not inconsiderable opposition at NHD&D to the merger. As for me personally, since I now spend about half of my time in Boston, the merger and Harry’s stewardship of it had a very direct and significant impact on my life and my practice. - Jack Fitzgerald

23: He was the calm but driving force in the Nixon/Hutch merger. He kept the discussions going, understood all constituencies, and worked tirelessly to get a deal done. People on the Hutch side came to trust and respect his judgment. - Jon Karis

24: He got the firm moving toward having a national and international footprint. His energy and (occasionally) subtle and (rarely) understated personality put us onto a path that has resulted in offices in many of the most desirable markets in the country. His goal of having NP be one of the nation’s best places to work set him apart from other big time managing partners, and the fact that we achieved it sets us apart from other big time law firms. Harry is a thinker, planner, and doer. We are far better positioned for the future as a result of his efforts. - Rick Jones

25: The firm he changed fundamentally. To me he provided endless amusement and arguments. - Sue Stewart

26: Harry's leadership pushed the firm to expand strategically to new growth-oriented markets with higher rate capacity and income potential. - John Gerhard

27: He fostered an environment of benchmarking with peer firms to produce improvements. - Tom Farace

28: Harry took the time to think about and get to know our business, and he asked thought-provoking questions that, while sometimes having a “cross examination” flavor to them, pushed me outside the conventional way of thinking, tested assumptions, and led to more creativity in my leadership. - Jean McCreary

29: Harry had the vision to meld an array of regional firms into a cohesive national firm. Not only did he make everyone feel they had a true say in the endeavor, because he cared what people thought and actually was a consensus builder; he also made everyone believe we were all on equal footing—no one office was more important than another. - Paul Schrier

30: Harry was the perfect co-managing partner for the times. He (and Nestor Nicholas, the Peabody & Brown managing partner) drove the merger that has become Nixon Peabody to its successful conclusion. Both firms had doubts about the other, but Harry and Nestor managed, through their inspired leadership, to make this marriage of equals work. The Peabody & Brown/Nixon Hargrave merger can be viewed as the model for successful law firm mergers since 2000—it was good then; it is better now. Looking across the landscape of failed law firm mergers since ours, we should acknowledge how lucky, and difficult, the process was, and how much we owe to the first co-managing partners who led us during that tumultuous period. - Bill Codinha

31: Opportunity! The development and growth of the firm created opportunities for all of us. We worked hard, learned a lot, and felt a great sense of collective and personal accomplishment and pride along the way. I will be forever appreciative for the opportunity to be part of such a dynamic firm and great place to work. - Mary McGuire

32: I responded "visionary" to question 1 because Harry had a very clear grasp on the changes that have engulfed law firms over the past 15-20 years, and he had the foresight to position the firm to meet these changes. The firm is obviously very different from what it was when Harry became managing partner, but through his leadership and indefatigable effort, it is much stronger and in a much better position to serve its clients today and into the future. For this, we should all be grateful. - Gene Ulterino

33: Harry had the vision to see what NP could be and he led us there. - Susan Robfogel

34: The example that comes to mind occurred during my presidency of the state bar in 1995. The Republicans had recently taken control of the House of Representatives, and the issue was tort reform. The state bar, with its many differing constituencies, struggled with this issue, but the business community, i.e., many of our clients, suffered from no such impediment. Rather than fight the battle state by state, they saw a chance to achieve their goal through national legislation.

35: The state bar took the position that tort reform should not be addressed by the federal government, but rather by the various states, each with its different economy, tort laws, and judicial rules. No one seemed particularly bothered by that position, but when I, as president, sent a letter stating that position and its reasoning to each member of the association, all hell broke loose. Some of our largest clients were active in promoting the federal legislation and informed Harry, as managing partner, of their unhappiness with my letter. | To Harry’s credit, and I believe the firm’s, he never criticized or asked me to reconsider my position even though some of our clients implied that it might affect their decision to use us in the future. To the best of my knowledge, none of those threats came to pass, and I maintained a good personal relationship with the general counsel who had been upset. Without Harry’s principled stand, the issue of tort reform could easily have morphed into how pressure groups affect the positions of the organized bar. The media would have loved it. - Bob Witmer

36: I was on the subcommittee that recommended Harry be selected as our managing partner in the mid-‘90s. The common description of Harry at that time was that he was a visionary, and that his focus clearly was external, on client service and how the firm presented to clients and their needs. What we did not fully appreciate at that time were the innate and strong leadership skills that Harry possessed, and how he would grow into the role and lead the firm from a regional to a national, and ultimately an international, player. He executed a thoughtful strategy, taking the time to convince the firm to follow his lead. Harry was not afraid of risk or taking a position that was beyond where most of our partners may have been in their thinking, but he continued to push, process, and drive to successful implementation. And he had a drive that would not accept defeat. By any measure—size, geographic scope, depth of practice, client service, and financial results—we are a better and stronger firm. That is a tribute to Harry’s vision and leadership. What I continue to see in attending various managing partners' roundtables and conferences is the deep level of respect and admiration that other managing partners in our profession hold for Harry and what he and the firm have achieved.

37: We should all be thankful and appreciative for all Harry has done to better the firm; without his leadership, there is no question we would not have achieved all that we have. From a personal standpoint, I deeply appreciate all that Harry has done to educate and guide me over the course of my career—my experience with him has tremendously enhanced my development and professional satisfaction. Many lessons, not the least of which is to be willing to take thoughtful risk after fully assessing both the positive and negative outcomes, and to not hold back if the steps forward will be for the betterment of the firm or its people. As we look back at Harry’s leadership, we see a period of tremendous positive change for the firm, driven by Harry’s vision. - Brian Flanagan

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