White and Williams Names Patricia Santelle as the Firm's First Female Managing Partner
White and Williams LLP announced that the firm’s leadership has elected Patricia Santelle as Managing Partner of the firm and Chair of the Executive Committee. Ms. Santelle will serve a three-year term that begins immediately. This appointment marks the first time in the firm’s history that a female will be in that role. Ms. Santelle follows the path paved by Virginia Barton Wallace, the first White and Williams’ female partner and the first of any firm in the City of Philadelphia.
“We at White and Williams feel fortunate and proud that we have a partner of Patricia Santelle’s caliber,” said Peter Parashes, Chair of the Subrogation Department and long-standing member of the Executive Committee. “Patti is an exceptional human being, an outstanding lawyer and a person who possesses the intellect, leadership qualities and energy necessary to be successful in the position. We are confident that we will have continued growth and success under her leadership.”
Ms. Santelle’s appointment comes after the sudden passing of former Chairman Guy Cellucci on November 16th. He was the managing partner of the 230-attorney law firm for the past three years. “It is with mixed emotions that I take on this role. In the face of such tragic circumstances, I am deeply honored and also extremely humbled to be elected to this position,” said Santelle. “I was very close with Guy both professionally and personally, and shared in his vision for the firm. He was a valued mentor to me and I look forward to building on the plans he had begun but did not have the opportunity to complete.”
Ms. Santelle started at White and Williams in 1990 after a one-year clerkship with an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and three years as an associate at a major New Jersey law firm. She became a partner in 1995 and was elected the Chair of the 65-lawyer Commercial Litigation Department in 2011. Since 1999, she has been the Co-Chair of the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Group. She is also a member of the firm’s Executive and Compensation Committees. Notwithstanding the difficult economic times, under Ms. Santelle’s leadership, the Commercial Litigation Department has seen targeted growth, particularly in New York and Boston, and is now 85 lawyers in size. By attracting well-respected laterals, the department has been able to increase the services it provides to its clients while maintaining the high caliber representation clients expect from the firm. In addition to her significant contributions in her leadership roles, Ms. Santelle has a robust practice representing major property and casualty insurers in coverage matters involving asbestos, environmental, toxic tort and other long tail exposures. She has achieved considerable success on a national level in her field.
Since 2005, Ms. Santelle has been selected in a survey of her peers as a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics magazine. For the past two years, she was also selected as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for her work in the Insurance field, and nominated by her peers and named to Who’s Who in Legal for her work in the field of Insurance and Reinsurance.
Ms. Santelle is a former member and Past Chair of the District IV Ethics Committee in New Jersey and has been twice appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve as a Special Master on complex ethics proceedings in New Jersey. She is Past Chancellor of the Board of the Rutgers-Camden Law Alumni Association. In 2010, she received the Scarlet Oak Meritorious Service Award by Rutgers University for her contributions as an alumni leader at Rutgers-Camden Law. She is also President of the Board of Trustees of the C. Wallace Stuard Sailing Foundation.
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