Let’s be honest: although we strive to bring you the inside scoop about major law firms around the country, we don’t usually report on new law firm Chief Financial Officers. But the new CFO at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Linda Havard, is special. Check out her prior experience, from Orrick’s press release announcing the new hire:

Most recently, Linda served for 13 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Playboy Enterprises, Inc. in Chicago where she oversaw all areas of finance and technology including accounting, treasury, tax, insurance, strategic planning, M&A, internal audit and corporate development. Approximately 40 percent of Playboy’s revenue came from outside of the U.S., where the company had significant business operations in the UK and Latin America, and licensing operations in Europe and Asia. The company also completed a number of acquisitions during her tenure, as well as public and private equity and debt offerings. Linda led all areas of due diligence, negotiation, execution, and subsequent integration of major global transactions.

I’m going to go out and limb and say that after 13 years at Playboy, Havard is more then ready to handle any sexism Biglaw might have to dish out…

The fact that Orrick poached its new CFO from Playboy is funny (at least if you’re 12-years-old, which I am). But it’s also somewhat surprising that a well-respected (and expensive) law firm like Orrick wasn’t scared off by a woman who used to work for the publisher of an adult magazine.

A spokesperson for Orrick told us that Havard was simply the perfect person for the job:

We wanted someone with much broader and deeper experience than a typical law firm CFO… We wanted someone with corporate experience and public company experience… [Havard's] resume was really impressive.

Hey, if we can get more businesspeople (and fewer lawyers) managing law firms, maybe the world will be a better place.

But, despite stellar credentials, are we sure that Havard can adapt from the corporate culture at Playboy to the Biglaw culture at Orrick? Well, who says she’ll have to adapt? From the Orrick press release:

More importantly, we could see that Linda would be a great cultural fit with our firm and has the personality, drive, and team-oriented approach that will enable her to effectively lead our finance organization and help the firm thrive.

Boy, let’s hope Orrick is able to poach some more talent from Playboy in the future.


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