Hope Krebs, a partner in Duane Morris, has been elected the first woman and second U.S.-based lawyer to lead Multilaw, an international network of law firms.
Krebs said she hopes to expand the organization's already expansive reach by growing its international presence.
Krebs was elected as chair at the Multilaw Annual Global Meeting on Oct. 17 in Hong Kong.
As the co-chair of Duane Morris' international practice group and a member of Multilaw's board and management committees, Krebs was chosen for a two-year term as chairwoman.
Krebs first got involved with Multilaw in 2002 in order to increase Duane Morris' global coverage.
"Firms like Duane Morris with offices in several jurisdictions use Multilaw and its member firms to fill out our geographic footprint," said Krebs, "so that we can serve clients no matter where their legal needs arise."
According to Krebs, Multilaw's member firms typically serve clients in the United States who need international services, as well as overseas clients looking to do business in the United States.
As chair of Multilaw, Krebs said she will recruit firms in new jurisdictions.
"We identify potential firms in these jurisdictions through various methods," Krebs said, "including recommendations from existing Multilaw firms who are in nearby jurisdictions or who have significant trading relationships with that jurisdiction."
Firms that qualify for Multilaw membership must be well known in their jurisdiction and able to meet the needs of a typical international business client, Krebs said.
Krebs succeeds Charles Brooks of Penningtons Manches in the United Kingdom.
When asked how her U.S. home base would affect her two-year tenure, she noted the biggest impact would be on perspective.
"Changes of jurisdiction often lead to changes in practice," Krebs said. "U.S. firms tend to be larger than most other countries' firms. But the legal market is changing for everyone; there are so many differences in how we practice."
Krebs also reflected on her status as the first woman leader of the group.
"There are challenges in certain countries, being a woman," Krebs noted, "but until I am going there I probably won't have to deal with anything. It has not been a barrier or issue that I have perceived, but 25 years is a long time without having a woman chair."
Krebs has already been credited with bringing change to the international organization.
"To date, Hope has been able to bring about some very positive changes in the organization," Multilaw Executive Director Adam Cooke said in a statement. "I firmly believe her enthusiasm and direct approach will be well received by our existing and prospective members and help position us for continued growth in the future."
While Krebs is not performing her duties for Multilaw she plans to continue her international tax practice with Duane Morris.
Reprinted with permission from The Legal Intelligencer, © ALM Media Properties LLC. All rights reserved.