Eberle named Husch Blackwell CEO

Milwaukee executive to lead national firm

Paul Eberle Husch Blackwell

Paul Eberle has been elected chief executive officer at Missouri-based law firm Husch Blackwell. The title will be effective Feb. 1, 2018 and run for a three-year term.

Paul Eberle Husch Blackwell

Eberle began working for Husch Blackwell when the company combined with Milwaukee-based Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. last year. He was CEO of WHD beginning in 2009, and then was named deputy CEO at Husch Blackwell, helping to guide the firm’s overall vision and direction. Eberle previously founded and served as president of technology, services and leasing company Capital Data Inc., was a founding shareholder of document delivery company LaserNet Inc., and was an angel and real estate investor. In his new role, he will continue to be based in Milwaukee.

The combined firm contains more than 700 attorneys operating out of offices in 18 U.S. cities. Its C-suite executives are based in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee.

“The partners of Husch Blackwell have demonstrated time and again a willingness to adapt in order to provide clients with greater value and service,” Eberle said. “Having been on the client side for many years, I know how important it is to maintain focus on clients and on what drives their success. I look forward to continuing our evolution as a client-centered law firm, committed to a deep understanding of the industries in which our clients operate.”

Greg Smith, the current CEO, will move into the position of chairman, effective April 1. He also will serve a three-year term. Maurice Watson, who has served as chairman since 2012, will leave that role. He will work with Smith and Eberle to transition leadership over the next eight months.

“It has been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to lead the firm through a historic transformation of our business model since 2012,” Watson said. “I look forward to continuing my relationship with the firm as I transition to an exciting new chapter in my career.”

Smith has been CEO and managing partner at Husch Blackwell since 2012, and continued to practice real estate and development law. He joined Husch Blackwell in 1981.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead Husch Blackwell,” Smith said. “This orderly and long-planned transition provides a great deal of continuity for our partners and clients. Paul is a great choice as my successor and a clear example of our commitment to addressing our clients’ needs in the most efficient and innovative manner. I look forward to working with him and our partners as we continue to collaborate with our clients.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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