San Francisco, CA/ September 2004 -- Minneapolis attorney Marko J. Mrkonich has been elected managing director and president of Littler Mendelson, the nation's largest employment and labor law firm.
Mrkonich's six-year term begins April 1, 2005, when current managing director Wendy L. Tice-Wallner takes leadership of the firm's board of directors as chairwoman. Wesley J. Fastiff, who has served as board chair for more than 10 years, will become chair emeritus, assisting with the transition.
Littler's board of directors elected Mrkonich with a unanimous vote. He becomes the first attorney from outside California to lead the San Francisco-based firm, which has grown to more than 400 attorneys in 28 national offices. Mrkonich launched Littler's Minneapolis office in 1998 and served four years as the office's managing partner before being asked to join the firm's executive committee.
Tice-Wallner, managing director since 1999, has presided over a period of dramatic growth in which Littler has expanded from 351 to more than 415 attorneys and opened seven offices in key metropolitan areas. The firm's revenue has grown by 35 percent under Tice-Wallner's leadership. Littler limits its managing director to a six-year term. As the first female managing director and president, and now as chair-elect, Tice-Wallner joins a handful of women in comparable roles at other major law firms.
“Under Wendy's leadership, the firm has realized unprecedented growth in our revenues and the quality of attorneys, and has vastly expanded our footprint to key markets, enabling us to serve our clients more effectively,” said Fastiff. “As Wendy and Marko step into their new roles next spring, I look forward to working with them on the firm's continued growth, depth of representation, aggressive advocacy, expansion, as well as, client service innovation – which has always been Littler's trademark.”
Along with managing the firm's Minneapolis office, Mrkonich has served on Littler's good business practices committee, associates committee and shareholder compensation committee. In addition, Mrkonich chaired the shareholder compensation review committee, which was responsible for the overhaul of the firm's compensation structure. “Since joining Littler, I have been fortunate to work with some of the very best people in the world in the area of employment and labor law. Under Wendy's guidance, the firm has opened new offices, achieved new practice and financial successes, and developed a new strategic plan. The result of these efforts has created a law firm poised to move to the next level of success with a bona fide global presence. I look forward to leading the firm in that effort,” stated Mrkonich.
As board chair, Tice-Wallner will work with Mrkonich on implementing the firm's strategic planning initiatives and expansion. The two will team with Fastiff to ensure continuity in management of firm operations and planned growth. Tice-Wallner will also focus on client development and provide counsel to her extensive client base.
“I am honored to have the confidence and support of the firm in pursuing the vast opportunities that are within our grasp. With the significant changes that are occurring in the workplace, both nationally and internationally, Littler is poised to dominate the next phase of client representation and service in this dynamic area of practice,” said Tice-Wallner.
Mrkonich is a native Minnesotan. Before joining Littler, he served as chairperson of the labor and employment practice group at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, where he practiced for 17 years.
Littler Mendelson, with more than 400 attorneys in 28 offices nationwide, is the largest law firm in the United States practicing exclusively in employment, employee benefit and labor law, representing management. The firm's client base ranges from Fortune 500 companies to small-business owners. Established in 1942, the firm has litigated, mediated and negotiated some of the most influential cases and labor contracts in the nation's history. Its affiliated global migration practice, Littler Global , provides support to major companies in moving employees around the world. For more information, visit www.littler.com.