Lexington, KY - L. Tracee Whitley, the chief operating officer for Boston-based law giant Bingham McCutchen, has announced she will be joining her firm’s global service center at Coldstream later this year.
Whitley, a Harvard grad who obtained her law degree from Northeastern and an MBA from Boston University said she was not initially planning on working out of the firm’s operational center when she led the site selection process.
“We’ve got a lot of people working really hard right now to get the center up, people who are going to be working very hard to get it operational and successful and I just thought it was important that there was more explicit and direct senior staff support of that effort,” she said in a phone interview.
Asked if one year ago she would have believed she’d be getting ready to move Kentucky, Whitley said: “Definitely not.
“I’ve been living in the Boston area nearly 30 years, so I certainly didn’t expect to uproot to go anywhere, much less a state I’d never been to before,” she said. But all that changed with the gravity of Bingham’s operations hub in Lexington and what she’s found to love about Lexington.
“All of the things that we liked about Lexington in the course of our due diligence process when it got down to the finalist stage and the decision stage for us, those were the factors that started to really sway my own personal plans as well. It’s obviously a beautiful place, great quality of life, the historic downtown, vibrant activity there and the university community, the arts, the diversity and I think just generally the opportunity to participate in the community down there given what an important office for Bingham we’re going to have there,” she said.
Whitley, a native of Raleigh, NC will maintain her title as COO and will continue an extensive travel schedule for the firm that has around 1,000 attorneys, another 900 staff in offices in Beijing, Boston, Frankfurt, Hartford, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Washington.
The center is slated to open in April, but Whitley said she won’t be on the ground fulltime in Lexington until the summer as she is currently in the process of getting her Boston home on the market.