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LSSO MEMBER LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT


Chris Newman, Senior Director, Business Development and Client Solutions

McDermott Will & Emery 

With a dynamic background overseeing high-performing teams focused on complex client development and marketing initiatives for AmLaw 40 global law firms, including Cravath, Ropes & Gray, Cooley and McDermott, Chris Newman brings 17+ years of experience transforming firms’ brands and generating millions of dollars in revenue through industry leading growth initiatives. Chris is currently the Senior Director of Business Development + Client Solutions at McDermott. He operates as the second most senior leader in the firm’s MCBD department that has been shortlisted for awards from The American Lawyer and Financial Times, as well as receiving LSSO’s “Law Firm of the Year” award in 2023. Chris brings a significant amount of experience developing and executing sales enablement strategies, structuring operational infrastructures, building and deploying client-facing digital products, leading large-scale teams, and delivering lucrative results in fast-paced work environments.  

What is the greatest reward of being in your role?

Intellectual curiosity stimulation and daily opportunities to learn, teach and tackle novel needs with innovative solutions. Working in legal, especially Big Law, provides endless chances to get smarter – a motivation that has fueled my fire since I started in this industry ~21 years ago. I love the challenge of learning tough practice related subject matters and being able to have smart/savvy conversations with lawyers that help advance their thinking about go-to-market strategies, client needs and the state of the industry. I also love having opportunities to share this knowledge in the form of mentorship, serving as a sounding board for my peers, helping junior team members grow and/or influencing the industry through thought leadership and case studies. 

 

What's one book, resource, or person/mentor that has had a significant impact on you?

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is one of the best books I’ve read about creating high performing teams. It’s a quick read that does a fantastic job laying out the struggles that teams often face and never address head-on to achieve the results they set out to accomplish. Lencioni conveys his holistic observations and pointed takeaways in a smart, engaging fictional story. Understanding the five pillars that tend to lead to result driven organizations is foundational guidance that you can build on in micro and macro bursts. It’s easy to overlook why teams aren’t performing and this book redefines how to evaluate those situations, generate solutions, and grow from executing them.

 

Can you share a favorite quote or mantra that guides your leadership philosophy?

Years ago, when I was co-chair of a regional conference, the planning committee and I developed the tagline “simplify to maximize” as our theme. From the first moment I heard this three-word statement, it resonated with me and how I look at my role, my teams, the operations of a company and getting the results you desire. In an era where most people feel overwhelmed by the different paths they or their organizations can take to be successful and the constant flood of information and opinions being fed to us, sense making and simplifying our focus has never been more important. By regularly reminding myself that simplification can often lead to better focus and thus results, I feel better prepared to achieve what I want from myself and my teams.



Christie Cáceres, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer

Sheppard Mullin

Christie Cáceres is the Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer at Sheppard Mullin, an AmLaw 50 firm with over 1,000 lawyers. Christie has over 25 years of experience in legal marketing and oversees the firm’s BD and Marketing team which encompasses business development, marketing communications, sales, marketing technology, budgets, BD training and coaching, graphics, digital marketing, marketing programs, client feedback and client experience. 


Christie is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO). She is also active in charitable and community organizations. Christie serves on the Board, and is Fundraising Chair, for TotalLink2 Community, an organization which provides innovative programs and services that teach critical life skills to help prepare young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities for the world of work. She is also active in her local school district’s Parent Teacher Organization.

What is the greatest piece of advice YOU ever received?

    • A friend and mentor shared this with me when I came back from my first maternity leave and it changed my outlook on work/life balance. I try to pay it forward and pass along whenever I can. “You won’t be able to excel at everything every day. Some days you’ll be a great employee and a not-so-great spouse. Some days you’ll be a great mom and a not-so-great friend. Once you come to terms with the fact that you can only do what you can in a day to be your best, you will be more at ease.”
    • Can you share a favorite quote or mantra that guides your leadership philosophy?

    • I have two: “Feedback is a gift.” And “Assume positive intent.” The first is critical for any growth professionally and personally. Sometimes it’s hard to hear but if we don’t ask, we won’t know. And the second is one that I think reminds us that we are all human. Someone giving a trite response to your question may not be something you need to overanalyze. People are innately coming from a good place and they could just be having one of those days.

    • How do you stay updated on industry trends and developments?

    • This industry is small and people are very willing to share what works for them in their firms or with their teams. I am part of a few CMO roundtables and I find the interaction and peer network to be invaluable. Every firm is different so sharing best practices doesn’t mean you are sharing your firm’s strategic plan. You will need to make it your own at your firm but sometimes the inspiration is in the sharing. I also attend a few programs throughout the year that I think are very insightful, including LSSO Raindance.

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