King & Spalding has unanimously re-elected Robert D. Hays, Jr. as its chairman in a vote that will usher in his sixth term at the helm of the international firm. His new three-year term began on January 1, 2021.
“Robert Hays continues to bring unparalleled strategic vision, innovation, and inspiration for legal excellence,” said Tracie Renfroe, Managing Partner in Houston and the policy committee member who announced Hays’ re-election. “He has led King & Spalding to new levels of growth and client service. His remarkable performance and enthusiasm for empowering our global team led to his election for an unprecedented sixth term.”
Hays took up the role of chairman in 2006. Under his tenure, which has been bookended by two historical crises – the Great Recession and the current pandemic – K&S has transformed from a regional to a global law firm, opening 17 offices around the world to create a high-value platform that builds on our core areas of strength. As chairman, he initiated a strategic review of the firm to ensure King & Spalding was positioned to serve its national and international clients and be a professionally rewarding firm for its lawyers to practice. The firm, under his leadership, has tripled in both size and profitability, growing more than almost any of the other Global 50 law firms over that time.
“It’s a privilege to be re-elected as chair for another term, especially as 2020 has been such a challenging year, both personally and professionally. However, seeing the dedication, discipline and drive of all our lawyers, IT team, office services, administration and support staff worldwide come through during the Covid threat has been an inspiration,” Hays said. “We now must focus on the future, maintain our momentum and ensure that we keep adapting and indeed, evolving as a firm.”
Hays is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar, and he earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was selected to the Vanderbilt Law Review and was a Patrick Wilson Scholar.