After 14 years of leading the firm to new heights, and 41 years of service to the firm, Womble Carlyle’s Keith Vaughan transitioned to Chairman Emeritus on Jan. 1st. In a new and wide-ranging interview with the Winston-Salem Journal, Vaughan discussed his tenure as the firm’s leader, Womble Carlyle’s growth into new markets, the changing demands of the legal services industry and his thoughts on the future of law firms.

Some highlights:

“Clients have embraced technology as a way to expand the scope and depth of their services, entered new markets around the world, and been quick to act on changes in their own customers’ adaptations to the marketplace. Successful law firms have been there every step of the way, making similar changes.”

“The dramatic changes in the world, and specifically the marketplace, will challenge attorneys to provide legal service in different substantive areas and in different ways than has been the case.”

“I have been afforded the opportunity to be part of the growth and change that has occurred. But perhaps most rewarding to me is the fact that, notwithstanding the significant growth and enormous practice changes that we have experienced, Womble Carlyle is fundamentally the same firm it was 40 years ago — a group of highly talented professionals committed to integrity, devotion to clients and respect for the individual, and ready both to face the future and to lead the way.”

Keith Vaughan has been Chairman of Womble Carlyle since 2002. Vaughan currently serves as Chair of Lex Mundi, the world’s largest association of independent law firms with more than 21,000 attorneys representing 160+ firms in more than 100 countries.. Over the past 30 years, he has tried numerous jury and bench trials, handled various administrative proceedings and argued a wide range of matters in appellate courts in matters involving business, product liability, toxic tort and environmental issues. He also has served as national coordinating counsel for a Fortune 500 company’s product liability litigation, and was class counsel in a series of class action lawsuits.