Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP is pleased to announce that Elizabeth O. “Betty” Temple has been elected by the Womble Carlyle partnership to be the firm’s next Chair. Temple, a long-time Womble Carlyle partner and head of the firm’s Public Company Advisory Team, assumes the top leadership role on January 1, 2016.

Temple succeeds Keith Vaughan, who will retire as Chairman at the end of 2015 after 15 years in the post. In this role, Temple will lead the 14-office, 550-attorney firm, including guiding the firm’s focus on client service, strategic growth and international engagement via Lex Mundi.

“I am delighted that my Womble Carlyle partners overwhelmingly supported the nomination of Betty Temple as the next firm chair.  I very much look forward to working with Betty during the coming year as she prepares to lead the Firm in 2016,” Keith Vaughan said.

Reflecting the firm’s commitment to serving clients on the super-regional, national and international levels, Temple practices in Atlanta and Greenville, SC  She counsels high-value public clients around the US on transaction-based growth strategies. Temple has more than 25 years of experience in the high-stakes M&A, securities and corporate governance arenas, and has been active in numerous leadership roles throughout the firm and the profession.

Temple also has a demonstrated dedication to client service, as she has twice been named to BTI’s Client Service All-Star Team, a distinction reserved for fewer than 200 attorneys worldwide. “As an attorney, I advise senior management and boards of directors on strategies that will move the needle for their companies. As Chair, I will use those same skills and depth of experience to try to guide Womble Carlyle and our clients toward growth and greater success,” she said.

Temple’s appointment represents a number of milestones for Womble Carlyle—she will become the youngest Chair in firm history, as well as the first woman to lead the firm. Nationally, fewer than 10 percent of The Am Law 100 law firms are led by women attorneys, according to Law360.com.

“The firm’s leadership has tremendous confidence in Betty, and she’s well-respected by our clients,” Vaughan said. “I am grateful to have been Chairman during such an exciting period of Womble Carlyle’s history, and I look forward to remaining a member of this wonderful law firm.”

Under Vaughan’s leadership, Womble Carlyle added offices in Northern Virginia, Delaware, Baltimore, Charleston, Columbia and Silicon Valley. Vaughan also spearheaded expanding the firm’s relationship with Lex Mundi, the world’s largest association of independent law firms, with member firms in more than 100 nations. Vaughan currently serves as Chair of Lex Mundi.

“Womble Carlyle has a strong foundation on which to continue growing, both in terms of client relationships and attorney headcount to give our clients the best chance possible to succeed,” Temple said.

About Womble Carlyle

Womble Carlyle is a 550-attorney law firm that corporate clients rely on to provide core legal services, such as Complex Business Litigation, Mass Torts, Intellectual Property, Corporate & Securities, Finance and Real Estate.

Our focus is the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Silicon Valley markets, and from this footprint, we serve clients in matters across the country and across the world. Clients trust us because we understand their businesses, focus on their successes, demonstrate a commitment to help, and deliver value for their dollars they spend on us.

Thanks to Womble Carlyle’s partnership with Lex Mundi, the world’s largest association of independent law firms, we can offer clients access to quality-tested local counsel in more than 120 countries. Lex Mundi provides seamless access to local attorneys and market knowledge throughout the globe.

Our 24 offices on both sides of the Atlantic provide a breadth of legal experience and services to meet our clients’ needs, without losing the intimacy of being deeply connected to our local communities. For more location information, click here.