Latham & Watkins chair and managing partner Bill Voge is resigning his post immediately and retiring, according to a statement from the firm’s executive committee.
The statement says Voge tendered his resignation after voluntary disclosures regarding “the exchange of communications of a sexual nature with a woman whom he has never met in person and who had no connection to the firm.”
Voge then “engaged in subsequent conduct relating to this matter that, while not unlawful, the executive committee concluded was not befitting the leader of the firm,” the statement said. The firm accepted Voge’s resignation, “determining that these lapses in personal judgment made continued service as chair untenable.”
Voge’s conduct didn’t involve the firm, its clients or firm personnel, the statement said.
Voge also released a statement saying he was stepping down “with great sorrow.”
“I made a personal mistake for which I bear considerable fault and humiliation,” he said. “I deeply regret my lapse of judgment and I am sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused my family, friends, and colleagues.
“My conduct falls well below the personal and professional standards I have tried to uphold throughout my entire career. My disappointment in myself is all the more acute because this lapse does not represent who I am and what I believe, and because I have let down our firm and its people, all of whom I so deeply cherish and respect.”
Voge was elected global chairman and managing partner of Latham in 2014, the New York Times reported at the time. It was the first change of leadership at the law firm in 20 years.
Voge joined Latham in 1983 and became a partner in 1991.
His duties will be handled in the interim by the firm’s current vice chairs, Ora Fisher and Richard Trobman.