Law firm Roetzel & Andress said it has named Robert E. Blackham as chairman.
Blackham, who is taking the helm Jan. 1 from current chairman Jeffrey J. Casto, is the first chairman who is not based in the firm's Akron headquarters.
Roetzel said in a news release that Casto and Blackham "have been working in tandem over the past year to ensure a seamless transition." Blackham previously was partner-in-charge of the firm's Cleveland office and National Practice Group chair.
"I am looking forward to continuing the progress and growth of the firm through my position as chairman," Blackham said in a statement. "We have an exciting vision for the firm, which centers on our clients, and I am confident that our talented attorneys and staff will help us achieve those goals."
Casto will continue his role at Roetzel as a partner in the Business & Commercial Litigation group. He focuses his practice on the defense of product liability lawsuits, as well as probate and trust litigation.
Casto was chairman for five years.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to have led this great law firm, and I am confident that Bob will continue our great heritage of client service as we move into the future," he said.
Roetzel has offices in Ohio, Florida, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. It had 77 attorneys in Northeast Ohio according to Crain's most recent list of the region's largest law firms, published on July 25.
Overall, the firm has 340 employees, including 172 attorneys.View PDF