Gussack, who served two three-year terms as chair and who has been one of the few women in the nation to lead a major U.S. law firm, will continue her health-care litigation practice. She has been one of the firm's most productive partners in terms of billings even as she served as chair.
Freeh, a former federal judge who was FBI director under President Bill Clinton, formed his own firm in 2006 and has headed numerous internal-corruption and compliance probes.
As FBI director from 1993 to 2001, he had a reputation as a tough-minded law-enforcement official who occasionally clashed with Clinton and members of his administration on matters of policy and the law.
After leaving the FBI, Freeh served for a time as vice chair and general counsel of MBNA America Bank in Wilmington.
Pepper Hamilton has made a series of high-profile moves. A year ago, it announced that it had selected Scott Green, a non-lawyer and Harvard-trained M.B.A., to serve as CEO, with responsibility for both daily operations and strategic planning. Both practice group chairs and the heads of non-legal departments report to Green.
The move was seen in the legal world, where leadership almost exclusively is composed of lawyers, as not only non-traditional, but even daring.
Freeh said that the use of in-house consulting and investigative services by a law firm was unusual, as well, and that he expected it, along with other practice areas, to drive growth at the firm.
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