Lawyer Christianne Kerns, a member of the business practice group at Pasadena-based law firm Hahn and Hahn LLP, has been elected the firm’s Managing Partner effective March 1, the firm announced Thursday.
“Chris is an obvious choice to guide us into the next decade,” current Managing Partner Karl I. Swaidan, who has held the post for the past 13 years, said in a statement. “Her leadership experience, sound judgment, and successful track record will benefit us and our clients as we look to tackle future challenges head on.”
Swaidan decided to step away from day-to-day management of the firm so he can spend more time on his trust and estates and tax practice. He will remain a member of Hahn and Hahn’s Executive Committee.
“Hahn and Hahn has been in existence for more than 120 years,” Kerns said after her election. “I think much of that longevity is attributable to strong leadership. I know I speak for all of the partners when I say that we are enormously grateful to Karl for guiding the firm to where we are today.”
Kerns is the first woman elected to lead Hahn and Hahn, and only the fifth managing partner since the founding Hahn family entrusted the administration of the firm to the broader partnership.
Kerns says her goals include remaining true to the firm’s values and vision for high quality legal representation in and around Southern California.
The firm will continue its long emphasis on providing clients with excellent legal counsel and economic value, broadening its deep community ties in the region, and leveraging its recent certification as a majority Women- and Minority-Owned Business Enterprise, she said.
“It’s an interesting and exciting time in the legal profession,” Kerns said. “From the fast pace of emerging technologies, to the interconnectivity of social media, coupled with continuing efforts toward diversity and inclusiveness, and social responsibility and sustainability practices, we are rising to the occasion. As leaders in the business community, lawyers need to be thoughtful, agile, and proactive.”
A native Angeleno, Kerns hales from a family of respected civic and community leaders, including her great uncle, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, and her cousins, current Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. As a member of the Hahn family – no relation to the founding partners of Hahn and Hahn – Kerns was indoctrinated at an early age to the life of a servant leader.
Kerns earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and advises institutional clients, boards of directors, equity holders, and C-suite executives on a wide variety of commercial transactions and general business matters.
Kerns counts among her clients the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the Rose Bowl Management Committee, and the Huntington Memorial Hospital Trust.
In 2018 and 2019, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Kerns as one of Southern California’s Most Influential Women Attorneys.
In 2019, Kerns was one of a select group of top female executives chosen to participate in Harvard Business School’s Women on Corporate Boards executive program.