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Interview Series

Christopher Trowbridge

Bell Nunnally, United States

20 Feb 2024

Legalink is thrilled to announce the publication of its recent interview with its new Chairman, Christopher Trowbridge.

How does it feel to take on the role of Chairman at Legalink?

It’s a high honor to serve as chairman of Legalink. Bell Nunnally has been fortunate to be a member of the network for almost ten years, and it has been a wonderful experience as we have expanded our capabilities thanks to Legalink’s global reach and high-caliber roster of firms and attorneys. What’s great about Legalink is that we are truly a collaborative network, rather than just a branding exercise. Our practice groups – in areas such as international litigation and arbitration, FinTech, labour & employment, and M&A  – bring together outstanding legal minds to collaborate and innovate, driving the dialogue of law forward and opening new pathways to success for our clients.

Can you share some of the key goals and objectives you have in mind for Legalink during your tenure as Chairman?

First and foremost, my mission is to ensure that the steady growth – of member firms and of our member collaborations – continues. It is also vital, as in any leadership role, that we remain focused on active dialogue with our members. We have 68 members across six continents all of whom are vital to the organization and deserving of my time as, collectively, we drive the group forward. I’m also quite focused on building the name recognition and prestige of Legalink, finding new ways to showcase our communal insights and each member’s designation in the work they do for clients at their firms.  A Legalink membership is a badge of excellence.  To highlight that excellence, we are launching an Annual Report that will demonstrate the activities of the network for the prior year and “tell our story” about why we are such a valuable network.  We are also rebranding the look of Legalink, including the logo, and revamping and updating our website to provide the network with a modern, current look with the latest capabilities.

How do you see your background as a managing partner of Bell Nunnally contributing to your success as Chairman of Legalink?

Managing Bell Nunnally requires the same skillset I bring to Legalink – good listening skills, understanding and constantly learning about how we can add value to clients and members, clear and direct communications, challenging us to achieve new heights, and being a relentless cheerleader for our collective good. I’m so fortunate to work with my colleagues – both at Bell Nunnally and at Legalink – all are best-in-class. Just like my firm is a constellation of unique personalities, so too is Legalink. My charge in both instances is to provide the optimum environment for individual and collective success. I am continually learning and fine-tuning as a leader and, also, a team member.

A Legalink membership is a badge of excellence.

Collaboration among member firms is often a cornerstone of legal networks. How do you plan to foster stronger collaboration and engagement among Legalink member firms?

We have tremendous current collaboration, and I view it and the great work our members produce as a virtuous cycle: other members see the activity and want to collaborate – on webinars, white papers and in client engagements. Legalink is going to continue to push for visibility of our brand and our thought leadership efforts. Doing so reinforces the value of the network to members and helps serve as a motivating factor in new client engagements.  Three new initiatives – the ESG practice group envisioned and headed up by Paulo Câmara, the Women in Law practice group, and the Legalink Academy Alumni group will facilitate an increased dialogue and collaboration.  Another way we plan to foster collaboration is by simply asking – picking up the phone or the keyboard and tapping members to come together to share knowledge on emerging and important topics. This is a tremendous group of minds with which to collaborate, and I have no doubt we can put together outstanding content for each other and our clients. Our regional groups in Latam, Asia, Europe, and North America help provide us with that stronger interconnectivity and collaboration.

What can you tell us about yourself and your journey as a lawyer?

From a young age, I always wanted to be an international lawyer. To this day, any legal matter or issue that has an international element always captures my interest. I’m a proud graduate of Baylor University for both undergraduate and law school and a very contented resident of the great State of Texas, a hub of international business with tremendous reach to the business and cultural centers of the world. My litigation and international arbitration matters take me to courtrooms and hearing sites all across the United States, which I very much enjoy as someone who yearns to travel. And with Legalink, both on our virtual programs and for our conference, I am able to hear from and see so much of the world beyond the United States. Of course, my Legalink friends are always, always welcome to join us here in Texas for a visit and see how our unique “can do” spirit shines, as well as our great TexMex and BBQ!

Could you highlight a significant achievement or project in your legal career that you are particularly proud of?

In one of my more interesting and colorful matters, I was able to secure a $23.1 million jury verdict on behalf of national cattle broker in a fraud matter involving a check kiting scheme and fraudulent cattle transactions. The outcome received nationwide press coverage and was named to the "Texas Lawyer Hall of Fame Verdicts" list. It was also selected as a "Top Verdict" by The National Law Journal. The phrase, “Don’t mess with Texas” is well known. I would add, “Don’t mess with another person’s cattle here in the U.S. It won’t end well for you.”

Can you share an example of a successful collaboration within Legalink that you've been a part of?

Just in the last six months, I’ve been able to work with Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster in Mexico on a Mexican audit involving the USMCA free trade agreement, Uryu & Itoga in Japan on a matter involving the U.S.-Japan Income Tax Treaty, and Azman Davidson & Co in Malaysia involving an audit from the United States Department of Labor.  Texas’ role in the global economy ensures a need for collaborating with Legalink firms around the world.

What's a fun or interesting fact about yourself that your Legalink members might not know?

To mark my 50th birthday, I summited Mount Kilimanjaro – a lifelong dream of mine. It was a tremendous moment in my life and an opportunity to pause and be grateful for the fantastic colleagues I work with at Bell Nunnally and Legalink and the good we are able to do in our profession – for our clients, for our communities and for those who are vulnerable through our robust pro bono programs. I firmly believe that there are more peaks to scale in life and the challenge and honor of leading Legalink is one that I am excited to pursue with vigor.

How do you enjoy your free time outside of work?

Spending time with my family is always my go-to. I have a wonderful, supportive wife and three amazing daughters. These are my treasures, and we have some amazing adventures together. For “me time,” I like to hit the gym and specifically the local CrossFit gym. I’m an early bird and I take comfort in the company at the wee hours of the days – fitness-focused men and women who are balancing work and family, making the most of the time they have. Physical exercise sharpens my mind and gives me the wherewithal to tackle challenges for clients. It’s a must for me and something we encourage all our employees to enjoy regularly.