Carlile Patchen & Murphy appoints new managing partner

Jess Deyo
Columbus CEO
Jane Higgins Marx

Carlile Patchen & Murphy has appointed Jane Higgins Marx to the role of managing partner. She began the role Feb. 1 and is the third woman to serve as managing partner in the firm’s 53-year history.

Marx came to Carlile Patchen in 2000 after graduating from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She started as an associate and was promoted to a partner in 2010.

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Most recently, Marx served as the chair of the family wealth and estate planning group. She regularly counsels individuals, business owners, executives and caregivers on estate planning, charitable giving, business succession and more. She also offers in-depth planning for disability and offers counseling on special needs and elder law issues.

In her new role, Marx will help with oversight of company operations. Her appointment is part of a succession plan by Carlile Patchen’s partners to help maintain and further company growth. Marx was named a Top Lawyer by Martindale Hubbell in 2020, an award she has received since 2013.

“I love what I do,” Marx says. “I don't know what else I could possibly be doing. I have the pleasure of working with people every day and helping them. I get to do what I went to law school to do, which is to help people.”

For Marx, the desire to step up within the firm came naturally. Working with the firm for two decades, she has proven to be committed and has an interest in assuming management and leadership responsibility, she says.

“We’re a 53-year-old firm, we’re regional, and we’re hitting our stride,” Marx says. “I want to continue to help us grow and position ourselves for another 53 years.”

A priority for Marx is to maintain the firm’s tradition of legal excellence, provide a culture her team wants to work for, and train the next class of attorneys. It’s crucial to take care of clients as well, she says, which she describes as the firm’s “lifeblood.”

Marx is proud to be the third woman appointed to the managing partner role, a trail that was paved decades ago by Carol Sheehan, the first woman to be appointed to the role in 1997 — she began at the firm in 1977 and continues to serve.

Within the past few years, Sheehan has stepped down from various roles within the company to allow others to continue to grow and challenge themselves. Over the years, the firm has always had a goal to hire people, retain them and foster leadership skills, she says.

“It was lonely at the beginning — there were no female partners for years and years. I’m just delighted that Jane has done as well as she has,” Sheehan says. “She’s doing a great job in terms of picking up the mantle and helping lead us into, as she says, the next 50 years. If you check in 20 or 25 years, you’ll probably see her sitting in the same spot she’s in now.”

For Marx, she hopes that her appointment to managing partner will offer a sense of comfort to future generations of women in the workforce.

“I hope I’m an example to younger women lawyers who aspire to be in a management and leadership position,” Marx says. “This is possible, this is doable, this is attainable.”

Jess Deyo is associate editor of Columbus CEO.