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Women in Business 2020

Sherry Perna

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Chief Operating Officer, Morris James

Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli

Got a good lawyer joke? Sherry Perna’s heard them all—and still, she loves her job and the attorneys at Morris James, one of Delaware’s largest law firms.

Perna is not an attorney; she started in Morris James’ accounting department in 2000. The next year, she was promoted to controller, a position she held until 2017 when she became COO, although that was not the title she was given. Perna was first named executive director even though her responsibilities were that of a COO.

“Knowing what other larger law firms do, I went to the executive committee then and said that people in my role at comparable firms have a COO title,” Perna explains. “I requested to have the title changed so I could be in my peer group.” The committee acquiesced, making Perna the first female COO in the history of Morris James’ Delaware firm.


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