Before JPMorgan, Woolery spent 17 years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he established and led Cravath's business development and strategy group. He joined Cravath as an associate in 1994 and was elected a partner in 2002. Woolery earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
As deputy chairman at Cadwalader, Woolery is a possible successor to White, though Woolery declined to comment on whether he has ambitions to become chairman.
"That's not pre-ordained," he said, noting that the successor will be elected by firm partners.
Woolery's addition reflects a sharper focus on strategy after the financial crisis, when Cadwalader let go of dozens of attorneys and saw headcount decline in recent years.
And Woolery brings an expertise as a merger specialist, a role that had been filled by Dennis Block, who left Cadwalader in 2011 to join Greenberg Traurig.
According to an early report from The American Lawyer's financial coverage of the highest-grossing firms, Cadwalader saw a solid 4 percent increase in gross revenue and a 11.6 percent jump in profits per partner in 2012the first increase in profits it has enjoyed since 2009. The firm's gross revenue rose to $466.5 million and profits per partner expanded to $2.65 million, according to The American Lawyer, an affiliate.
The American Lawyer reported that the firm reduced its overall attorney head count by 6 percent to 435, a change that contributed to an 11.4 percent increase in its revenue per lawyer, to $1.075 million
In a statement, White said, "Jim brings more than two decades of experience advising corporations and boards on the most important business challenges facing them. His arrival at Cadwalader adds to our already strong corporate capabilities. His partnership with our roster of highly experienced and respected corporate, financial and regulatory attorneys will help us continue to advance our clients' interests."
@|Christine Simmons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.