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Mackenzie Hughes names first woman managing partner

By Eric Reinhardt


Anne Ruffer
Anne Ruffer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Mackenzie Hughes LLP has named Anne Ruffer its managing partner, the first woman to lead the law firm in its 135-year history.

Ruffer, who is in her 11th year on the firm’s executive committee, will serve as chair of the committee and succeeds Stephen Helmer, who served in the role since 2008, the Syracuse law firm said in a news release.

“I’m honored that the firm’s partners have entrusted me with this important role,” Ruffer said. “It is my goal to continue our legacy of providing excellent legal work for our clients and maintaining our support to the community, while always looking for new opportunities to expand our services and practices. I’m grateful for Steve’s vision and leadership over the past 11 years as the firm’s managing partner. He is well known in the community and a respected leader who has moved us forward technologically and orchestrated our recent move to the Mackenzie Hughes Tower.”

About Ruffer

Ruffer, who joined Mackenzie Hughes in 1987, focuses her practice on estate planning, which includes wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health-care proxies, living wills; estate and trust administration; special-needs planning; estate litigation; guardianships; elder law; and long-term care planning.

She has also been recognized for her pro-bono work in the community with the Onondaga County Bar Association’s Distinguished Pro Bono Award and the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Service Attorney Award.

Beyond her legal work, Ruffer serves as a trustee of the Vera House Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. Over the years, Ruffer held various leadership positions in the organization. She also continues to volunteer at Vera House’s Monday Night Legal Clinic, where she advises people dealing with domestic violence and related issues.

Ruffer also serves as the chair of the professional advisors group at the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc. In previous years, she has served as the chair and a trustee for the Onondaga County Bar Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the Onondaga Bar Association.

Contact Reinhardt at

Photo credit: Mackenzie Hughes LLP 

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