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A shoo-in: Hogan Lovells partners prepare to back CEO Zaldivar for a second term

The board of Hogan Lovells has given its unanimous recommendation for Miguel Zaldivar (pictured) to be re-elected as the firm’s chief executive for another four-year term, starting on 1 July 2024.  The move will be subject to a partner vote, which closes at the end of August.

Succeeding Steve Immelt, Zaldivar assumed the role of the firm’s CEO on 1 July 2020, after previously serving as the regional CEO for Asia Pacific-Middle East, based in Hong Kong.

In a statement confirming the board’s recommendation, Hogan Lovells chair Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, former head of the Lovells Paris office, said: ‘Miguel and his management team have delivered outstanding results over the past three years, steering our firm through turbulent and unprecedented times to achieve our highest ever financial performance, while keeping a strong focus on continuing to foster our ambitious and supportive culture. He has a clear vision and strategy, which we believe will lead us to even greater success.’

Under Zaldivar’s leadership, the firm announced ‘record’ financial results for 2021, adding $300m to its top line as revenue increased 13% from $2.3bn to $2.6bn. PEP also shot upwards 26% from $2m to $2.5m.

However, the firm’s latest financial report revealed a 7% decline in revenue to $2.43bn, alongside an 8% decrease in PEP to $2.28m. Nonetheless, Zaldivar emphasised that the firm’s performance remained strong: ‘This was actually our second-best year ever. Last year was a record year for us,’ he told Legal Business at the time.

Zaldivar’s tenure so far has been eventful to say the least. The firm’s much-talked about merger talks with Wall Street giant Shearman & Sterling having fallen over at the start of March, Zaldivar the same month assured Legal Business that the firm’s strategy remained unchanged. Alongside four core offices in London, Washington DC, Paris and Germany, he told LB that the firm aims to expand in three key US markets. ‘We said in 2020 that our priorities include a focus on growth in three markets: New York, Texas and California. And that remains true.’ He added.

Last year the firm added private equity partner Parikshit Dasgupta from Reed Smith in New York, as well as hiring M&A partners Christoph Naumann and Torsten Rosenboom from Watson Farley & Williams as part of a team transfer in Germany the year before.

The firm promoted the largest class of partners ever this year, elevating 38 new partners and 77 new counsel including the highest percentage of female partner promotions in the history of the firm, at 58%.

However, the firm also faced departures under his leadership, including the exit of two longstanding partners. Last year pensions partner Faye Jarvis moved to Macfarlanes in London while M&A partner Ben Higson left to be appointed as Vinson & Elkins’ London head of corporate.