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‘A springboard for greater success’: Johnston elected as next Addleshaw managing partner

Addleshaw Goddard has announced that Andrew Johnston has been successful in securing the position of the firm’s managing partner through an uncontested election, serving a four-year term to start on 1 May 2024.

Having joined the firm in 2013 to oversee the firm’s M&A practice in the Middle East, Johnston (pictured) previously worked at Clifford Chance. He became a board member in 2014 and assumed the role of head of Middle East and Asia in 2019, during which time he led the firm’s Middle Eastern business to record financial performances.

The financial year concluding in April 2023 alone witnessed the most rapid expansion in the Middle East in the firm’s history, with a 43% increase in income recorded in its fastest-growing region. Earlier this year, the firm unveiled intentions to establish a new office in Riyadh, marking its fourth office in the region, and is ambitiously aiming for a 60% revenue increase in the Middle East over the upcoming five years.

Johnston’s election marks a historic moment for the firm, the first time a managing partner has been elected from outside the UK. He will take over from John Joyce, who held the position of managing partner from 2014, having been re-elected in 2017 and 2021. Joyce’s decision to step down earlier this year, a year ahead of schedule, accelerated the process to select his successor.

Although Johnston possesses impressive credentials, he faces the challenge of stepping into sizable shoes, as Joyce leaves behind a legacy marked by substantial financial growth, two successful mergers in Scotland, as well as significant European expansion in Germany, France and Luxembourg.

During the time of Joyce’s leadership, the firm has also experienced substantial growth in partner numbers, increasing from 178 to 386. Over the past nine years, the financial robustness of the business has seen remarkable improvement, with its income surging from £166m in FY13/14 to £443m, and profits for the same period risen by over 200%. The firm’s balance sheet reflects this prosperity, boasting an unprecedented closing cash position of £146m at the end of FY22/23, a stark contrast from the deficit of £16m in FY14/15.

In a statement, Johnston outlined his main objectives: ‘My ambition is for AG to double in size by 2030. I am looking forward to the firm capitalising on the strong platform created under John’s leadership and using it as a springboard for greater success. We will continue to invest where clients need us the most and I will be giving as much focus as I can to ensuring that we flourish as a thriving global business, dominant across the UK, with greater influence in the City, and even more famous for high-quality imaginative, impactful advice that delivers real competitive advantage.’