Legal Business Blogs

‘Big shoes to fill’: Bristows appoints Cohen as new joint managing partner

Bristows has become the latest Legal Business 100 firm to elect a female leader, today (20 September) appointing life sciences co-head Liz Cohen as its new joint managing partner.

The appointment of Cohen (pictured), who joined the firm as a trainee in 1999 and made partner in 2008, follows the passing of the hugely popular Theo Savvides in a cycling accident in July and sees her link-up with joint managing partner and corporate specialist Marek Petecki. Despite her promotion, she will continue to advise her clients on patent litigation in the English courts, for which she has a leading reputation.

Cohen told Legal Business that she had been unanimously elected by the firm’s partnership, and was not worried about striking a balance between her managing partner duties and client responsibilities as ‘previous managing partners have done it well.’

On Savvides’ legacy, she commented: ‘It is obvious from the market’s reaction that he was held in very high regard, and therefore I have very big shoes to fill.’

In a statement, Petecki added: ‘Liz is a highly respected lawyer and a fantastic ambassador for the firm. I’m really looking forward to working with her in her new role, at what is a very exciting time for the firm.’

Alongside the news of Cohen’s appointment, Bristows has also promoted senior associates Gregory Bacon and Gemma Barrett to the firm’s partnership. In keeping with the firm’s core strengths, Bacon and Barrett are both contentious intellectual property specialists, and share Cohen’s focus on patent litigation.

Petecki welcomed the added depth to the patent litigation team, and described Bacon and Barrett as ‘lovely colleagues’ who are ‘great representatives of our culture and way of doing things.’

Cohen steps up to Bristows at difficult time for the firm, which despite posting a 25% increase in turnover for the last five years recorded a 4% drop in revenues to £41m for the 2016/17 financial year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) consequently took a significant hit, falling 11% to £432,000 – still comfortably ahead of the average PEP for firms in the second 50 of the LB100.