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Bird & Bird’s Kerr set to hit 23 years in charge following re-election

Tech firm Bird & Bird has reappointed its longstanding leader David Kerr (pictured) as its chief executive for a further three years and elected the founder of its Italian practice as chairman.

Kerr’s re-election sees him continue an unbroken 20 year tenure as chief executive, having first taken on the role in 1996. In that time Kerr has overseen the firm’s expansion from 70 lawyers in three offices to 1,100 fee earners across 28 offices around the globe.

Massimiliano Mostardini, who founded Bird & Bird’s Italian practice when he joined the firm in Milan in 2003, has been elected as the firm’s next chairman after Michael Frie confirmed he would not be standing for re-election. Frie leaves the post after nine years as chairman.

Since arriving at Bird & Bird 13 years ago, Mostardini has overseen the launch of a Rome office and growth in the country to 110 lawyers. He is also the co-head of the Italian intellectual property group and is a member of the firm’s international global board, the international management committee and the international IP steering group. His practice is built on advising companies on domestic and pan-European intellectual property litigation relating to patents, trademarks, copyright, advertising and unfair competition.

Kerr said: ‘Bird & Bird has a bright future and I am honoured to continue my work here as CEO. The speed of change in the global economy both for our clients and the legal profession is intense. Our firm is at the cutting edge both in understanding the changes clients are going through and in adapting our services to meet their needs. It will be an exciting period.’

The firm’s most recent LLP accounts showed revenue in the last financial year rose 6% to €327.1m from €308.7m while profit before member’s remuneration increased by 10% to €93m from €85m. Bird & Bird’s net debt rose by 21% to €46.3m from €38.3m in 2014 following a refinancing of the business, while the top paid member took home 12% more, the firm’s accounts show.