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CC votes in capital markets head Cartwright to succeed Ouwehand as senior partner

Partners at Clifford Chance (CC) have voted in head of capital markets Adrian Cartwright as the firm’s new senior partner, succeeding Jeroen Ouwehand, who will step down after four years in the role.

London-based Cartwright held off competition from Ouwehand and Dubai office managing partner Edmund Boyo in the recent election and will start his four-year term on 1 January 2023.

A partner at the firm since 2002, the well-respected Cartwright joined CC from Linklaters in 1999 and has led the capital markets practice since 2014. His work highlights include advising waste disposal giant Biffa on its IPO.

Charles Adams, CC’s global managing partner, said: ‘I congratulate Adrian, whose extensive leadership experience and global market knowledge is representative of our strong bench of talented leaders who play a critical role in ensuring Clifford Chance remains the firm of choice for the world’s leading businesses. I look forward to working with him to keep our focus on securing strong foundations for our future success.’

Cartwright (pictured) noted: ‘I am honoured to have been elected as senior partner and thank the partners for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to working with the partnership council, Charles, the partnership and all our talented colleagues across the firm to build on our strengths as one firm, providing the best service to our clients, and to champion our inclusive culture. I am optimistic and ambitious for the future and what we can achieve together.’

For his part, Ouwehand’s tenure has been notable in more ways than one. The Amsterdam-based disputes guru’s election in 2018 marked the first time the Magic Circle firm had chosen a candidate outside the City for the role. Since then, he has been the figurehead of CC’s ESG agenda, heading the firm’s responsible business board and creating a global Code of Conduct to clarify ESG expectations for partners.

In Legal BusinessESG report this year, Ouwehand emerged as one of the few law firm leaders gaining widespread plaudits for being the real deal when it came to walking the walk on ESG, no small feat against the backdrop of ubiquitous greenwashing.

Adams thanked Ouwehand for his work in the role: ‘Many thanks to Jeroen, who has done an excellent job as our senior partner over the last four years, supporting the firm by providing deep insight and direction on fast changing global and economic realities. He has also made a significant contribution in strengthening client relationships and winning work by establishing our market leading ESG offering, and will continue to play a key role in advancing this work as part of our strategy for the future.’