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Clyde & Co further reshuffles leadership with internal CEO appointment

Clyde & Co has completed its management turnover by replacing long-standing chief executive Peter Hasson with chief operating officer Matthew Kelsall.

Kelsall’s (pictured) appointment is effective from 1 January 2020 and comes after the firm elected Peter Hirst its new senior partner, replacing Simon Konsta from November 1. Hirst and the Clydes’ management board led the chief executive recruitment process.

Hasson in July signaled his intention to step down, having served as the firm’s first chief executive from 2005, just a month after Konsta announced he would also give up his leadership role halfway into his five-year term. The firm reported in June its 21st consecutive year of revenue growth to £611m in the year to 30 April, up 11% on £551.3m last year.

Kelsall joined Clydes in 2007 and was previously chief operating officer in North America and was based out of the firm’s New York office. He also served as chief operating officer of the Middle East and North Africa as well as Asia Pacific.

He commented: ‘We have a huge opportunity to further strengthen the market-leading offerings we have built around the world and I look forward to working with the senior partner, the management board and our top class management team to achieve our ambitious goals.’

Hirst added: ‘Matthew’s knowledge and understanding of the organisation, the global legal market and the day-to-day operations of a large and fast-growing global law firm, all make him the outstanding candidate for the CEO position.’

In the past three years, Clydes has grown turnover by 36%, or £160m, fueled by acquisitions and foreign expansion: it has opened offices in Chicago, Washington, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Auckland, Muscat and Bristol in the last two years.

The firm has, however, had an eventful few months, most notably when it emerged at least five partners from its global marine group were leaving to set up a boutique firm. In July, it suspended two lawyers, including a partner, after alleged breaches of accounting rules.

Hasson commented: ‘I have every confidence that together, Peter and Matthew can take our firm to the next level and I look forward to working with them during the leadership transition and beyond.’