Corporate partner David Wilkinson has beaten competition from real estate head Anthony Phillips to win Fieldfisher’s senior partner race, replacing incumbent Matthew Lohn after six years in the role.
Wilkinson will serve a three-year term starting 1 May 2019. Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick confirmed that Wilkinson will continue in a ‘dual role’ as fee-earner and senior partner, and described him as a ‘well-respected partner.’
Wilkinson, who is a Fieldfisher lifer, outweighed his rival Phillips in terms of longevity: he joined as a trainee in 1990, before being made partner in the corporate practice in 1999. Since then he has been involved in a number of high-profile deals, including advising Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov on his 2007 purchase of a 14.6% stake in Arsenal Football Club.
Wilkinson commented: ‘I am very much looking forward to working closely with Michael and the firm’s executive committee and supervisory board as we continue to grow and integrate our offices across Europe.’
He added: ‘Key parts of my role will be to ensure that our values remain at the heart of everything that we do and that we continue to engage with, and listen to, our clients to improve still further the quality and scope of our services.’
Phillips, who is a solicitor advocate, is currently Fieldfisher’s head of real estate. He also has pedigree with the firm, joining in May 2005 from Mayer Brown, before going on to sit on the firm’s executive committee between 2010 and 2018.
Lohn had originally been appointed Fieldfisher’s managing partner, but an extended leave of absence saw then-technology partner Chissick take over on an interim basis in 2012. In 2013, Chissick was confirmed as full-time managing partner with Lohn taking on the senior partner role.
Upon stepping down, Lohn will continue in his role as a partner in Fieldfisher’s public and regulatory department.
The election comes after incumbent managing partner Chissick was re-elected last year. He ran unopposed, with his next three year term beginning on 1 May 2019.
Wilkinson ascends at a boom period for Fieldfisher, the firm unveiled an above-trend 26% uptick in its H1 revenues for the 2018/19 financial year, hitting £97m.