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‘Focus on integrating’: Competition head takes over from Sharp as Morgan Lewis London leader

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has confirmed Frances Murphy is the firm’s new London managing partner, replacing Peter Sharp.

Murphy joined Morgan Lewis in 2014 from defunct firm Bingham McCutchen where she led the firm’s antitrust and trade regulation practice. She counts BASF, Total, General Motors and Sanofi among her current and former clients.

The competition lawyer’s rise to leadership comes after being appointed to the firm’s advisory board and international committee last year.

Her experience also includes mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, joint ventures, licensing of intellectual property rights, and other strategic alliances. She does not have a fixed term as leader of the US firm’s City outpost and keeps her post as competition head.

Murphy told Legal Business: ‘Since the merger [with Bingham McCutchen] in 2014, the London office grew 200%, and the focus is really on integrating it across the firm. I look forward to contributing taking the firm from a very good firm to an elite practice.’

Sharp had been in charge of the London office since 2012 when he joined from Dewey & LeBouef where he was partner for 17 years since 1995. He joined with several partners including David Waldron, Nick Greenwood, Bruce Johnston, Amanda Jennings, and Amy Comer. He has returned to fee-earning in the litigation practice.

Last month, Morgan Lewis hired a team of five partners from Dentons, including Dentons’ Asia managing partner Mitch Dudek and partners Tood Liao, Alex Wang, Eddie Hsu and Cindy Pan. The five partners arrived as part of a 23 lawyer team appointment.

According to the latest Global London, Morgan Lewis’ City headcount dropped 2% to 62 in 2015. The firm had 33 partners.