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Frankfurt and Dubai partners to compete for KWM senior partner position

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) confirmed today (11 October) that Frankfurt corporate partner Michael Cziesla and Dubai-based disputes partner Tim Taylor QC are the two contenders for firm’s EUME senior partner position. The election was triggered by Stephen Kon’s early resignation in September halfway through his mandate.

Cziesla (pictured) is a member of the management team of KWM in Germany. He joined legacy SJ Berwin in 2002 and specialises on multi-jurisdictional and cross border M&A, secondaries, leveraged buyouts, divestments, joint ventures and restructurings.

Taylor is the only QC residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and joined the firm in 1988. His practice includes arbitration, mediation and litigation and has extensive experience in the region, having also advised on disputes in other Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia.

Around 140 partners across the EUME region are expected to vote in the election, and the senior partner is due to be named next week. The appointment will be with immediate effect, with a term of three years in the role.

Kon joined legacy firm SJ Berwin in 1982 and became senior partner in 2012 leading the firm through its unsteady 2013 merger with Hong-Kong based KWM. He will return to fee earning once a replacement is confirmed.

The results of KWM’s EUME managing partner elections were released last week with corporate partner Tim Bednall defeating tax partner Gareth Amdor for the position. The managing partner elections were triggered by William Boss’s resignation in January with less than one year in the post.

The leadership changes come as the legacy SJ Berwin practice recently re-organised its structure, moving from 17 to three divisions, asked 24 partners to leave in March and increased its loan facility with Barclays earlier this year. All eyes are on this series of elections as the firm looks for internal stability following a turbulent 18 months.