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HFW ushers in new era as Crump ends 15-year senior partner reign

HFW has announced that global aviation head Giles Kavanagh has been elected as its new senior partner, ending stalwart Richard Crump’s 15-year tenure.

Kavanagh (pictured), who already has significant experience from being a member of HFW’s management board, will officially take over on 1 April 2022. It will mark the end of Crump’s fifth consecutive term as senior partner.

Kavanagh has significant pedigree at the firm, joining in 2011 when HFW hired the entire aviation practice of Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert (now Clyde &Co), a practice he led. He then headed HFW’s aerospace practice, which since 2011 has increased revenues by 250% and grown from 27 lawyers in four countries to 80 lawyers in ten countries.

As senior partner, Kavanagh will be tasked with working in tandem with managing partner Jeremy Shebson to expand the 1,000-lawyer firm across America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. He will also continue to be HFW’s point man for its sustainability strategy, having been appointed as the firm’s sustainability partner in April 2021.

Kavanagh said: ‘We are all grateful for Richard’s significant contribution as senior partner over the past 15 years. During that time, HFW has changed significantly, branching out from our roots as a shipping firm to establish a multi-sector focus that sets us apart in a crowded legal market, and building an international network that enables us to help our clients in key markets around the world. This included bringing the aerospace team to the firm, which I have been proud to lead and develop.

‘I am looking forward to working with Jeremy and the board to continue to strengthen and grow our business – across all of our sectors, services and offices – and to make sure that we continue to meet the changing needs of our clients in order to provide them with the best possible service.

‘The legal market is more competitive than ever, but I passionately believe that, working with our clients and the talent we’re fortunate to have at the firm, we can together build a bold, bright future for HFW.’

Shebson, who was elected alongside Crump in 2019, also hailed his influence on the firm: ‘On behalf of the board, the partnership and everyone at HFW, I’d like to thank Richard for his immense contribution to the firm as senior partner over the past 15 years.’

On Kavanagh, Shebson said: ‘I’ve known Giles for a long time, and I know he will prioritise communication and teamwork. Giles is extremely capable and will put our people and our clients first. He will want to develop the significant opportunities we have at HFW. I look forward to working with him.’

In 2018, Crump sat down with Legal Business and detailed his love of cars, Chelsea FC and Gordon’s gin (£)