Hogan Lovells has taken a clear step towards giving its younger partners a high level representative voice with the announcement today (14 April) that it has created a position on the 12-strong board for an equity partner age 45 and under.
London corporate partner Ben Higson has been elected to the role and the firm has also elected German IP and technology partner Leopold von Gerlach to take over from Jose Maria Balana as the representative for Continental Europe on the board, which has supervisory responsibility in overseeing the affairs of the firm but without executive responsibility for strategy, management, and operating decisions.
Higson, who was promoted to partner in 2009 and previously identified as a ‘corporate rising star’ in the London market by Legal Business in November 2013, won the role as board member in a contested election to serve for equity partners aged 45 and under.
The board appointment comes as joint chief executives Warren Gorrell and David Harris prepare to stand down in June, with Washington DC-based partner Stephen Immelt set to take over as sole chief executive officer (CEO), in a move away from the UK/US joint leadership structure put in place after the merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells in 2010. London-based partner David Hudd will become deputy CEO, with Harris set to retire from the firm, while Gorrell will return to full-time fee-earning.
Firm chair Nicholas Cheffings, said: ‘The board plays an important role in the governance of Hogan Lovells in its relationship with our management team and in listening to, and representing, the views of partners. The high level of participation in this election process is testament to that.
‘As we move from co-CEOs to a single global CEO, we have kept the total number of board members at 12 with the introduction of a new board role for an equity partner age 45 and under. This is a post designed to ensure that we have broad representation from across the partnership.
The Board in full:
Chair: Nicholas Cheffings
Co-CEOs: Warren Gorrell and David Harris (From 1 July 2014, Steve Immelt)
Asia/Middle East: Jun Wei
Continental Europe: Leopold von Gerlach
Washington, D.C. area: Helen Trilling
London: Emily Reid
The Americas: Bill Curtin
The Americas (Except D.C.): Cole Finegan
45 and under: Ben Higson
‘At large’ representatives: Daniel González, Craig Hoover, and Michael Silver