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‘Laser-sharp focus’: Linklaters elects finance head Lewis as managing partner

Linklaters partners have elected global finance head Paul Lewis as the successor to managing partner Gideon Moore, the firm announced today (15 July).

The move sees Lewis, a Linklaters lifer and a partner since 2006, take the helm alongside Aedamar Comiskey, the M&A heavy-hitter who succeeded Charlie Jacobs as senior partner on 1 July.

The appointment brings to an end a spell of illustrious leadership from Moore, who in March 2019 won a second term, albeit a shorter stint, in order to bring the managing partner and senior partner terms into sync.

Lewis, who was most recently head of the firm’s finance division and co-head of its innovation group, was also previously on the partnership board and the executive committee he will now chair. A capital markets partner with a particular specialism in derivatives and structured securities, Lewis joined Linklaters in 1997 as a trainee, qualifying in 1999 and becoming a partner at the age of 30.

Comiskey said of Lewis: ‘I have great confidence in his strategic thinking, strong leadership skills and laser-sharp focus on our future success.  I’m looking forward to us leading the firm together to foster ambition, creativity and excellence from our high-performing teams across the world, to deliver outstanding results for our clients.

‘I would like to thank Gideon for his tremendous leadership and energy over the past six years in creating the best conditions for the firm to excel, and I know Paul and I will continue to benefit from his advice and guidance over the coming weeks and months as we transition into our new roles.’

Lewis commented: ‘The firm has a simple formula – exceptionally talented, high-performing teams delivering outstanding results for clients. I look forward to Aedamar and myself helping foster the environment that enables that to happen and have a huge excitement as to what the future holds for Linklaters.’

Moore replaced Simon Davies as managing partner in January 2016 after seeing off competition from dispute resolution head Michael Bennett and Asia managing partner Marc Harvey. During his first term he was credited with implementing a ‘refreshed strategy’, which saw the firm drop individual partner metrics and annual assessments to focus on team and firmwide performance.

Moore also pushed through lockstep reforms providing more flexibility in moving partners on the equity ladder, introducing a gate at the eighth year of progression and regular reviews for partners who have reached the top of equity.

Moore concluded: ‘Leading Linklaters, with its long history, reputation for excellence, and operating at the highest level for many of the world’s leading organisations, has been a true honour. We have come through (what is hopefully) the worst of the pandemic stronger than ever and ready to seize the opportunities ahead. I look forward to working with Paul to ensure a smooth transition in order that we continue to build on this momentum, and I wish him the very best in his new role.’