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Leadership: Andrew Saul takes over as senior partner at Osborne Clarke

With its half year revenues up by 12% and following a two-year period of international investment, Osborne Clarke‘s (OC’s) UK senior partner Tim Birt is to stand down with London head Andrew Saul taking over the role.

Corporate partner Saul – who joined 600-lawyer OC in 1996 as head of corporate and led the practice for seven years before becoming head of the London office in January 2012 – was voted in as senior partner through an election held at the London headquarters of the firm, ranked 32 in the LB100. He will take over the role on 1 January 2014.

In his role as senior partner, Saul will chair the firm’s partnership council, which has responsibility for setting strategy and monitoring key policy implementation.

Meanwhile Birt, who stands down after eight years in the senior partner role, will return to corporate client work in the marketing and communications (marcoms) sector, as well as leading the firm’s European initiative in New York, where it opened a representative office just last month. Birt will be spearheading the NY operation but Saul will maintain connections and clients on the East Coast and West Coast of the US. Saul was one of the partners to set up the firm’s Palo Alto office in 2000 – he did the feasibility study and works closely with client Dell.

Birt said: ‘After eight years as senior partner, it’s great to be able to both have the opportunity of carrying on representing so many of the firm’s marcom clients, while also tackling a new challenge with our European partners like the New York office, all the while knowing that you’re handing over to a friend and trusted colleague.

‘Andrew will be a terrific champion for all that is best about OC, both nationally and internationally.’

‘If you look at the firm, our sector focus is standing us in exceptionally good stead,’ said Saul. ‘Something in excess of 90% of the key work at the firm comes from the sectors of digital business, energy and utilities, real estate and infrastructure, financial services, and TMT in its widest possible sense.

‘I plan to continue with those initiatives and ensure that the quality and quantity of the work we’re getting continues to improve as a result.  With my international experience, I also want to help build out the international platform and grow it.’

Managing partner Simon Beswick added: ‘As a corporate lawyer Tim is exceptionally well-known in the marcoms industry, looking after many of the firm’s clients and will be continuing to help the firm in that key sector. In addition, he is leading our European initiative in New York.’