Legal Business Blogs

Leadership overhaul for Clifford Chance as partners prepare to vote on Manco cut

Clifford Chance (CC) is expected to vote next month on cutting down its 16-strong management committee as part of newly-appointed global managing partner Matthew Layton’s election manifesto.

Having officially taken the reins on 1 May 2014 from longstanding head David Childs who had been in the role since 2006, Layton has made the first move towards executing his plans by scheduling a vote to significantly reduce the size of the committee – although it has yet to be decided which and precisely how many roles will be scrapped.

With partners currently in discussions over the proposals, it is understood that the entire partnership are entitled to vote on the move.

The management committee is made up of partners including Continental Europe representative Yves Wehrli – who stood against Layton during the elections – London and Middle East regional managing partner David Bickerton, global head of finance Mark Campbell, global head of corporate Guy Norman, and global head of disputes Jeremy Sandelson. 

The other members include second Continental Europe representative Charles Adams; global head of real estate Alfonso Benavides; global chief operating officer Amanda Burton, Asia Pacific managing partner Peter Charlton; Americas managing partner Evan Cohen; Germany managing partner Andreas Dietzel; head of capital markets David Dunnigan; global head of tax, pensions and employment Chris Davies; general counsel Chris Perrin and chief finance officer Stephen Purse.

Chaired by Layton, the committee is responsible for the firm’s strategy, finances and profitability and monitored by the partnership council.

According to various sources, Layton is perceived as very popular amongst the partnership and is expected to bring in a fresh approach to leading the firm, as other suggestions put forward included potentially scrapping salaried partner bands and bringing all partners into the equity.

On the looming vote, a CC spokesperson said: ‘We are consulting on some changes to the firm’s governance, with a view to ensuring that the way we manage our firm is designed to help meet the evolving needs of our clients, and to reflect the reality of the changing markets.’