Change is afoot at City leader Macfarlanes as Luke Powell has been lined up to succeed Julian Howard as managing partner, while the firm has appointed its first chief operating officer. At the same time, it was announced the much-admired former senior partner Charles Martin will retire from the partnership in April.
Sebastian Prichard Jones, Macfarlanes’ senior partner, announced the moves this morning (12 January).
With customary forward planning Powell, who was highlighted as an influential partner in Legal Business’ 2019 feature will succeed Howard when he retires from the managing partner role on 30 April 2022.
Howard has been in the role since 2010 and ‘has been instrumental in steering the firm through some of the most successful years in its recent history,’ said Prichard Jones. Meanwhile, one former Macfarlanes partner said of Howard: ‘Julian is a very honourable man and that alone gives him the power to do what he does.’ He will remain as a consultant but will retire from the partnership.
Powell joined the firm in 2004, became a partner in 2007 and became co-head of Macfarlanes’ M&A group in 2018. His regular client roster includes Chrysalis Investments, Federated Hermes, Glendower Capital, Goldman Sachs, Keyhaven Capital, Legal & General and Permira. He will continue to be a fee-earner and lead client relationships after his appointment. Howard Corney will become the sole head of M&A from 1 May 2022.
The firm’s first COO has also been appointed in the form of Katherine Milliken, who will assume the role from 1 May 2022. Milliken joined the firm in 2013 having previously spent almost a decade at Inchcape, most recently as general counsel. She has spent most of her time at the firm working on special projects including playing a leading role in shaping the firm’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Finally, the departure from the partnership of Charles Martin on 31 April 2021 marks the end of an era for Macfarlanes. During an outstanding 12-year run as senior partner he helped steer the partnership through many challenges but also its most successful period of growth, particularly in the post-Lehman years and was named Management Partner of the Year at the Legal Business Awards in 2017. He will remain a senior adviser to the firm but will take up a senior adviser role with Rothschild & Co. ‘We anticipate that the majority of Charles’s working time will be spent with us, said Prichard Jones. ‘He will remain fully committed and available to our clients.’