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No surprises: Frontrunner Lee Ranson appointed chief executive of Eversheds

Lee Ranson has been appointed chief executive of Eversheds, following a three week period in which no other candidate was nominated.

Nominations closed on Friday 30 September with Ranson (pictured) automatically elected into the chief executive role. If someone else had been nominated the process would have run for a total of 45 days.

Ranson, who is currently managing partner, has long been the frontrunner to take over from longstanding chief executive Brian Hughes who departs the role in May after two four-year terms.

Legal Business revealed last month that Ranson, along with international managing partner Ian Gray and global company commercial head Keith Froud had been in negotiations to forge a new leadership team as the firm strived to avoid a divisive contest.

It is understood that Gray’s post will change or a new role may be created, while Froud is likely to be appointed as the new managing partner by Ranson.

Speaking to Legal Business, a senior partner at the firm said: ‘Ian’s role is likely to change, possibly a new role will be created for Ian but ultimately they are still talking about it, basically none of it is firmed up.

‘Keith and Ian are likely to be Lee’s two lead partners on the executive working alongside him in the running of the firm. I don’t think we are going to get too hierarchical about it, they will both have extremely important roles.’

As early as last September Ranson said he was positioning himself for the chief executive role after being tasked with leading a ‘Growth Agenda’ following the firm’s subdued performance for the financial year 2014/15.

Ranson said: ‘Where I am at the moment, the next logical step for me would be chief executive – all things being equal in 12 months’ time.’

Ranson joined Eversheds in 1990 as a commercial litigator handling complex disputes for HSBC, Lloyds and TSB, taking leadership of the real estate and real estate litigation group in 2006. He became the firm’s managing partner in 2009.