Slaughter and May‘s longstanding leader, Chris Saul (pictured), will launch a mediation boutique once he retires from his role as senior partner on 30 April.
Saul, who is retiring from the UK’s most profitable law firm after eight years at the helm, is planning to launch a mediation firm later this year. In what is an unusual move for a corporate lawyer, Saul will set up a mediation consultancy called Christopher Saul Associates this autumn to provide dispute resolution advice to corporates. Saul registered the new firm with Companies House at the start of March.
The new firm will be based in London and provide classic pre-litigation mediation, including when parties fall out over joint venture agreements. Christopher Saul Associates will also mediate boardroom disputes, advise stakeholders in family-owned businesses struggling with generational change and guide professional services firms through difficulties around governance structures.
Saul told Legal Business: ‘Although mediation tends to be the preserve of disputes lawyers I hope that, with my transactional experience and the additional perspectives gained from being involved in law firm management, I will be able to bring a weathered ear to a range of difficult situations.’
Saul, who will be replaced as Slaughter and May senior partner by longstanding head of M&A Stephen Cooke, will also become a member of the UK Takeover Panel’s Hearings Committee when he steps down at the end of the month. He has recently joined the boards of the Leverhulme Trust, a UK charity that spends around £50m a year on talented young people in need of financial support, and the English National Ballet.
He will be retiring from Slaughter and May after nearly four decades at the firm, having joined as an articled clerk in 1977. He has been a partner for over three decades, having been made a corporate partner in 1986.
For more on Chris Saul’s career, see ‘Life During Law‘