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Senior appointments: Linklaters picks successor to top finance job as Jim Rice prepares to step down

Linklaters has appointed longstanding partner and global financial regulation group head Michael Kent as divisional practice head of finance & projects, where he will succeed heavyweight finance and securitisation partner Jim Rice.

Kent’s upcoming role for the firm’s top finance job takes effect from 1 May 2015 when Rice’s term comes to an end. Also a member of the firm’s executive committee, he will continue to advise and support clients alongside his new role.

A solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, Kent advises a group of banks responsible for overseeing and developing the centralised clearing of swaps and FX products. Key mandates have also included playing a significant role for the administrators of Lehman Brothers International. He has particular experience in advising on market abuse, trading of securities and governance and in advising on regulatory enforcement work for sell and buy side clients, and in relation to acquisitions and reconstructions of banks and broker dealers. 

The finance & projects division comprises banking, capital markets, investment management, financial regulatory, projects, real estate and restructuring & insolvency practices. Its incumbent leader Jim Rice took over the role in 2011 from John Tucker who continues to practise at the firm.

Other management overhauls in recent months by the Magic Circle firm include the appointment of Stuart Bedford as head of corporate for the firm’s London HQ in September after predecessor Sarah Wiggins was made head of client sectors. It further took a partnership vote in November to shrink the international board by four members in an effort to cut down time spent on management.

The firm’s managing partner, Simon Davies, said: ‘Michael has an outstanding track record of advising our banking and investment management clients at the highest level and in connection with the way in which they manage their regulatory and reputational risk. This, together with his leadership qualities, make him an ideal choice to further strengthen our reputation as having one of the world’s leading finance and projects practices.’