London-based restructuring guru James Roome, who carried a 28-partner team from Bingham McCutchen to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld this summer, is set to boost the European presence on Akin’s global management committee.
Roome (pictured), who became the co-head of the Akin Gump office alongside Sebastian Rice following the combination, is due to start a three-year term at the start of the New Year.
Akin Gump has a simple management structure with one global board – called the management committee – and Roome will not need to be elected as partners are appointed by recommendation of the existing board members. Legal Business understands that a number of partners’ three-year terms on the 15-member management are set to end in the coming months and Roome’s position has already been confirmed internally. London-based Daniel Walsh also currently sits on the management committee which is headed by Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith, who replaced longstanding chief Bruce McLean at the start of 2013.
The firm has indicated that the London merger, which also saw lawyers in Hong Kong and Frankfurt transfer from Bingham McCutchen to Akin Gump, will be used as a springboard for expansion in Europe and Asia and Roome’s addition to the management committee will help guide that growth. The launch of a German office through the addition of Bingham’s Frankfurt partners took the firm up to eight offices outside of the US, with much of the firm’s international focus having been in Asia.
Koopersmith told Legal Business: ‘We have not finalised the composition for 2015, but James will definitely have a place on the management committee.’
She added: ‘The plan is that James will join the management committee at the start of the New Year and we don’t have to do anything structural for that to happen. Our management committee does not have slots reserved for people from different geographies but one of the driving criteria is a diversity of viewpoint so the collection of people on the management at any one time will be practice, regionally and seniority diverse.’