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Tax vs corporate: KWM European managing partner contenders emerge

After extending the nomination period by a week, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) confirmed today (28 September) that tax partner Gareth Amdor and corporate partner Tim Bednall are the two candidates for the firm’s European and Middle East (EUME) managing partner position.

The election was triggered after former European managing partner William Boss stepped down in January. His replacement was intended to be in place in May but this was later pushed to September.

Amdor (pictured left) has been a KWM partner since 2005 and is London head of tax and co-head of the European and Middle East tax practice. He also chairs the firm’s finance committee and sits on the KWM remuneration committee.

Bednall played a key role in KWM’s 2013 merger with SJ Berwin, he was chair of Australian legacy firm Mallesons Stephens Jaques and relocated to London this February as joint global co-ordinator of the KWM corporate, M&A and securities practice. The results are expected by October 11.

The firm is also undergoing a senior partner election after regional leader Stephen Kon told the partnership he would step down as senior partner halfway into his three-year term. Kon will return to fee earning next month.

It has been a turbulent 18 months for the legacy SJ Berwin practice, which suffered a series of high-profile partner exits amid a period of financial underperformance. The firm re-organised its practice from 17 to three divisions, asked 24 partners to leave in March and underwent a cash call asking partners to inject £14m into the practice. The firm has also extended its loan facility with Barclays this year, up from £20m to £25m, and experienced delays in paying partners.

Read more in the feature: ‘Global 100: Branded – Inside the troubled takeover of SJ Berwin’