Travers Smith has appointed Paul Dolman as co-head of corporate in addition to his existing role of head of private equity and financial sponsors.
The well-respected Dolman joins the influential Spencer Summerfield, who has been sole head of corporate since 2013, on a joint ticket to lead Travers’ M&A, private equity and equity capital markets practices.
Dolman told Legal Business: ‘I am honoured to be given the chance to run the corporate team. That isn’t to say that my focus is going to move away from leading the private equity and financial sponsors group and being heavily involved in fee earning. I certainly think there is an opportunity for me to use the skill set that I have developed doing that, for the benefit of the wider corporate group as a whole.’
‘The M&A market has been slightly subdued for the last 24 months. But I think people are now getting to the stage where the break is coming off, and activity levels are ramping up.’
Former tax head Kathleen Russ also on Monday (1 July) took over from Chris Hale as senior partner, a move first announced last November. Hale had held the role since 2013 having been re-elected in March 2017.
Russ commented: ‘Clients are at the heart of our business. As the firm’s new senior partner, I am keen to build on our strong client relationships and ensure we continue to deliver a first-rate service to clients across all areas of expertise.’
The firm’s managing partner David Patient said: ‘Kath and I share a strong commitment to our firm’s values and culture, and I very much look forward to working alongside her more closely going forward, in what promises to be an exciting new chapter for the firm.’
Meanwhile, Ian Jeffery will be stepping down in September as chief executive officer of Lewis Silkin after 15 years. Jeffery will continue as partner and will focus on the development of new legal service ventures.
Jeffery said: ‘With Lewis Silkin in great shape and full of potential for the future, I believe that after fifteen years of firm-wide leadership responsibility, a planned transition this year is in the interests of both the firm and myself, allowing a refreshed leadership team to refine and deliver the business plan for the next three years and giving me the opportunity to focus on venture opportunities in an exciting period for the legal industry and our markets.’
Lewis Silkin will be under a new leadership structure, with the joint management of partners Giles Crown and Richard Miskella. They are currently divisional managing partners for the firm’s Creators, Makers and Innovators (CMI) division and Employment, Immigration and Reward (EIR) division respectively.
For more on Travers’ improbable rise, read Defying Gravity