It was an unusual gesture when Greenberg Traurig put Paul Maher’s name in the title of its London practice, even for one of the City’s best known deal lawyers, but the Florida-bred giant has confirmed that it is dropping Maher from its City brand.
The move comes in a governance shake-up that sees Maher elevated to global vice chair at Greenberg Traurig. Maher, who had quit a senior role at his nearly namesake Mayer Brown to launch the US firm’s London arm in 2009 under the name Greenberg Traurig Maher, takes on one of three new vice chair roles. The new management roles were created earlier in the year, when Brian Duffy replaced Richard Rosenbaum as chief executive, but had not been filled until now. Rosenbaum moved to executive chairman on 1 January 2016.
Maher – regarded as one of the City’s most driven deal lawyers – told Legal Business: ‘It’s time. It lasted longer than I thought it would. It was a transitional thing. It was my decision and it’s the right decision. I’ve got my name back!’
Greenberg said in a statement that the name change is ‘intended to emphasise the unified and collaborative nature of the firm in today’s world’.
The changes follow Greenberg Traurig’s annual mid-year leadership meeting, and see Maher’s fellow co-chair of the global corporate and securities practice, Patricia Menéndez-Cambó, and New York litigation chair Richard Edlin also made global vice chairs.
Rosenbaum said: ‘When we created the executive chairman role, we contemplated adding vice chairs who would assist with the firm’s strategic direction as well as high-level selling and recruiting, while they continue to lead their busy legal practices.’
The tweaks in London come after Greenberg held much-publicised merger talks with Berwin Leighton Paisner earlier this year, which were abandoned. Greenberg currently has nearly 50 lawyers based in London.