Legal Business

Ashurst says ‘no’ to Geffen for chairman in surprise election result

A popular long-term board member with the social skills needed to pull together a newly-merged transcontinental firm, Ashurst’s October announcement that dispute resolution partner Ben Tidswell has been elected chairman, is nonetheless a shock defeat for incumbent firm head Charlie Geffen.

In a simple ‘one partner, one vote’ election, the emergence of Ashurst Australia’s competition and consumer protection partner Peter Armitage as a contender for the top job had turned the election into a three-horse race.

However, Geffen, whose current senior partner title was subsumed by the new chairman role after newly-merged Ashurst Australia revised its corporate strategy in July, was widely expected to be re-elected.