Leading a law firm has always been demanding, but the extent and pace of change engulfing the global legal industry today is undoubtedly taking the challenge to a new level. As a result, leaders of firms are understandably seeking additional guidance and insight as they navigate a complex strategic landscape clouded by unprecedented levels of uncertainty, ambiguity and disruption. The key drivers of these dynamics – which include exponential advances in technology, significant changes in client expectations and buying patterns, and the increasing volume and competitive impact of new entrants and new models – are well documented. The big questions we are now exploring with law firm leaders and partners centre on what this new paradigm means for the traditional law firm business model, strategic decision making, differentiation, organisational structure and agility, the development of talent and the leadership skills needed to deliver fundamental change.
Linklaters managing partner Gideon Moore will stay in his role until April 2022 after the partnership re-elected him for a second term.
Partners confirmed the former banking head in the role during a two-day annual partnership meeting in Cannes after he stood unopposed. However, his second term will be shorter to bring the managing partner and senior partner terms in sync. Senior partner Charlie Jacobs’ first term finishes at the end of 2021. Continue reading “‘Immensely rewarding’: Moore gets second term as Linklaters managing partner”
Bird & Bird’s long-standing chief executive David Kerr (pictured) is set to lead the firm until 2022 after standing unopposed in the firm’s latest election.
Addleshaw Goddard will also stick to its leadership after Charles Penney saw off a challenge by the firm’s employment group head Michael Leftley to secure a second term as senior partner. Continue reading “Kerr to hit 26 years at 2Birds’ helm as Addleshaws re-appoints Penney as senior partner”
Dechert has taken strides to fortify its depleted London management team, adding private equity partner Chris Field and naming Gus Black as its chair.
Funds specialist Black (pictured) is global co-chair of Dechert’s financial services group and has been a member of the London management committee since its inception in 2016. Corporate partner Field was hired into Dechert’s London office after 11 years at Kirkland & Ellis in October 2017 along with tax partner Jane Scobie. They followed a path trodden by finance partner John Markland who left Kirkland for Dechert the previous year. Continue reading “Dechert rebuilds City leadership with dealmaker Field as Black takes helm”
Corporate partner David Wilkinson has beaten competition from real estate head Anthony Phillips to win Fieldfisher’s senior partner race, replacing incumbent Matthew Lohn after six years in the role.
Wilkinson will serve a three-year term starting 1 May 2019. Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick confirmed that Wilkinson will continue in a ‘dual role’ as fee-earner and senior partner, and described him as a ‘well-respected partner.’ Continue reading “Corporate partner David Wilkinson wins Fieldfisher senior partner election”
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has re-elected its management duo for a further five years.
Chris Lowe and Lothar Wegener (pictured right to left) have been re-elected as the UK firm’s managing partners for a second term, beginning 15 January next year. The pair have held the roles since January 2014, with WFW’s revenue up 60% over the last five years, one of the strongest performances among a top 50 UK practice. Continue reading “Watson Farley management get second term as half-year revenue comes in flat”
In probably the worst kept secret in Chicago legal circles, Kirkland & Ellis has confirmed that partner Jon Ballis will become its next chair when highly-rated incumbent Jeffrey Hammes steps down in February 2020.
Ballis’ elevation was officially confirmed last week, though Legal Business reported the succession plan back in July. Nevertheless, the Chicago-based private equity specialist faces a challenge in taking over from a leader who transformed Kirkland from regional challenger to unquestioned global elite. Continue reading “After the hammer, a scalpel – Kirkland confirms long-groomed successor to ‘visionary’ chair Hammes”
‘An international guy’: Ouwehand wins Clifford Chance race to become first non-London senior partner
Clifford Chance has elected Amsterdam head Jeroen Ouwehand as its first ever senior partner based outside the City.
The news comes after Ouwehand, who also leads the firm’s continental European litigation and dispute resolution practice, was hotly tipped internally as being the successor to Malcolm Sweeting. Continue reading “‘An international guy’: Ouwehand wins Clifford Chance race to become first non-London senior partner”
Globetrotting firm Dentons’ chair Joe Andrew and chief executive Elliott Portnoy have been elected for their third and fourth terms respectively at the helm of the firm after an uncontested election.
Announced today (19 November) the duo ran unopposed and secured the needed backing of more than half of the partnership. Continue reading “More of Joe ‘n’ Elliott show for Dentons after unopposed leadership contest”
Travers Smith has nominated former tax department head Kathleen Russ (pictured) as its new senior partner, to succeed long-serving Chris Hale whose term comes to an end 1 July 2019.
Russ is a relative veteran in her own right, acting as a partner in the firm’s tax practice since 2001, and heading the team between July 2007 and January 2017. Continue reading “Travers’ former tax head Kathleen Russ elected as senior partner successor to Chris Hale”