Addleshaw Goddard litigation partner Monica Burch has won the partnership’s backing to succeed senior partner Paul Lee following a contested election.
Burch will assume the title chairman of the firm’s board, but will effectively take over the all senior partner responsibilities.
At the same time, former managing partner Mark Jones, who is currently chairman of the LLP, will give up that title, which is believed to be seen as a hindrance to the development of his professional partnerships consultancy business.
A spokesperson said: “Changing the title of senior partner to chairman reflects the core responsibilities of the role. It includes market facing in addition to governance aspects. [Mark Jones] losing the title [of chairman] will help him develop his consultancy. He’s in agreement and it reflects the feedback he’s receiving.”
Burch already sits on the firm’s governance board and emerged as the favourite in what was understood to be a hotly contested three-way election, although the firm has declined to comment on this.
Burch said: “I’d like to thank Paul Lee for his focus and commitment to our firm over the past years - that’s made a huge contribution to the success of our firm.
“It’s a privilege to have been elected chairman of Addleshaw Goddard, and I’m very much looking forward to working with [managing partner] Paul Devitt and the firm’s management team in leading our firm’s growth and development.”
As chairman of the board, a role she assumes on 1 May 2010, Burch will become one of the few female senior managers in a top 20 firm and one of a small number to work flexibly.
Burch joined Addleshaws legacy firm Theodore Goddard as a trainee in 1988 and made partner in 1999 after a brief stint at a US firm. She plays a leading role in a number of the firm’s key client relationships, and advises on a wide range of disputes, mainly international in nature.
Lee commented: “My congratulations go to Monica and I wish her well. With Monica as chairman and Paul Devitt as managing partner, the firm’s in very good hands. They have the support of our partners and the wider business to help us to deliver on what really matters to our clients and create the best possible environment for the firm’s talent to flourish.”
Devitt added: “We’re very fortunate to have benefited from Paul’s very significant contribution over many years, and now to have such a strong successor. I’m excited at the prospect of working closely with Monica in leading our firm in executing our strategy.”