Addleshaws plumps for female chair

Litigation partner Monica Burch is to take over as chair at Addleshaw Goddard, making it the ­second firm in the UK top 20 to have a woman in a senior partner role.

Burch won a three-way contested election to ­succeed senior partner Paul Lee and will assume the title of chair of the firm’s board – essentially the ­senior ­partner role – from 1 May 2010.

Some 21 per cent of Addleshaws partners are female, just short of the UK average of 25 per cent. Burch is among four women on the firm’s 11-strong ­governance board.

Only one other firm in the top 20 has a woman as ­senior partner after DLA Piper elected Janet LeGrand – another litigator – to that role last year.

Burch assumes the new role as former Addleshaws managing partner Mark Jones is set to relinquish the title of chairman of the LLP, which he took up a year ago.

The management title was seen as a hindrance to the development of Jones’s professional ­partnerships consultancy, as potential clients were reluctant to instruct a ­serving manager of a rival firm on strategic matters.