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Simon Beddow has been appointed as Ashurst’s new co-head of its corporate, commercial and competition (CCC) division replacing corporate star Stephen Lloyd who quit the firm last month.
The firm has scrapped its global corporate head position, with Beddow and Sydney-based Phil Breden instead sharing the reins of the over-arching CCC division.
Lloyd was the first and last Ashurst partner to hold the global corporate head title, which was created in July 2010 as part of a corporate management structure re-jig. During the process Beddow was appointed the firm’s European corporate managing partner – a role which will now also be scrapped (1 July 2010).
In order to take up his new co-head position, Beddow has been forced to stand down from his position on the firm’s new post-merger board – onto which he was elected as just last month (5 November 2013). Elections for a replacement will take place in due course, and his successor will come from the legacy Ashurst side of the business.
Beddow has been touted as a shoo-in for Ashurst’s global corporate head role since Lloyd resigned from the firm in November, and has been acting as temporary global corporate chief in his absence since then (7 November 2013).
The partner has substantial management experience at Ashurst, having been the firm’s managing partner in Germany for four years from 2005. He returned to the firm’s City office in 2009, taking the top spot of the firm’s European corporate practice.
Managing partner James Collis said: “Simon has substantial international leadership experience. His determination, strategic insight and energy make him the ideal candidate for the role of co-head. Our CCC division is performing very strongly and Simon and Phil will make an exceptionally strong management team. They will both play a critical role in the continued success of the division and the firm as a whole.”
Beddow added: “We have had a strong year, have a very good pipeline of work and we are undoubtedly benefiting considerably from the notable increase in capital markets work.”
He continued: “We are now ranked 1 for EMEA equity IPO manager advisers by deal value and we have advised on nearly half of all London IPOs in 2013. There are many significant opportunities for us globally and I am looking forward to working closely with Phil, ExCo and the Board to achieve on our ambitious strategy.”
The firm’s recent IPOs include those for Merlin Entertainments, Infinis and Esure.
However, the firm has seen some notable exits from its corporate practice in recent months including star dealmaker Lloyd and longstanding corporate big-hitter Eavan Saunders-Cole (11 November 2013).
Lloyd’s exit was a particular blow to the practice due to his strong links with key clients including private equity fund Apax.
The partner, who was thought to have raked in annual fees of between £6m and £10m, is thought to have been eyeing a role at Allen & Overy. Earlier this month, partners at the firm were told to prepare for a vote on whether to admit Lloyd to its partnership (3 December 2013).