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Ashurst managing partner Simon Bromwich is set to stand down in May and will take over the role of head of litigation.
Bromwich, who has held the position of managing partner since 2004, will step down from the role at the end of the current financial year, six months before the end of his third term.
He joined Ashurst in 1989 and made partner in 1999, becoming managing partner five years later. He was re-appointed for a second term in 2006 (12 October 2006) and an unprecedented third term in 2009 (3 December 2009).
Bromwich, a litigator, will replace Ed Sparrow as disputes head after Sparrow took over the role following the exit of Michael Madden towards the end of last year (12 October 2011). Sparrow will return to fee-earning.
The firm said Bromwich will not continue to December, when his term officially comes to an end, because May presents a natural break for a change in management. The firm is also going ahead with the first stage of a merger with Australian firm Blake Dawson in March, which the firm said was an obvious point for a change in leadership.
The firm has informed partners and staff and will announce a new chief in due course. The role is appointed by the board, rather than elected, unlike the elected senior partner position.
Senior partner Charlie Geffen said Bromwich had “done a completely brilliant job” as managing partner, helping to increase revenue significantly. Non-UK revenue increased from 24 per cent to 43 per cent of total income during the period.
Geffen added in a statement: “[Bromwich] has presided over a period of significant growth for the firm and has helped navigate it through unprecedented market challenges while consistently improving our client service.”
Bromwich said in a statement: “Now’s an ideal time for someone to take over and I’ve no doubt that the firm will continue its progress towards being one of a small number of premier global firms. I’m also very much looking forward to re-joining the dispute resolution team, which is doing extremely well across our offices.”
During Bromwich’s time as managing partner, the firm has opened offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Stockholm, and Washington DC and entered into alliances in China and India. He was also closely involved in the Blakes merger, which will initially go live with a joint venture in March before a full merger in three years’ time (26 September 2011).
Bromwich’s decision follows the appointment of Madrid partner Cristina Calvo as the firm’s first female board member (21 November 2011), replacing David Evans, who has left the City firm to join US firm Goodwin Procter (11 October 2011).