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Simmons & Simmons has elected David Dickinson as its managing partner. He will succeed the present incumbent Alan Morris in April this year.
Dickinson joined Simmons in 1988 and has been managing partner of the firm's banking and capital markets department since his 1994 appointment.
Morris refused to stand for re-election at the end of his three-year term, during which time the firm has been restructured with the introduction of performance-related incentives introduced for partners.
He has not revealed his plans, but is said to be "looking for other areas to use his management skills".
Fifteen partners have left the firm in the last 13 months, including head of litigation Paul Mitchard who moves to Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering this week. Corporate partner Audrey Campbell moved to Taylor Joynson Garrett last week.
A firm spokesman confirms some of the departures were due to unrest over the changes. "For some, the change is too quick, for others it is too slow," he says.
He claims around half of those partners who left did so to change career or for family reasons.
Morris was the first non-lawyer to become managing partner at a top 10 City firm. The spokesman says Dickinson aims to bring a change in perspective and experience in international markets, improving the firm's international focus.