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Burges Salmon managing partner Chris Jackson has stood down from the role just under a year after taking the top job at the Bristol firm.
His place will be taken by commercial disputes partner Peter Morris, who stood unopposed for the role after Jackson gave his notice last week.
Following a brief handover period, Morris will formally take over in January 2010.
Jackson was named as successor to Guy Stobart, who had been incumbent since 1995, as managing partner last year (30 October 2008). He took over the role in May.
Jackson said his decision to stand down was “personal” and that he will now concentrate on his role as client partner while continuing to work on strategic initiatives for the firm.
He commented: “It’s been a privilege to be the firm’s managing partner and I’m disappointed not to be continuing in the role. This is a personal decision but I’ve thought carefully about it and believe that it’s the right one for me and for the firm.
“I’ve always wished to continue with client work both during and after my term as managing partner and that’ll again become my main role, although I’ll remain involved in strategic initiatives, including the sector focus element of our strategy.”
Jackson is understood to have been in consultation with senior management for some time before taking the decision last month. The news was released to the firm’s partnership this morning.
Morris said: “I’d like to pay tribute to what Chris has achieved over the last year and I fully intend to build on the initiatives which he’s successfully introduced.”
Senior partner Stephen McNulty added: “While we’re naturally disappointed that Chris is standing down, we respect his decision and very much appreciate the work he’s done on implementing changes to the governance of the firm and introducing initiatives in client and sector focused business groups.
“I’m pleased to say he’s able to continue to develop many of the strategic initiatives and will also make a substantial and valuable contribution to the firm through his leading edge client work.
“We’re delighted that Peter, who’s a highly respected partner in the firm, has been elected to the role with the wholehearted support of the partnership to continue the evolution of Burges Salmon as a top quality legal firm and employer.”