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In a snub to Clifford Chance's current international management, Clifford Chance Pünder has re-elected Hans-Josef Schneider to the role of German managing partner
Even more shocking is the result that sees Schneider beat European managing partner Peter Nägele by a massive majority. It is understood that Schneider took 70 per cent of the vote. Although both Schneider and Nägele come from the Pünder side of the merger, they have very different philosophies. According to one source close to the firm, Schneider represents the old Pünder school of management, whereas Nägele is more internationally minded. "Nägele has a very clear vision about which direction the firm should go in and that is an international direction," said the source. "Schneider, on the other hand, is more focused on the German market. He wants to keep the culture as it's always been and is far less interested in the international market." The re-election of Schneider may not come as a surprise, given that the majority of the partners from the Pünder side of the merger prefer the old style of management. However, the size of the majority will come as a setback to the executive. The election of Schneider also means that co-managing partner Michael Weller will no longer have a role on the management board. Weller is returning to transactional work in banking and structured finance. However, he would have remained on the management board had Nägele won the vote. Clifford Chance declined to comment.