Clifford Chance has poached a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers to be its first financial director.
Chris Merry, who was an audit partner at the accountants, will be responsible for all aspects of the company's financial operations and development.
In his new role he takes over responsibilities previously shared by executive partner Garth Pollard and general manager Keith Salway, and continues the trend by the international firm to bring in professional non-lawyer managers for senior roles.
Managing partner Tony Williams says: "In a very competitive environment, excellent financial management at both the strategic and operational level is crucial.
"Chris is very well suited for the role. He has strong international financial experience, a sharp intellect and a good appreciation of management and leadership issues in a professional firm. We are delighted that he has chosen to join us."
Merry had been a partner at Price Waterhouse since 1994 and prior to that spent three years as managing partner of the Coopers & Lybrand Shanghai office, advising clients such as 3M, Ford and Unilever.
Earlier this month Clifford Chance appointed its first Asia general manager, ex-Barclays Capital director Laurence Porter, who will be based in Hong Kong.