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John Carroll, the managing partner of Clifford Chance's Americas practice, has announced that he is stepping down from the role nearly nine months before his term was due to expire.
Carroll announced his decision (first revealed on www.thelawyer.com, 18 March) at a meeting in New York last Thursday (17 March), citing a desire to refocus on his regulatory and white-collar litigation practice.
He succeeded Jim Benedict to the unenviable role in January 2003, with his three-year term due to expire at the end of 2005. Benedict left the firm last October for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.
Managing partner Peter Cornell informed the Clifford Chance partnership of Carroll's decision on Friday (18 March).
The move comes just two months after Cornell jetted to New York to troubleshoot the firm's US operation.
It is not clear whether Carroll will remain on the five-person US executive group. The group, set up by Cornell earlier this year, consisted of Carroll, global litigation head Peter Chaffetz, Cornell, US chief operating officer Terry Hatchett and securities partner Craig Medwick.
US partners are set to vote on a new head by 30 April, at the same time as corporate partners decide who will succeed David Childs as global head of corporate.