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All three candidates in the senior partner election at Clifford Chance will stand in a second round of voting, due to get underway imminently, after the first round failed to identify a clear winner.
The rules governing the election do not require that any of the partners vying to replace Stuart Popham withdraw from the race after the first round.
Tax partner Jonathan Elman, finance partner Malcolm Sweeting and German corporate partner Daniela Weber-Rey will all now take part in what will effectively be a re-run of last week’s first round after none chose to stand down from the ballot.
The full results of the first round have not been revealed to partners, but no candidate achieved the 50 per cent required for outright victory (26 October 2010).
It is unclear whether the firm’s governance requires one of the three to pull out of the running after the second vote, though it is understood that the firm would like to see only two names go forward if a third round is required.
The election process for the senior partner remains opaque, with partners apparently unclear about the rules.
“I would like to say I knew what the process is,” commented one partner. “I don’t think that anyone is forced to drop out at any point.”
The firm declined to comment on the process or on the likely timeline for the announcement of Popham’s successor. However, a source at the firm confirmed that a result was likely to be known “before Christmas”.