Cravath appoints second in command

Wall Street heavyweight Cravath Swaine & Moore has announced its new second in command, naming former head of corporate Allen Parker as deputy presiding partner.

Parker, who has been at the firm 22 years, will start in the newly created role on 1 January, the same day that Cravath’s new presiding partner Evan Chesler assumes his office.

Chesler takes over from Robert Joffe, who will return to fee-earning as an antitrust partner after eight years as presiding partner.

It is understood that Chesler, one of the US’s most prominent trial lawyers, will continue fee-earning whilst presiding partner. The presiding partner role is akin to chairman while the deputy presiding partner assists with the day-to-day management of the firm.

Chesler and Parker will be keen to replicate the firm’s recent successes. Cravath posted record results for 2005, with average profit per equity partner rocketing 20 per cent to $2.7m (£1.5m).

Parker told The Lawyer: “I’m very excited to be working to support Evan day-to-day in the firm’s efforts to maintain its excellence.”

It is understood that M&A and litigation will be key areas for focus. Chesler’s and Parker’s promotions give a management balance to contentious and transactional work in the 450-lawyer firm.

Parker is currently a commercial banking and finance partner, with clients including DreamWorks Animation and JPMorgan Chase.