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The race to become Ashurst senior partner is entering its final day today (Monday 22 September) as the firm’s partners conclude their voting.
Several Ashurst sources say that the contest between corporate head Charlie Geffen and litigation head Ed Sparrow is a close one, splitting partner sentiment down the middle. The pair are vying to succeed current senior partner Geoffrey Green, who steps down from his role this Christmas.
Unlike ;the ;Lovells managing partner election, the Ashurst contest is not divided down geographical lines. Although both men head different departments in the firm, no practice split has emerged. Rather, the two men embody different leadership characteristics.
One Ashurst partner told The Lawyer: “Ed’s good at reconciling competing interests – he has the judgement of Solomon. He’s seen as a candidate for those who think we’ll be in for a choppy ride.
“Charlie’s gung-ho, energetic, outward-looking and comes up with lots of ideas.”
Geoffrey Green’s relocation to Hong Kong to launch the firm’s China practice, as revealed by The Lawyer earlier this year (4 August), triggered the election. Last year the silver circle firm had a record year, with revenue up to £323m and an average profit per equity partner figure of more than £1m for the first time.