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London finance head is frontrunner; Europe challenges US in election showdown
White & Case vote" />White & Case’s European partners look set to throw their weight behind London finance head Maurice Allen’s bid for a coveted place on the eight-member global management committee.
The firm’s 260 equity partners have until close of business New York time on Wednesday 21 January to vote in one of the most highly complex and potentially explosive US management elections in recent times.
Allen is one of three London partners standing in the firm’s management election, along with Peter Finlay and Philip Stopford. Finlay is currently on the management board.
Allen is regarded as one of the most persuasive advocates within the firm for international investment and is well known among European partners.
Many sources close to the firm believe that this election will signal an important sea change at a firm which one source characterised as having “lost its way in New York”. The source added that “Europe is really seen as leading its success now”.
Around 50 per cent of the 25 equity partners who have put their names forward for election – many of them laterals – are from outside the US.
In the four years since White & Case has held an election, the firm has undertaken mergers in Germany and Italy, with Feddersen Laule and Varrenti e Associati respectively.
It has also grown significantly in London, more than doubling its partner headcount.
In 2000, the split of US and non-US lawyers was roughly 50-50. White & Case now has around 65 per cent of its lawyers practising outside the US.
However, the number of equity partners is weighted towards the US, and it is only equity partners who can vote.
Last year, the management committee revealed plans to shake up the firm to almost double gross revenues to $1bn (£548.8m) by 2005.