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Linklaters could soon be the first big five City firm to have a female managing partner.
Litigation partner Diana Good and tax head Tony Angel have emerged as the front-runners for the post of managing partner, which is to be decided by a vote next week.
Terence Kyle stepped down as managing partner of the firm at the beginning of August in preparation for taking up his appointment as chief executive of Linklaters & Alliance.
An insider said the firm had no obvious of the older generation so was seeking potential candidates from the next generation down. Good and Angel are both in their early forties.
Good devised the firm's unique flexible working scheme for partners in May 1997. However, although she has an architect husband who works long hours, and four children aged between five and 11, she has not taken up the flexi-time option herself.
She was the first woman partner to be elected to the firm's management committee, and also helps run the litigation department.
Angel, a partner at Linklaters for 14 years, developed the firm's 11-partner capital markets tax practice, advising on tax efficient ways to raise money through bonds, derivatives and share issues.
He is a member of the International Bar Association and plays a large role in the cross-industry think-tank, the Capital Markets Forum.