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Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has announced a new leadership structure that will see acting chief Michael Chissick take on the managing partner role in full, with current managing partner Matthew Lohn becoming senior partner.
The firm confirmed that Chissick, acting managing partner since last year, would assume the role permanently, taking charge of formulating and executing strategy, managing the firm’s business performance and overseeing risk and compliance. He will also have responsibility for forming an executive committee and “sustaining commitment from the firm’s staff”.
Lohn, meanwhile, will be responsible for the firm’s market reputation, contacts with clients and chairing the supervisory board. He will also work with client partners to build key contacts and help to lead on certain client accounts, as well as implementing a programme of client satisfaction reviews and supporting cross-departmental pitches.
It follows news on Friday that IP and IT head Mark Abell, one of the firm’s most influential figures, had been suspended from the partnership and was joining Bird & Bird following what he called an “ambush” during a supervisory board and executive committee meeting (1 February 2013).
Lohn had been on leave for an extended period of team following last summer and saw the role leading for FFW on the failed merger talks with Osborne Clarke taken on by Chissick (17 September 2012).
Meanwhile, partner Rob Shooter will replace Chissick as head of technology and outsourcing.
Last year the firm scrapped the senior partner role then occupied by corporate partner Nicholas Thompsell (4 February 2012).
FFW supervisory board head Dominic Gurney-Champion said in a statement: “It has become clear that the greatest value to the firm is a combination of the respective leadership qualities of Matthew Lohn and Michael Chissick. These changes put Field Fisher Waterhouse in a good position for continued growth and expansion and we look forward to continuing to work with Matthew and Michael to realise the firm’s goals.”