Field Fisher Waterhouse has appointed a corporate partner as chairman of its new supervisory board, the group aimed at keeping the firm’s senior management in check.
Dominic Gurney-Champion will chair the board for three years following his election, with the rest of the four-partner committee comprising real estate partner Paul Houston, technology and IP partner Philipp Plog and technology and outsourcing partner Robert Shooter. All board members are London partners except Hamburg-based Plog.
The news follow a wide-ranging review of the firm’s management structure that saw the firm scrap the senior partner position held by corporate partner Nicholas Thompsell (19 April 2011). Gurney-Champion was one of three partners charged with developing ideas for the changes following a consultation process last summer.
The changes, designed to “modernise and streamline” the way the firm is run, follow a rejig last year that saw influential IP/IT chief Mark Abell quit the board in a move seen as a loosening of the practice’s grip on the firm (5 December 2011).
Partners voted for the supervisory board members in March, with the firm set to announce the names of the partners and business services heads appointed to the new-look executive committee by the end of next month. Members of the executive committee, which replaces the old management board, are appointed by managing partner Matthew Lohn.
Lohn said in a statement: “This is the latest step in implementing our new, modernised management structure. The changes will see us adopt more efficient, transparent and effective management while ensuring the partnership retains control and oversight of the firm.”