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Clifford Chance has kicked off the nominations process for the London managing partner elections ahead of the end of David Bickerton’s term in December.
No date has been set for the vote but it is understood that the nominations committee has begun the ‘soundings’ process for candidates with partners invited to nominate themselves or put someone else forward via email.
London partners will come up with names they want to take on the job, though several sources expect Bickerton’s nomination to be uncontested should he opt to stay on for a second four-year-term.
Should no other contenders emerge, the process will jump straight to the vote – expected imminently, according to sources.
Earlier in the year sources suggested that Bickerton was in the running to succeed David Childs as global managing partner. Childs will also step down at the end of the year, coinciding with the end of Bickerton’s term.
Insiders showed support for Bickerton signalling that he would step into a second term unopposed.
“David is a really fantastic guy” said one source, while another added: “He has enthusiasm for the practices and a real hunger and engagement for the job.” The source added: “It’s been no secret that it’s been a tough few years and he’s been great at keeping everyone on track and focused.”
Bickerton won the last London managing parner election in November 2009 after going head-to-head with then London finance head Mark Stewart, who subsequently left the firm (14 October 2009).
The vote is taking place at the same time as the hotly awaited global chief election - thought to be between Paris chief Yves Wehrli, global corporate head Matthew Layton and London real estate finance partner Andrew Carnegie (25 October 2013).
The two elections work differently, with global managing partners voted on by all partners from a three-candidate shortlist and regional managing partners often elected uncontested by partners in that region.