Freshfields managing director Kirk Stephenson has resigned from the magic circle firm in the first internal shake-up since its management election last year.
Stephenson's resignation, which will be seen as marking a break from the old management team, was announced to partners yesterday.
Stephenson joined Freshfields as finance director in 1999 after spells as FD at Amersham and Coates Viyella, and was close to former chief executive Alan Peck. At one point he was touted internally as a potential successor.
New chief executive Ted Burke will assume Stephenson's remit.
Hugh Crisp, who stepped down as chief executive last year for family reasons, will continue as a part-time partner focusing on HR issues.
Freshfields declined to comment. Stephenson could not be reached for comment.