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The race to replace Stuart Popham as senior partner at Clifford Chance has stepped up a notch with German corporate partner Daniela Weber-Rey telling partners she is planning to stand.
The news was revealed on German legal website Juve this morning.
So far, only tax partner Jonathan Elman has formally announced that he will stand in the election, which will take place later in the autumn. Finance partner Malcolm Sweeting is also understood to be interested in the role.
Meanwhile, France managing partner Yves Wehrli has ruled himself out of contention for the job. With many in the firm expecting there to be a candidate from outside the firm’s London headquarters, Wehrli had been touted as the most likely international option.
But he is understood to have already told partners in the Paris office that he will not put himself forward for the position.
Alluding to the fact that the senior partner role is ambassadorial, Wehrli told The Lawyer: “My skills are more suited to management.”
Weber-Rey, who joined Clifford Chance in 1984 and made partner in 1989, was one of four new members of the firm’s partnership council unveiled in March (23 March 2010). If successful she would be the first female partner to hold either the managing or senior partner title at any magic circle firm.
The firm is in the process of forming a three-partner nomination committee that will put together a final list of candidates to present to the partnership. Voting is then expected to take place later in the autumn.