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Lovells managing partner David Harris has beaten off competition from Continental Europe head Harald Seisler to secure a further four-year term as managing partner.
As revealed by The Lawyer (15 September), a number of London partners had accused Seisler of running his campaign on an anti-London ticket in the hope of winning a majority of votes from around the firm’s international network.
However, Harris, whose re-election was announced at the firm’s partnership conference in Vienna, said that by having a contested election the firm had been able to have a valuable debate on the path it should follow in the next four years.
“The election has allowed us to have a good debate within the firm about where we want to be,” he said. “There’s a strong consensus to position the firm among the leaders in the market, building on all we have achieved over the past few years. I’d like to thank Harald for his contribution to that debate.”
Both candidates spent time visiting every office in Lovells’ network in the run-up to the election, with Seisler’s campaign focusing on giving greater autonomy to individual offices.
Now the vote for the main job has taken place, the election process will begin again for several regional and practice head roles. Dispute resolution head Patrick Sherrington, London managing partner Ruth Grant, international executive member Andreas von Falck and Seisler have all come to the end of their terms.
Elections for these positions would have taken place in Vienna but were postponed until January to allow whoever won the managing partner role to make their recommendations to the partnership council. It is unclear whether Seisler intends to stand for another term.