Travers Smith Braithwaite elects company head as senior partner

TRAVERS Smith Braithwaite partners have elected head of company Christopher Bell as the new senior partner to replace Alan Keat.

Bell – who specialises in corporate transactions and is a member of the company law sub-committee of the City of London Solicitors Society – takes up the post on 1 January.

The firm's managing partner says Bell's appointment will help to raise the firm's profile in the City.

Keat is retiring after 30 years, but will continue to work as a consultant for the firm.

Corporate partner Oliver Barnes, who specialises in corporate finance and public takeovers, is replacing Bell as head of company.

Travers Smith Braithwaite managing partner Alasdair Douglas says: “Alan was seen as a very fair bloke internally and was well respected.

“Christopher is very well-known in the City and legal and financial community and so may bring us a higher profile.”

The firm recently lost corporate partner Simon Jay to US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Jay left in September after 18 years at the firm, claiming he was attracted by Cleary Gottlieb's “established European presence”.

Travers Smith was ranked 10th for the first nine months of 1999 in a Thomson Financial Securities Data deals league with deals worth £13.6bn. See City story, page 1