Two to replace Plapinger as Sullivan’s London chief

Sullivan & Cromwell has appointed partners Vanessa Blackmore and Robert Schlein as co-managing partners of the firm’s London office.

William Plapinger, who has served as managing partner of the City base for the past 13 years, will remain in London and continue as coordinator of the firm’s European offices.

Chairman Rodgin Cohen said: “The appointment of Vanessa reflects the importance of our UK law practice, and Rob has a leading transactional practice in Europe and the US.

“The [appointment of the] London leadership team is the latest in a series of initiatives we have taken to strengthen our European practice.”

English-qualified corporate finance lawyer Blackmore joined Sullivan & Cromwell as a partner from Allen & Overy in July 2006, marking the beginning of an assault on the London equity capital markets that was followed with the hire of several English-trained corporate associates.

She has a practice advising on UK and EU securities law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and corporate governance.

Before her hire Sullivan’s English-qualified lawyers, who make up just over a quarter of the total in the City office, were limited to projects, acquisition and leveraged finance work.

US-qualified corporate partner Schlein joined Sullivan in 1993 and became a partner in January 2001. He has been located in London since 1999.

He is a member of the firm’s group, advising investors on real estate and infrastructure deals. These include senior and mezzanine debt financings, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions.

William Plapinger practises in securities, M&A and general corporate law, with particular emphasis on advising industrial and financial companies, governments and investment banks.

Cohen described him as “a leading transactional lawyer in Europe” and “a superb administrator and strategist,” and said that he has been instrumental in building the firm’s London office.

Sullivan has 120 lawyers in Europe, numbering 70 in London – of which 20 are English-qualified – 30 in Paris and 20 in Frankfurt.