Swede swoops into TwoBirds

There was one big surprise from Bird & Bird’s leadership election today. See story.

Chief executive David Kerr was a shoo-in for re-election and it was not a surprise to see longstanding chairman Hamish Sandison stand down. He’s now free to pursue a long-held ambition to be an MP.

“Well,” said Sandison, “that’s not beyond the realms of possibility.”

Sandison stepped down so that the firm could expand what he calls “the non-colonial model”, reflecting the fact that the firm now has more lawyers outside the UK than in.

But his replacement is not French or German. His replacement is Swedish managing partner Michael Frie, making Bird & Bird the first UK-based firm to have a Swedish chairman. (As far as we know.)