Richards Butler's senior partner is stepping down after nearly a decade in the job, to become head of the firm's employment practice.
Tim Archer, who has served three consecutive terms as senior partner, is filling the void left by highly-rated employment partner Georgina Keane, who left the firm in February to join Lawrence Graham.
Archer will be replaced by shipping specialist Andrew Taylor, who will become chairman of the firm.
Richards Butler chief executive Chris Schulten says that the change of title from senior partner to chairman reflects the changing image of law.
“It is a more modern title. It better reflects the more businesslike approach of running a law firm rather than the more traditional and pastoral role [senior partner] is associated with,” he says.
Schulten says that rather than going through the election process, the firm took an informal route to deciding who would take on the mantle of chairman.
He says: “There were soundings where names were discussed. There were two or three names that were in the frame.”
Schulten adds that Taylor was the popular choice in the partnership vote. “Andrew has served on the partnership board before and I thought he was an excellent member,” he says.
Taylor will continue to service his clients in the shipping department, which he has led in the past. But Schulten says: “He is hoping not to cut down on work, but I suspect he will have to a bit.”