Clifford Chance has announced the makeup of its plc-style governing board in the run up to the merger with Rogers & Wells and Punder Volhard Weber & Axster on 1 January.
Rogers & Wells' head of antitrust Kevin Arquit and Punders' joint managing partner Thomas Gasteyer are the new deputy chairmen.
Arquit is Rogers & Wells' highest earner and a powerful figure within the US firm.
His appointment has been viewed as the most politically important.
The board will act as a check on the executive committee, with seven members elected by partners from the three merged practices.
As revealed by The Lawyer (2 August 1999), the board will operate as a UK corporate-style structure with scope for appointment of non-executive directors from outside the firm.
The Lawyer understands that there are no plans to bring in captains of industry or consultants, but outside advisers may be asked to join a non-executive sub-board in future.
In the short term, it is understood that the firm will seek outside advice on a less formal basis by inviting clients' general counsel and other “high profile contacts” to contribute views on the firm's strategy.
The board met for the first time earlier this month, and is expected that it will convene four times a year.
Members of the governing board
Chairman: Keith Clark (pictured)
Deputy chairmen: Rogers & Wells partner Kevin Arquit and Punders partner Thomas Gasteyer
Chief executive: Michael Bray
Rogers & Wells partners Leora Ben-Ami and John Healy
Clifford Chance partners Peter Blake, David Harkness, Bernd Mayer-Witting and Jeremy Brownlow
Punders partner Rainer Maschmeier