Sullivan appoints pair to manage London office

Sullivan & Cromwell

has appointed co-managing partners of the firm’s London office to take over from William Plapinger, who served as London chief for the past 13 years and who will stay in London as European coordinator.

As first reported on www. thelawyer.com (19 February), English-qualified Vanessa Blackmore will share the role with US-qualified Robert Schlein. Both lawyers will continue to practise.

Blackmore said: “London’s a pretty large office and having two of us covering it when we both still have active practices makes sense. [The joint roles] are also a recognition of the importance of the UK practice, and we felt that just having a US-qualified or just having a UK-qualified would have been harder.”

Schlein added: “It’s a big job and it’s getting bigger every day; we’re both committed to our practice areas.”

Corporate finance partner Blackmore joined Sullivan from Allen & Overy in July 2006, beginning an assault on the London equity capital markets that was followed by the hire of several English-qualified corporate associates.

Previously, Sullivan’s English-qualified lawyers were limited to projects, acquisition and leveraged finance work.

Corporate partner Schlein has been located in London since 1999, becoming a partner in 2001.

The pair said they will continue to grow the London office and make it more heavily weighted towards English-qualified lawyers, who presently number 20 out of 70. London is the firm’s largest office outside New York.

Plapinger, who is also a corporate lawyer, will continue to practise. He said his new European coordinator role was an extension of the duties he previously fulfilled as London managing partner, but that it reflected the growth of Sullivan’s European operation.