Latham seeks executive committee replacements

Latham & Watkins

last week kicked off the process of appointing two replacement members to its seven-strong executive committee, with the final vote due this Friday (10 March).

The shortlist of candidates was still being finalised as The Lawyer went to press, but one of the two partners standing down, German Christoph von Teichman, said he was confident that at least one of the new committee members would be European.

“It’s theoretically possible that all the members will be American as it’s an open process, but I’m quite confident another European will be selected,” he said.

Von Teichman recently completed his second two-year term on the committee and said there was an unwritten rule that this was the limit for partners to serve. The second slot on the committee came about when San Francisco’s Scott Haber stood down, also after two terms.

The exit of von Teichman, a Hamburg-based corporate partner, left Latham with an all-American executive committee. However, around one-third of the partnership is now based outside the US and it is seen by many in the firm as politically sensible to have at least one non-US member.

A third position on the board will also be voted on this week. Latham’s former litigation head Miles Ruthberg’s first two-year term ends this year. However, Los Angeles-based Ruthberg is standing again and insiders say it is “virtually certain” that he will be re-elected.

Latham’s executive committee has two full-time members and five part-time members. The latter group is divided into senior and junior members, relating to the length of time they have been partners, and one ‘at large’ member (currently von Teichman).