Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) tax partner Trevor James has been appointed managing partner of the firm’s London office, making him ;the ;first ;black managing partner at an international firm.
James takes over from Julian Thurston, who will continue at the firm as
co-chair of the life sciences group.
James said: “I’ve been given the job to lead the London office and it’s my obligation to lead well. If that’s successful and that inspires others, then that’s a great thing.”
The Black Solicitors Network’s (BSN) 2008 diversity league table revealed that Beachcroft, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper and Linklaters were the only UK firms with any black partners. Almost 10 per cent of US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges’ City partners are black (but that is only two partners), while less than 1 per cent of Reed Smith’s partners are black.
BSN co-founder and former ;chair ;Michael Webster welcomed the news of James’s appointment.
“Our recent diversity league table showed that very few black lawyers make partner in the City, so for any of them to progress to management is hugely significant,” said Webster.
Thurston has been UK managing partner for just over three years, during which time the office has doubled in size, bringing in £16.5m and housing 19 partners.