Ropes & Gray’s Allen and Goetz call time on London co-managing partner roles

Ropes & Gray has announced that its high-profile London co-managing partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz are to redefine their roles for the first time since the office launched five years ago.

Goetz will continue as sole managing partner of the London office while Allen becomes senior partner. As a result Goetz, who remains co-leader of the firm’s finance practice along with Byung Choi in Boston and Jay Kim in New York, will focus on the day-to-day running of Ropes’ London office.

Allen’s new role will see him focus on business development, recruitment and Ropes’ European strategy. 

Ropes & Gray managing partner David Chapin said Allen’s role as senior partner would involve him helping the firm, “think much more strategically” about Europe.

“We don’t have a European network and aren’t likely to any time soon,” added Chapin. “This is definitely not a back seat role for Maurice. I couldn’t strap Maurice into a back seat if I wanted to.”

Allen added that his new role would free him up to allow him to focus more sharply on Ropes’ international strategy, notably helping to join up the firm’s practices in the US, Europe and Asia.

“Because we don’t have offices in Europe we’ve spent a lot of time developing our relationships with a number of independent European firms,” said Allen. “By not competing you also tend to get their full attention but we have to make sure those relationships are real, which means spending time working on them doing things like joint pitches and so on.”

Goetz added that the removal of the co-managing partner titles would also allow both lawyers to spend less time, “doing the duplicative stuff”.

Banking partner Allen and Goetz spearheaded the launch of Boston-headquartered Ropes’ London office in 2009 (22 October 2009). Prior to their arrival the pair had been linked to a number of firms, including Greenberg Traurig Maher, since their departure from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where they had been for just over a year (3 August 2009).

The rainmaking pair had joined Freshfields from White & Case in March 2008 (17 March 2008) where they had been tasked with helping the magic circle firm build up its banking practice.

Since launching in London Ropes has handled a number of high-profile transactions, notably representing Liberty Global in connection with the financing for its $23.3bn acquisition of Virgin Media.

The firm also represented Numericable and its parent, Altice, in connection with the financing for its bid to acquire SFR, the largest Europe-based leveraged finance deal since 2008.

In five years Ropes has grown from four to 80 lawyers. It recently announced its move to 45,210 sq ft of office space at Ludgate Hill in September 2015.

The US firm will relocate from 5 New Street Square, where it is currently a sub-tenant of Taylor Wessing.