Pinsent Masons’ senior partner Chris Mullen will face head of construction Richard Foley in the firm’s first senior partner election in six years, with a result expected in early July.
The election is the first for any role at Pinsents to be contested since managing partner David Ryan was first elected in 1998.
Pinsents will also hold managing partner elections later this year, most likely in the autumn. These are also expected to be contested.
There was speculation that legacy McGrigors partners might pair up to challenge the incumbents in both elections but both senior partner candidates are longstanding legacy Pinsents partners.
Mullen has been senior partner since 2004 and was re-elected with no opposition to serve a four-year term in 2008 (30 June 2008). He was not voted into the position in the first instance but took over mid-term from longstanding senior partner Julian Tonks who stepped down due to illness.
The Lawyer revealed that a management shake-up was on the cards in March after sources indicated that elections were due and that there was a growing appetite for change at the firm (31 March 2014).
Both managing partner and senior partner elections had been due to take place in October 2012 but were postponed in light of the firm’s merger with McGrigors in May 2012 (6 February 2012).
Foley has been at Pinsent Masons for 24 years, originally joining the business from legacy Masons when it merged with Pinsent Curtis Biddle in December 2004.
He is thought to be internationally-focused, having been head of the Asia practice before he took on his current role. Sources described him as popular and likely to find support among the partnership, particularly as there is a widespread feeling that a change of leadership is overdue.
Hustings will begin imminently and a vote will follow once they close later in the month, with all equity and fixed-share partners eligible to vote. The successful candidate is expected to begin a four-year term in early July.
Addleshaw Goddard recently elected head of business support and restructuring John Joyce as the firm’s new managing partner in the firm’s first contested election since Paul Devitt was elected in 2009 (16 May 2014).