Clifford Chance has elected a new global tax, pensions and employment (TPE) head to replace outgoing chief David Harkness.
Current London TPE head Chris Davies will replace Harkness on 1 January 2014 to start his four-year term in the global role. He will also take up his role on the firm’s management committee.
Davies is believed to have taken the spot after a contested election between two partners after a vote which closed on Friday.
Harkness is unable to stand again for the position after completing two four-year terms, the maximum allowed in the firm’s constitution. He will continue to work full time as a tax partner in Clifford Chance London office after stepping down in the new year. He first took up the role in an uncontested election in 2005.
Davies was elected as City TPE head in 2011 to work alongside Harkness. His role was created as part of a review of practice groups at the magic circle firm that saw several management-level roles split between partners to allow them greater freedom to continue fee earning (14 February 2011).
He has been a partner at the firm since 1999 and specialises in corporate and financial taxation.
The global TPE election comes amid two other votes underway at the firm. The next month will see the election of a new global managing partner when David Childs steps down (25 October 2013) and a new London managing partner will also be crowned (4 November 2013).