Heaps, who will continue in the role of head of international litigation and dispute management at the firm, stood against Jenkins, transport head and former London head Cornelius Medvei and property partner and Cardiff head Alan Meredith (15 February 2010).
Heaps said in a statement: “It’s a very great privilege to have been elected to become the next chairman of Eversheds. My priorities will be to continue the important work of raising our City and international profile, to provide an additional link between the partners and the firm’s leadership and to help fully to exploit our skills and sector knowledge.”
He added: “I’d like to pay a personal tribute to Alan Jenkins for his superb chairmanship of the firm during a time when our international and City practices and profiles have grown significantly. While many have been involved, his contribution has been particularly telling. His shoes will be very large ones to fill.”
Jenkins, who took over as chairman from Keith James in 2004, is also head of international development at Eversheds. He was reelected in 2007 in an uncontested election.
The firm recently changed the rules governing the chairman’s term, extending it from three to four years and limiting the number of terms each chairman can occupy to a total of two. Because these rules were implemented during Jenkins’ second term he was eligible to stand for a third term.
The chairman’s job is largely ambassadorial.