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Judith Mayhew, Wilde Sapte's director of training, has been elected unopposed to the leadership of the City Corporation, one of the world's richest local authorities.
Deputy chair of the corporation's policy and resources committee for the past four years, she succeeds Michael Cassidy, senior partner of City law firm Maxwell Batley, as its chair. This will effectively make her the leader of the corporation.
Mayhew, a New Zealand-raised and qualified employment lawyer, retains her post at Wilde Sapte. She told The Lawyer: "I need Wilde Sapte's support and I am very lucky that they take an enlightened view."
She sees her priority as ensuring the City "maintains its pre-eminence as a powerful financial capital" and becomes the centre for trading in the Euro "whether or not Britain joins" and for derivatives through the exchange Liffe.
Mayhew also wants to work closely with neighbouring boroughs. She said: "The City is one of the richest parts of Europe surrounded by some of the poorest parts of Europe."
She was closely involved in the recent successful battle to get Liffe to build its new headquarters close to the City in Tower Hamlets rather than in Canary Wharf.
Her practice as a lawyer will come in useful, she said. "Because employment lawyers work very closely with European law I know something about how Europe works. And I also have an understanding of how corporations interact with the economy."