Linklaters & Alliance has appointed Jim Wadia, former worldwide managing partner and chief executive officer of Arthur Andersen, as a non-lawyer chief operating officer (COO).
He will be part of Linklaters' senior management team, working with senior partner Anthony Cann and reporting to managing partner Tony Angel. Cann said there was a firm-wide consensus on Wadia's appointment, but not a formal vote. "We had also briefed and spoken to partners in the other offices," he said. "We try to be very democratic. We felt we needed someone to look after our business services and to take those reports away from Tony Angel. We also need someone able to assist us on various projects which need a high level of attention and which aren't getting the attention they should get for want of people. "There's an endless debate as to what extent firms should be managed by non-lawyers and to what extent it should be managed by partners. The answer is that you need both." Wadia joins Linklaters in the capacity of a non-lawyer, but did train as a barrister before joining Arthur Andersen as a tax partner.