Linklaters mulls streamlining of management as partners push for fee-earner focus

Linklaters is considering a merger of the firm’s two senior management boards so that more partners can focus on fee-earning, sources have told The Lawyer. 

Insiders said senior partner Robert Elliott is considering merging its sixteen-partner international board, the firm’s most senior governance group, with its 12-partner executive committee, chaired by global managing partner Simon Davies.

The proposal is understood to be one of a number of suggestions put to partners during departmental meetings, with most thought to be in favour of the potential move.

“The number of people involved in the management decisions means that not much management gets done,” said one source. “As a result they [Linklaters] have been considering streamlining their excessive use of partners dedicated to management.”

Linklaters reshuffled its international board last June (3 June 2013), with four partners voted onto the senior governance body, including City capital markets partner Paul Lewis.

The international board consults partners to sound them out on potential managing partner candidates, with partners then invited to vote in a poll to confirm the choice in an electronic vote. 

The 16-partner board, chaired by senior partner Robert Elliott, comprises representatives from seven regions or countries excluding the UK, including two for Germany, as well as an additional six City partners representing three London practice groups.

A spokesperson for Linklaters said there were no current plans to merge the boards.  

Linklaters’ international board in full

Robert Elliott – senior partner, chairman

Simon Davies – global managing partner, non-voting

Jean-Pierre Blumberg – Benelux

William Buckley – London corporate

Dmitry Dobatkin – Eemea and Sweden

Alain Garnier – France 

Klaus Hoenig – Germany

Ian Karet – London commercial

Wolfgang Krauel – Germany

Paul Lewis – London finance and projects

Alberto Luzarraga – Americas

Teresa Ma – Asia

Davide Mencacci – South Europe

Greg Reid – London commercial

Tom Shropshire – London corporate

Nick Syson – London finance and projects