Linklaters' three-way senior partner race will formally begin this month as the candidates put the finishing touches to their manifestos.
Those standing for the high-profile role to succeed incumbent Anthony Cann are former head of corporate David Cheyne and finance chief Giles White. Although considered an outsider, the magic circle firm's global head of restructuring and insolvency Robert Elliott is also vying for the post.
Under the rules of the partnership deed, it is understood that another candidate can enter the battle if they have the backing of 10 per cent of the partnership. But according to Linklaters sources, a fourth contender is unlikely to emerge.
It is understood that the manifestos and ballot papers will be sent to partners soon. Voting will last around a fortnight, with the winner emerging by the end of the month.
The winner will take over from Cann in the autumn. Cann beat ex-managing partner Terence Kyle to replace Charles Allen-Jones in 2001.