Allen & Overy managing partner David Morley has won the backing of the firm’s partnership to pip corporate head Richard Cranfield to the senior partner post.
Belgian managing partner and co-head of corporate Wim Dejonghe has been named managing partner. Dejonghe beat London finance partner and management board member Boyan Wells and will be the first non-London based partner to lead the firm.
Morley said: "I am honoured to have been elected as senior partner of such a great firm. I look forward to working with Wim as managing partner and everyone at A&O to serve our clients and take the firm forward with a sense of confidence and adventure."
Dejonghe and Morley will step up to their new roles on 30 April, with Morley replacing former senior partner Guy Beringer.
Beringer said in a statement: "I congratulate David and Wim on their appointment to lead the firm as senior partner and managing partner. They will be an excellent team and I am confident that the firm will flourish under their leadership."
Dejonghe originally stood for managing partner in 2002 but was beaten to the post by Morley. He will now move to London to succeed him.
The elections were conducted on behalf of the firm by Electoral Reform Services, an independent supplier of ballots and election services.