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Howard Morris has been confirmed as Denton Wilde Sapte’s new chief executive.
The financial institutions head beat three other candidates to the post - board member Martin Kitchen, regulatory head Robert Finney and head of competition Jonathan Tatten.
Morris, a highly popular contender in the election race, will take his post on 7 February.
He replaces Virginia Glastonbury who indicated earlier this year that she would not be standing for a second term.
Morris, whose election manifesto was described by one partner as a "collective hug," faces a challenging period at DWS.
As first reported by The Lawyer, the firm is bracing itself for a profits slide this year and has instituted another wave of support staff redundancies.
However, chairman James Dallas said in a statement, "We have the opportunity now to build a much stronger business on the back of the hard preparatory work that we have done and the tough decisions that we have taken over the last year or so. Howard has just the right blend of skills to seize this opportunity and I very much look forward to working with him."