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White & Case has implemented a long-debated three-tier management system with the election of project finance and banking partner Hugh Verrier as chair.
Verrier succeeds managing partner Duane Wall as head of the firm's management, with the latter bringing forward his retirement from the mooted March 2008 date.
Moscow-based Verrier, who has been with the firm since 1983, is transferring to New York to work a transitional period alongside Wall.
Having led the firm since 2000, Wall is due to retire in the coming months, when his role as managing partner comes to an end at the firm.
As reported by The Lawyer last year (20 March 2006), White & Case carried out a consultation to review the process of finding Wall's successor and structuring the firm's management. In the past the partnership voted in a management board, with the committee choosing the managing partner from its members.
Under the new scheme Verrier has been voted in by his peers and is in the process of choosing three partners to serve on a full-time executive committee alongside him. The board will be responsible for making strategic decisions at the firm.
In addition, elections are currently underway to create an eight-strong partnership committee, with members required to serve on the compensation and new partners committees. It is expected that elections will complete in September, at which point Wall's management board will be disbanded and Verrier will assume full control of the firm.
Verrier has taken on the chairman's role for a four-year term, with all members of the partnership committee also set to serve four years.
Verrier has led White & Case's Moscow office since 1998, prior to which he served with the firm in New York, Turkey and Indonesia.