Parker is City's first female senior partner

CITY firm Withers has elected the head of its family law department, Diana Parker, as its new senior partner.

Parker, 40, is believed to be the youngest senior partner of any firm in the Top 100.

She is also thought to be the first female senior partner of a City firm, although there are already some female managing partners – including Lesley MacDonagh at Lovell White Durrant and Lesley Lintott at Penningtons.

Parker – who has been head of the 44-partner firm's top-rated family law department since 1991 – will take over from Brian Stevens in January.

Elected for a five-year term, with the possibility of a further three years, she campaigned on a platform of “commitment, energy and a track record of being good at what I do”.

She ruled out a major expansion of the firm, saying that its short-lived merger with Crossman Block – the two firms merged and demerged within two years in the late 1980s – had “taught us that it is rare for a merger to work.”

She added: “We have advantages in our size.”