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The Takeover Panel has nominated a former Coward Chance lawyer to be its new director general next year.
Robert Hingley, who was at Clifford Chance’s legacy firm 20 years ago, will succeed Mark Warham as the Panel’s new head. All director generals are seconded from their regular jobs during their two-year tenure. Hingley is currently a vice chairman of Lexicon Partners as well as being the chief financial officer for Save the Children.
Warham will return to Morgan Stanley, where he was previously UK head of M&A before coming to the Panel. He will continue overseeing UK coverage and execution, he told The Lawyer.
Warham will continue as director general until the end of the year, with a short overlap with Hingley from late November.
Warham said: “I continue to enjoy my position and it’s been a great time to do it, with some very high-profile deals. I think Robert will be excellent: he’s very smart and practical.”
Currently, some of the deals the Panel is reviewing include EMI’s approach from Terra Firma (and formerly Warner), Delta Two’ £10.6bn bid for Sainsbury’s, and Akzo Nobel, to whom the Panel issued a “put up or shut up” notice earlier this month concerning the company’s potential takeover of ICI.
According to the Panel’s recently published annual report, the number of takeover proposals that became unconditional or were withdrawn or lapsed dropped to 144 from 151 last year. The Panel’s finances also improved, with income rising from £12.9 to £17.2m as expenditure fell slightly from £9.9m to £9.4m.