Sir Robert Finch quits Linklaters for Liberty

Linklaters is to lose its most senior partner Sir Robert Finch, who announced his retirement from the firm to take up the role of chairman of Liberty International, the FTSE100 property group.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (17 June), Finch, formerly head of the magic circle firm’s real estate group and more recently Lord Mayor of the City of London, will retire from the firm’s partnership on 1 July. He only rejoined Linklaters full-time earlier this year after taking a step back from the firm while he served as Lord Mayor during 2003-04.

Finch’s appointment has been speculated about since February, but was complicated by potential conflicts of interest created by his role at Linklaters.

Liberty International is a longstanding client of Linklaters. The firm acted for the property group last year on an issue of £240m convertible bonds due in 2010.

Finch become a partner in 1974 after joining the firm in 1969. He was head of real estate from 1997 until 1999, when he stepped down to assume a civic career in the City of London.

Since rejoining Linklaters full-time, Finch had been splitting his time between the real estate practice and developing the firm’s relationships in the Middle East and Japan.

Finch has been a non-executive director of Liberty International since February. He will replace Donald Gordon, who retires at the end of June.