Spendlove wins the top job at Fried Frank

Justin Spendlove has been appointed firmwide managing partner at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson less than a year after joining the US firm.

Spendlove was managing partner at Fried Frank’s former merger suitor Ashurst, before defecting to the New York firm last April.

His appointment follows an election vote last Thursday (26 January), which also saw the creation of a four-person committee to oversee the European practice. That committee will be led by Spendlove and will include his former Ashurst partner Siân Withey, Paris head Eric Caftriz and Frankfurt corporate specialist Sven Schulte-Hillen.

The firm’s former managing partner since 2003 Valerie Ford Jacob is taking the reins as chairperson, while her former co-managing partner Paul Reinstein is returning to full-time corporate practice.

Spendlove’s election to the top management post represents an astonishing coup for Fried Frank’s tiny 10-partner London office, which is dwarfed by more than 80 partners in the firm’s New York base.