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Steptoe & Johnson has shaken up the management of its London office and given the reins to relative newcomer Maury Shenk
Anthony Wollenberg, who has led the London office in its current guise since the 2001 merger between US firm Steptoe & Johnson and niche City firm Rakisons, will return to a front line fee-earning role. Prior to the merger, Wollenberg had headed Rakisons since its inception in 1979. He brokered the merger and after 20 years leading the firm has decided to concentrate on business development and build his betting and gaming practice. Wollenberg is the firm's biggest biller. Wollenberg said: "I've always believed in bringing in young talent in all areas of the firm. I prefer now to concentrate on lawyering, and in particular building up the big-ticket litigation and arbitration practice, and also betting and gaming, which I see as a big growth area over the next few years." He is understood to have marked out Shenk as his successor. US-qualified Shenk moved over to the London office after being made a partner last January. He then became administrative partner and was groomed to assume the management post. Shenk, 36, said: "It's been a rather rapid advancement for me. I think I may be the youngest managing partner of any firm this size in the City. I've been quite enjoying it. Fortunately, things are going well and I'm confident it will stay that way." The firm has 14 partners and 41 fee-earners in London. Steptoe's executive committee, on which Wollenberg retains a seat and Shenk now sits, is in the process of formulating a strategic plan for the office.