Leeds stalwart Walker Morris is radically overhauling its management team.
Current managing partner Philip Mudd, who has held the position for the last three years, is stepping down at the end of the month.
Only one person, banking and insolvency partner Michael Taylor, was nominated for the role. He was voted in on Friday (30 March).
Taylor has been with the independent Yorkshire firm since qualifying in 1986, making partnership in 1991. He is highly regarded in his fields, specialising in a range of work that includes acquisition finance, lending and security advice, restructuring and workouts.
Walker Morris is regarded as one of the leading banking and insolvency firms in Yorkshire. But it is likely that Taylor will follow in Mudd's footsteps and continue fee-earning while carrying out his management duties.
Fellow insolvency partner Mudd will return to full-time fee-earning from 1 May, when the new managing partner will assume the role.
Now the new managing partner has been chosen, the process will get underway to elect a new chairman. It is not known at this stage whether incumbent Chris Caisley will run.
The firm has also appointed a new head of property. Paul Walker has already taken over from David Duckworth, who is stepping down to concentrate on Walker Morris' online offering.
Walker Morris has spent the last few years building up its internet services, in particular by launching Reach, which is an online resource that allows clients access to legal advice and to their ongoing accounts.
Mudd confirms that he is stepping down on 1 May, and that Taylor will replace him.
The management shake-up comes after a spate of high-level lateral hires by Walker Morris last year.
Last summer it hired the former director of Yorkshire Television Ralph Coyle to front a new media and broadcasting unit and to advise corporate clients on new media strategies (The Lawyer, 3 July 2000).
It then went on to recruit Eversheds' Manchester construction head Simon Anderson (The Lawyer, 7 August 2000).