The latest appointments

Veale Wasbrough managing partner Simon Pizzey is embarking on a third term after six years already at the helm.

Hextalls employment head Jane Liddington is to become the firm’s first non-executive chair as part of an internal rejig.

And they have had a contested election down at South East firm Lester Aldridge. The Bournemouth-based firm elected litigation head Michael Giddins as managing partner. He saw off rival candidates head of real estate Rachel Lapworth and corporate partner Tim Ford to the post. Head of Fast Track Karen Savage withdrew from the race, while incumbent Roger Wooley returns to a full-time fee-earner role.

Meanwhile, US firm Steptoe & Johnson has had a bizarre shake-up in London. Former managing partner Maury Shenk, who took up the role in 2002, has been replaced with a committee of four partners.

Note, it does not have a managing partner anymore, but a four-partner management board, one of whom resides in Washington DC.

The managing partner is actually Brendan Patterson, but there are some political shenanigans going on, which means it’s billed as a board with no sole managing partner. It is understood that the firm asked Patterson to take over as sole managing partner from Shenk, who has stood down because his wife has had a baby, but he said he would only do it on the condition that he was not the sole managing partner, but was part of a board. That’s diplomacy in action, folks.

Patterson says: “We’re taking the ego out of it. We’re not sending out a message, just managing the firm, which means cherishing good performers and getting rid of bad people.”