Theodore Goddard is to seek out opportunities for global expansion, including alliances and mergers
It is establishing a new committee is a part of a management shake-up that follows managing partner Peter Cooke's decision to step down. When asked if the committee was being set up to identify international merger partners, Theodore Goddard senior partner Paddy Grafton Green said: "We're establishing a committee of two or three partners to look at opportunities that will enable us to develop our international reach. The partners will have a proactive role to identify any opportunities." Last autumn, Theodore Goddard fell out of merger talks with US firm Salans Hertzfeld & Heilbronn. It is understood that the breakdown of these talks is behind former managing partner Peter Kavanagh's decision to leave the firm, which was announced last week. Kavanagh was one of the leading proponents of the failed merger bid. Two other corporate partners, Simon Currie and Simon Goodworth, also announced they were leaving Theodore Goddard last week, to join US firm Covington & Burling. The partners are being allowed to leave before the standard 12 month notice period for partners is up. In return, Theodore Goddard has been told to expect lucrative referral work from Covington & Burling. Covington & Burling's head of corporate Scott Smith said: "We'll give them work. We like Theodore Goddard and enjoy working with them." Grafton Green said: "You do a deal where they move and you get work back. They will both leave in the course of this year." Kavanagh expects a similar deal to be offered when he chooses which US firm to join. Although Kavanagh is a former Theodore Goddard managing partner he is looking for a fee-earning role. It is understood that partners John Kelleher, John Lomas, Graham Stedman and Nigel West are the front runners in the race to become Theodore Goddard's new managing partner.