Trio of partners do battle for Linklaters’ senior partner role

Three partners are set to compete to replace Linklaters senior partner David Cheyne after the magic circle firm’s international board reduced its original five-strong long list.


David Cheyne
David Cheyne

The high-profile line up features global banking chief Robert Elliott, head of litigation John Turnbull and Antwerp-based European managing partner Jean-Pierre Blumberg. Former corporate head David Barnes and corporate partner Richard Godden have now dropped out of contention for the job.

A vote to decide on Cheyne’s replacement will take place in April, with the new senior partner taking up his position at the start of the next financial year.

Elliott and Turnbull have been mooted for the role for some time, with the former having unsuccessfully stood against Cheyne and former finance chief Giles White in 2006.

The firm has never previously had a non-London partner in either of its two most senior management positions, but sources dismissed the idea that Blumberg’s nomination was a token gesture for Linklater’s international offices.

One partner said: “He’s a quality guy and a serious player. Do I think he’ll win? No. But that’s not because he’s international. All three are quality blokes.”

Meanwhile, the senior partner race at CMS Cameron McKenna has stepped up with the four candidates issuing manifestos to the partnership. The quartet battling to replace incumbent Richard Price are former managing partner Dick Tyler, infrastructure partner Andrew Ivison, regulated industries head Robert Lane and consumer products head Louise Wallace.

The four candidates will speak at hustings at the City firm next week ahead of a vote next month.