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Only 20 per cent of the top US firms in London give their UK-qualified partners roles on their global executive, according to a survey by The Lawyer
Just nine out of the 25 firms questioned had London-based partners on their most senior strategic committee, and of those nine, only five were UK-qualified. The most influential UK lawyers in US firms are Peter Finlay at White & Case, Mike Francies at Weil Gotshal & Manges, Andrew Wilkinson at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Tony Wollenburg at Steptoe & Johnson Rakison and Stephen Fogel at Dechert. The irony of the position of Francies and Wilkinson is that Weil Gotshal and Cadwalader are two of the US firms in London that have suffered the most partner defections, and both firms suffer a reputation of being driven by New York. The four US-qualified partners based in London but with places on their firm's top committees are Edward Greene at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Bruce Buck at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and dual-qualified Dyke Davies at Bryan Cave. Tom Kellerman, managing partner of Brobeck Hale and Dorr, is the last, though his is a special case. The firm in London is a joint venture between Boston firm Hale and Dorr and San Francisco firm Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, and Kellerman is on a strategy committee comprising representatives of both firms. In the largest of the other US firms in London, most managing partners are on secondary global committees dealing with day-to-day management issues. White & Case project finance partner Finlay is a member of his firm's eight-member, democratically elected management board, where three members are from outside the US; Francies, the managing partner of Weil Gotshal's London office, is one of 13 members of the global management committee; while Cadwalader's London managing partner Wilkinson is one of seven on the management committee.