Savage will replace managing partner Michael Greville, who has been interim head since June last year after O'Melveny & Myers snared the firm's head of litigation David Kavanagh to head its own litigation group.
Savage said: "Litigation slowed down in recent years. Considering recent market volatility there's been an increased appetite in this market. The firm's going to focus on international arbitration and finance litigation going forward. We're recruiting into these areas at the moment."
WFW shrank its litigation team during 2006 and 2007 when work declined. Two associates were made redundant from the firm, with one associate being transferred to the corporate team.
Savage commented: "The team's changed in recent years, but I think we're in a position to build back up. We'll be getting a lot busier during the next year or so."