White & Case spurns Allen in election

White & Case London banking head Maurice Allen has been rebuffed in his attempt to win a seat on the firm’s management committee.

The election results, which were announced last Thursday (22 January), saw London project finance head Phillip Stopford win a place on the firm’s all-powerful leadership group. Stopford is understood to have had considerable support in Germany after his role in helping to broker the merger with Feddersen Laule in 2000.

Sources close to White & Case said that Allen – who last week was internally touted as a clear favourite, but whose support ebbed away in the final week – may have suffered from a split vote in London. London projects partner Peter Finlay, who had spent a term on the committee, also failed to make the cut.

However, the vote has been portrayed by some within the firm as a positive model for the growing European contingent, which is now represented by three out of the eight committee members. Joining Stopford on the committee are Paris head Gilles Peigney and Hamburg partner Eberhard Meincke, who already had a non-voting position.

The firm now moves to the next round of voting. If, as is widely expected, US partner Duane Wall returns as managing partner, that will free up another place on the committee. By tradition, this goes to a litigator. Sources say that this is likely to go to one of two US partners: commercial litigator Vincent Fitzpatrick and intellectual property litigator Demetrios Drivas.