All change at Weil: managing partner Francies reflects on a turbulent 2014

The nights are drawing in, and it’s getting a bit chilly. But has it been a particularly tough week for the City’s law firm managers? This morning brought a management move frenzy, as it has emerged that the top dogs from Slaughter and May and Pinsent Masons are due to retire and step down.

At least Clifford Chance’s senior partner Malcolm Sweeting has stepped up to take on another four years in the firm’s top role.

Neither does it look as if Weil Gotshal & Manges’ London chief Mike Francies is going anywhere soon. In this week’s leadership interview he talks hires, high yield and, of course, Stephen Lucas – the firm’s high-profile finance partner who quit for Kirkland & Ellis earlier this year.

Having initially hired Lucas in 2011 to build a sturdy banking practice in London, Francies says: “We recognise that Stephen regarded his time here as a sort of project.” The project wasn’t necessarily finished, but Francies reckons he made a pretty good start.

In fact, now that the dust has settled following his exit, Francies says diplomatically, “it could be win/win for us and for him”.

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