Burges Salmon has appointed employment partner Chris Seaton as its new senior partner, taking over from Alan Barr who will step down after six years in the role.
Barr, who was named senior partner after an uncontested election in 2011, will continue in a fee-earning role in the corporate finance practice after he hands over to Seaton on 1 May.
Seaton is also expected to spend 50 per cent of his time fee-earning as part of the employment team alongside his responsibilities as senior partner.
Seaton joined the firm in 1991 after 11 years in the Royal Navy. He was made up to partner in 1999 and was later named head of employment. He stepped down from that role in 2009 and was replaced by current employment head Roger Bull.
This is not the first management role that Seaton has held at the firm; he has chaired the firm’s international committee since 2004, and has served as a member of the firm’s partnership committee since 2011.
His role, which focuses on external relations, is understood to be vacant as the firm searches for a replacement.
Seaton told The Lawyer: “I’ve been on the executive board for five years already, I have worked with Peter quite closely.
“Alan has done a fantastic job, he has made a significant contribution to the success of the firm. I am looking to continue to do that and continue to drive forward the success of the firm. It’s still early days but I’ll be working with Peter to drive forward the strategy which is under close review.”
Burges Salmon managing partner Peter Morris said: “Chris brings to his new role an excellent track record as a client partner and the firm’s lead on international work and relationships.”