Clifford Chance managing partner Matthew Layton set the tone for his tenure within weeks of succeeding David Childs last May when he overhauled the firm’s constitution, scrapping leadership elections and installing a new executive management team.
Less than a year later and the next phase of a grand plan to future-proof the firm is underway.
Layton has appointed Amsterdam managing partner Bas Boris Visser as the firm’s first global head of innovation and business change. Meanwhile, a new chief operating officer Caroline Firstbrook will lead the firm’s 3,000 business services staff into a new era in which Layton expects to see their contribution given equal recognition to that of the firm’s legal staff.
None of it is an easy sell to a traditional magic circle partnership but Layton’s willing to stake his reputation on it. “Judge me on the next five years,” he says.
With David Childs remembered as the watchman of financial efficiency, is Layton set to enter the annals for introducing a culture of innovation to Clifford Chance?
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