Geffen reflects on Ashurt’s flirtation with US merger

It’s been over a year since Ashurst partners voted Ben Tidswell into the firm’s newly created chairman role and in doing so ousted Charlie Geffen after four years at the helm.

Having trained at the firm, made partner in 1991, proceeded to become head of private equity and then to senior partner in 2009, the general consensus at the time of the 2013 election was that Geffen would leave the firm, if not leave law altogether.

But after what he terms his “second gap year”, Geffen has re-surfaced at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher alongside former Ashurst corporate partners Jonathan Earle and Nigel Stacey and is adamant that the time off only reinforced his desire to continue working.

As the US firm’s London chair of corporate and tasked with establishing its English law capability, there is a sense that Geffen is attempting to fulfil an ambition he was unable to at Ashurst.  

“I’d have loved Ashurst to do a US merger,” he confesses in today’s interview. “If I’d won I’d absolutely have pushed that agenda and consolidation.”

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