Hogan Lovells has appointed a new global chair of the firm to replace long-serving partner Nicholas Cheffings.
The firm has elected its first German partner in the role, with Hamburg IP litigator Leopold von Gerlach set to take the reins from May this year.
Von Gerlach fought off competition from three other Hogan Lovells partners. His term lasts for three years, with members able to serve as chair for two terms only.
The process sees Hogan Lovells’ board put forward a number of recommendations to partners following soundings from members. The partners then vote on that final recommendation.
As chair, von Gerlach will head Hogan Lovells’ 12-strong board, which advises the CEO and international management committee on strategy, management and operating decisions.
He has been a member of the board since May 2014, acting as the representative for continental Europe. He further worked on the firm’s partner advancement committee, with responsibility for the promotion of associates and counsel.
Von Gerlach replaces real estate specialist Cheffings, who first took up the role in 2012.
He took over from co-chairs Claudette Christian and John Young, who shared the role after the merger between legacy firms Hogan & Hartson and Lovells in May 2010.
After stepping down, Cheffings will continue to practise in Hogan Lovells’ City office.