Nigel Boardman is to stand down as Slaughter and May’s head of corporate this April. A new head should be in place by May, but as yet there is no obvious successor.
Boardman, who has been in the post since the mid-1990s, wants to spend more time on client work. He said: “Eight years of counting paperclips is enough – they all look the same after a while.”
Sources said that Boardman, who is something of a maverick, will have more freedom outside the constraints of the firm’s management.
Boardman’s contemporary and Linklaters head of corporate David Cheyne said: “Frankly, the thought of doing my job for eight years would fill me with deep gloom.” Cheyne has been in his post for three and a half years.
The decision leaves a power vacuum in Slaughters’ corporate management. Under the partnership system, the position carries less power than at Linklaters, where partners live or die by the word of the head of corporate. However, it carries a considerable amount of prestige both inside and outside the firm.