White & Case London head steps down as US chief flies into town

White & Case’s London head has stood down amid a comprehensive restructure of the firm’s London management.

London chief operating partner Neil Upton resigned from the post effective from 31 May to spend more time on client work. He will continue in his role as head of the London energy practice. During his short tenure, the London office posted its strongest financial results with profit per equity partner rising by 73.9 per cent.

At the same time, White & Case has unveiled a shake-up of its London management structure, which will see the creation of a five-partner executive committee.

Corporate head Peter Finlay, bank finance head Maurice Allen, capital markets head Josh Kiernan, energy, infrastructure projects and asset finance head Philip Stopford and disputes head Alistair Graham all have places on the new executive committee, which replaces the London office’s non-executive strategy group.

Finlay has also been appointed to the newly created post of London senior partner.

Global chief operating officer Jim Latchford is relocating to London from New York to chair the committee and oversee management of the London office.

A White & Case source said the move was designed to allow partners to focus on fee-earning and client work and to transfer the burden of management to non-lawyers.