CMS Cameron McKenna has restructured its senior management to drive through plans for European expansion.
The firm has elected senior corporate partner Dick Tyler to replace Robert Derry-Evans as managing partner. Derry-Evans takes up the new post of chief executive. Senior partner Bill Shelford stays in his post.
A Camerons spokesman says the firm decided to “beef up” its management to pursue European and global expansion more aggressively.
The nominations were agreed uncontested at a partners meeting on 3 March and were agreed by the partnership last week.
The spokesman says Derry-Evans will now concentrate on the firm's medium to long-term strategy, particularly in Europe. “The nuts and bolts of the firm's domestic activities will be looked after by Dick Tyler. He will manage the firm on a day-to-day basis,” he adds.
Since the CMS launch in May last year, the European alliance has seen several hiccups. The first major blow came when Tisell & Co, the Swedish member, left to link up with Ernst & Young.
Earlier this month, Derks Star Busmann Hanotiau partner Frits can Hees, a member of the CMS committee, also left for the accountancy firm.
And the future of Danish member Schulter & Hald is in doubt as it has merged with two local firms.
The spokesman says: “An important part of Robert's responsibility will be to work on CMS and realise the goals that we set when the announcement was made.”
Derry-Evans and Shelford keep their places on the CMS management committee.
Derry-Evans has been criticised by former members of the firm's CIS group for his handling of sexual harassment allegations made against the firm. Camerons was also hit by The Lawyer's report on the dubious legal qualifications of Ilia Iaroslavski, the man at the centre of the allegations (10 January).
The spokesman rejects any suggestion that Derry-Evans' move is connected with the firm's troubles. “This is not a knee-jerk reaction. This is about good business planning.”
Derry-Evans says: “These changes show that three years after merger CMS Cameron McKenna is a mature and confident firm, ready for the challenges or our increasingly competitive and fast-paced market.”