Hopefuls line up for the top jobs as elections draw near

Election season is now in full swing, with candidates emerging for the top jobs at Dickinson Dees, Herbert Smith, Lovells and Simmons & Simmons.

Simmons is gearing up to find a replacement for managing partner David Dickinson. The exact timetable for the election process has not been set, although nominations are expected to start next month. The new managing partner’s term will start on 1 May 2005.

The first shortlist of contenders in the Lovells managing partner contest, which did not include head of litigation Patrick Sherrington or head of property Bob Kidby, was circulated to partners last Wednesday (first revealed on Lawyer News Weekly, 8 September). New to the list were corporate partner John Davidson and German partners Roland Bomhard and Harald Siesler, who are already on the firm’s management team. Other hopefuls, as predicted by The Lawyer, comprise head of finance David Harris, head of Asia Don Kelly, Western Europe managing partner John Pheasant and head of commercial Andrew Skipper.

The final vote is set for late November, although the shortlist of three candidates is expected to be revealed by 6 October.

At Herbert Smith, only two contenders have so far emerged to replace senior partner Richard Bond, whose tenure expires at the end of the financial year and who will not stand for a second term. As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (31 August), practice partner Richard Fleck and head of litigation David Gold have both confirmed their intention to stand.

It is still possible for more hopefuls to emerge as the nomination process does not conclude until the end of September. The firm is taking soundings from every partner, designed in part to encourage more candidates to come forward ahead of the October ballot.
Interest is expected from corporate partners Stephen Hancock and Tim Bellis.

Meanwhile, some 300-odd miles away, partners at Newcastle giant Dickinson Dees will be casting their first round of votes in what will be the first contested election in more than seven years.

Candidates in the senior and managing partner elections are understood to include company/commercial partner John Flynn and litigation partners Robin Bloom and Jen Smurthwaite, as well as incumbent managing partner Neil Braithwaite.