Giles wins race to become chairman of Norton Rose

Backing from the Asian and asset finance practices puts Giles ahead in a tough-fought competition.

Norton Rose Asian managing partner Paul Giles last week beat off tough competition from three other candidates to win the coveted role of chairman when David Lewis stands down at the end of this month.

The three other challengers were real estate partner David Ashworth, corporate finance partner Simon Sackman and banking partner Jeffery Barratt.

Giles, an asset finance partner who has been based in Singapore since 1997, managed to surpass his three London-based competitors in the three-week secret ballot election. He will relocate to London to take up the post on 1 May.

Giles has spent a large proportion of his career in Asia, and is thought to have gained support from the Asian practice, as well as asset finance group.

He initially spent 14 years in Hong Kong with Johnson Stokes & Master, before joining Norton Rose’s London office in 1988. In 1997, he was relocated to Singapore and took the role of managing partner of the Singapore office and international managing partner for Asia.

The role of chairman was introduced last year after changes to the corporate structure, which also saw the introduction of a chief executive, a role that continues to be held by Peter Martyr.

Lewis, who formerly had the role of senior partner, took on the position of chairman at that time.

He has now come to the end of his second three-year term, the maximum for any one partner in the role.

Lewis will continue as a part-time consultant at the firm, while pursuing other interests in the City at the same time.