Herbert Smith has created the role of managing partner, with corporate partner David Willis taking on the position.
The move comes after Herbert Smith’s executive committee reviewed the firm’s management structure, deciding to complement David Gold’s senior partner role.
Gold said: “Herbert Smith is a bigger, more international and more complex organisation than it was when I became senior partner three years ago.
“It is essential we have a management structure that reflects these factors, the priority we are giving to international growth going forward and the opportunities and challenges we face from the current period of economic uncertainty.”
Willis is to chair the firm’s executive committee and will focus on implementing strategy. Gold will take responsibility for the firm’s LLP council and will focus on developing strategy. Willis will report to Gold, and will be an ex-officio member of the LLP Council.
Willis said: “Strong leadership and management is going to be particularly critical to our success in achieving the ambitious strategic goals developed by David and the global practice heads. It will also be essential if we are to retain the firm’s collegial and entrepreneurial culture as we pursue further international growth over the next few years.
“I am confident we can succeed on both fronts and look forward to working closely with the partners to achieve our aims.”
Willis’ term will run until March 2010 to coincide with the end of Gold’s five-year term as senior partner.