Linklaters’ new chief vows to take on the US

Linklaters’ new chief vows to take on the US” />Linklaters managing partner-elect Simon Davies will kick off his term of office with an ambitious plan to make Linklaters a major player on Wall Street during the next decade, saying he will also look to put “people” at the heart of his long-term strategy.

Over the past week speculation has been rife that New York has become the magic circle firm’s number one aim. Davies acknowledged it was a “key priority” and that he wanted to see his New York leadership team – new Americas managing partner John Tucker, US senior partner Paul Wickes and New York co-managing partners Nick Rees and Larry Byrne – make Linklaters a “real contender” in the US.

Davies told The Lawyer he wants global head of finance and projects Tucker, in his role as Americas managing partner, to “do with the New York office what he did for the banking practice”.

“Before John took over Linklaters’ banking team we were languishing behind our rivals, but within five years he managed to turn this around,” said Davies. “Banking now sees a compound growth in revenue of 30 per cent per annum and we’re now one of the top three firms, alongside Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance.

“It’s this success that I want to see replicated in the New York office.”

Davies emphasised a renewed focus on people management at the firm for his tenure.

“Bringing in the New York leadership team and opening a Düsseldorf office have been part of the short-term strategy and are key, but bringing more of a people focus to the firm is also vital,” said Davies.

Davies, the firm’s former Asia chief, added: “When these ideas were implemented in Asia the region saw attrition drop by 90 per cent and this is something that needs to be seen across the board.”

As part of the people strategy, Davies, who has already taken over from his predecessor Tony Angel as chair of the magic circle’s executive committee, has appointed three new posts to the board.

Chief operating officer Simon Thompson, client relationship partner Richard Godden and HR director Jill King have all been given voting rights to provide insight into the everyday running of the firm.