Simmons & Simmons has replaced two if its new international practice group (IPG) heads after just three months in the job.
Corporate chief Damon Le Maitre-George (pictured), based in Hong Kong, and information, communications and technology (ICT) head Job Rietkerk in Rotterdam stood down this month to focus on practice groups in their respective jurisdictions.
They were replaced by London-based partners Mark Curtis in corporate and Tom Wheadon in ICT. The shake-up means that all of the firm’s 10 IPG heads are based in the City.
Curtis admitted that it had been a challenge for Le Maitre-George to run the corporate group from Asia, but denied this was the main reason for the move.
“The time difference between Hong Kong and Europe doesn’t help,” he said.
“He is concentrating on Asia because of the expansion of the China corporate practice.”
Simmons launched the IPG system in May to bring together practice groups across its international network. Department heads are responsible for strategy, recruitment and a significant portion of partner remuneration within their practice areas.
A firm spokesman said: “All the IPG heads are in London. That’s not through any planned design but when looking for the partner who is best placed to lead an international team, it is natural to choose someone who has experience of managing and leading a large practice domestically. More often than not, that is in London.”