Simmons & Simmons senior partner Janet Gaymer has announced she will step down next year to take up a new role as Commissioner for Public Appointments in England and Wales.
Gaymer will leave Simmons after completing her first term as senior partner. She has been at the firm for 35 years.
The nomination period for the new senior partner will start in January, with the election due to take place before March 2006.
Gaymer told The Lawyer: “I made it very clear to the partnership that I would only fulfil one term as senior partner of the firm and no more,” she said. “I won’t leave until a new person has been elected to the post which I expect will happen in February or March.”
As commissioner, Gaymer’s role will be to regulate, monitor, report and advise on appointments made by UK Ministers and by the National Assembly of Wales to the Boards of around 900 national and regional bodies.
The appointment was made by the Queen and independent of Government.
Prior to being appointed senior partner in 2001, Gaymer was the head of the firm’s employment law department.
Simmons managing partner Mark Dawkins said Gaymer broke a ‘glass ceiling’ in becoming the senior partner of Simmons and remains the only female senior partner of a major international law firm in the City of London.
“It is a testament to the quality of our partners that several of them are playing a part in shaping public policy,” said Dawkins.