White & Case to vote on three-tier management

White & Case to vote on three-tier management” />White & Case is expected to introduce a three-tier management structure as the firm finalises the radical overhaul of its global governance system.

It is understood that the New York-headquartered firm’s partners favour retaining a full-time managing partner-style role.

But the existing eight-member management board, which is made up of fee-earning lawyers, would be replaced with a two to four-member full-time executive board, to be overseen by the managing partner.

A further management-type committee of fee-earning partners would then be introduced to sit under the executive board to assist with the implementation of strategic decisions.

A White & Case partner said the proposal was aimed at “running the firm in a more corporate fashion, with more time dedicated to management”.

As first reported by The Lawyer (20 March 2006), the firm has been debating the governance overhaul and identifying a successor to managing partner Duane Wall for almost a year. Wall, who has held the role of full-time managing partner since 1 April 2000, will stand down in March 2008.

Wall has been clear from the outset that the new structure will “involve more than one person in full-time management”, while creating greater practice group links between its international offices.

White & Case’s four-member governance committee is taking final soundings on the details of the proposal following a debate at the firm’s partner retreat in Prague in January.

The management board is expected to make a decision next month, with Wall to detail the final proposal to the partnership before a vote in late March or early April. Approval from 85 per cent of the equity partnership is required.