Are things not quite so rosy in the Clifford Chance garden? The news that there are three candidates thinking of standing against the incumbent for the position of London head of corporate is highly significant given the magic circle firm’s current mania for consensus.
It is hardly a vote of confidence for David Pearson, the incumbent. Indicating a desire to stand are Keith Hyman, Mark Poulton and Jonathan Beastall, say Clifford Chance sources. Hyman has made noises about standing before, but Poulton’s and Beastall’s potential candidacies are intriguing. Beastall is close to key client Siemens, while Poulton is a major fee-earner who has worked extensively with British Energy. Client relationships like these givethose two considerable clout.
Pearson, meanwhile, is known better for his lawyering than his interpersonal skills. To say the least. At the time of writing it was too early to tell how this would play out, and whether, as in Italy earlier this month, senior partner Stuart Popham would be brokering a deal. In any case, as the horse-trading begins, Pearson might want to take a few lessons in bedside manners.