McDermott partners set to do battle over the top spot

McDermott Will & Emery is kicking off its search for a new chairman, with two senior partners emerging as potential candidates.

Larry Gerber has indicated that he will stand down from his role of chairman, which he has held since 1991, in June this year.

Michael Fayhee, head of the firm’s tax department, is understood to be standing for the role, as is Harvey Freishtat, a health law partner who is also a member of McDermott’s management committee. Freishtat is also the chair of the firm’s compensation and practice integration committees.

The changeover at McDermott coincides with a similar move at Dewey Ballantine. Everett Jassy is stepping down as chairman of Dewey Ballantine after seven years in the role, before which he was co-chairman from 1991.

The role will now be split again, between Morton Pierce, vice chairman of Dewey Ballantine’s corporate department and its M&A group, and Sanford Morhouse, chairman of the investment group. Morhouse is also a vice chairman on the management committee and a member of the executive committee.

The co-chairmen were chosen by Dewey Ballantine’s 13-member management committee and will take on the role in October.