A&O brings Germans into management team

Fischer-Zernin and Overlack unanimously voted in as Welling is recalled to London

Allen & Overy (A&O) has changed the structure of its German management, creating two new roles to replace current head Mark Welling, who is to return to London in October.
Hamburg-based partner Cornelius Fischer-Zernin has been appointed managing partner while Frankfurt-based partner Arndt Overlack has been appointed senior partner.
While Overlack will be responsible for long-term strategy, lateral hiring and partner promotions, Fischer-Zernin will focus on day-to-day administration and short-term strategy. The roles have been created to allow both partners to continue with fee-earning.
Welling said: “The management role of an operation like ours is still growing and there is a lot of business done in recruitment. This means that there is a lot more of a management function in Germany than somewhere like Hong Kong.”
According to Welling it is now time for A&O to move on to the next stage of development in Germany. “This stage should be led by the Germans,” he said. “Otherwise people will say it's odd that we don't have German management.”
Fischer-Zernin and Overlack were appointed by the firmwide management board on the recommendation of the German partners. It is understood that the votes were unanimous.
Welling, who has been based in Frankfurt since October 1998, is moving back to London to focus on global risk including conflicts, business development, money laundering, compliance and ethical matters. The creation of this new position comes in the wake of the collapse of US energy giant Enron and big five accountancy firm Andersen.
Welling has also been appointed to the firm's seven-partner management board.