Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer disputes resolution head Ian Terry (pictured) has stepped down from the role after three years with Chris Pugh due to succeed him at the beginning of January.
Terry, who served as managing partner of the firm between 1996 and 2001, will return to full-time fee earning.
Terry said: “When I stopped being managing partner I wanted to go back to being a lawyer again. I did that for four years, but three years ago was asked to be practice head. I didn’t come back to the practice to do that but I said I would do it for a three-year period.”
Pugh has been a partner in the dispute resolution group since 1991 and is experienced as a commercial litigator and arbitrator. He has represented a number of clients including ConocoPhillips, Lehman Brothers, Abbey National and ABN Amro.
Pugh said: “These are very difficult times for clients but they are times in which disputes lawyers have real experience and assistance to offer.
“We have an extremely strong group which is both truly international and diverse in the advice it can provide. We have recently been instructed in the most testing situations and we aim to continue to be at the heart of the resolution of market adjustments and to provide support to our clients in dealing with the disputes that are arising.”
Terry said that Pugh had been an obvious choice for the role, adding that he is well-prepared for management duties having served on the firm’s partnership council for a number of years.
This is the third major management change at Freshfields this year. In April Mark Rawlinson took over management of the corporate practice after Tim Jones stood down to take on the London managing partner role (The Lawyer, 27 March 2008).
Finance co-chief Perry Noble left the firm in the summer to join former client Babcock & Brown. His management position was filled by Alan Newton (The Lawyer, 20 May 2008).