Rowe & Maw poised to vote on Mayer Brown merger

Rowe & Maw awaits results of US vote; London set to gain three board positions

As The Lawyer went to press, Rowe & Maw partners were about to vote on a merger with Mayer Brown & Platt that would give its London presence a powerful place within the management structures of a global firm.
Under the terms of the deal negotiated by Rowe & Maw, London will initially have three seats on the merged firm's 13-strong management board, known as the policy and planning committee.
Senior partner Stuart James, head of corporate Paul Maher and joint head of litigation Sean Connolly will all join the management board. In addition, head of property Jeremy Clay and litigation co-head David Allen will take up non-voting seats when the board discusses UK and international matters.
Maher is to take on the title of senior partner designate for London, in lieu of the senior partner role he would have taken if Rowe & Maw remained independent. He will continue to head the corporate department in London. Current senior partner Stuart James is to retire next year, after which Maher will move into his role. London's representation on the global policy and planning committee will then drop to two voting seats, but an extra London corporate partner will join the London managing board.
Under the terms of the merger, Maher will also co-chair the firm's international committee with a New York partner. The committee coordinates Mayer Brown's European practice.
Mayer Brown's London managing partner Ian Coles will become head of finance in the UK. He will join Rowe & Maw's London management board, but not the board of the merged firm.
Of the lawyers in Mayer Brown's London office, 25 will move into Rowe & Maw's offices as soon as possible.
Partners at Rowe & Maw were awaiting the final result of the US vote before conducting their own ballot.
A source close to the process said that the US vote was going well. Its 350 partners were able to cast their vote at any time up to midday Chicago time on Friday. Their votes were being counted by a firm of accountants.