Barring an unprecedented partner revolt, Simmons & Simmons head of finance Mark Dawkins will succeed David Dickinson as managing partner in May. That Dawkins was the only favoured candidate willing to stand should take nothing away from the fact that he was the obvious choice.
Dawkins has led the finance practice as it has achieved turnover increases of more than 20 per cent in each of the last three years. The finance practice has easily outperformed the rest of the firm, which explains why his candidacy went uncontested. Sorting that imbalance out will be one of the first items in his managerial in-tray in May.
How Dawkins deals with that demanding in-tray will be one of the stories of 2005. Simmons has suffered a string of partner departures and a slide in profits that makes it the least profitable City firm in the top 30. The managing partner-elect has his work cut out, but don’t bet against him.