Sandelson favourite to be CC City managing partner

Clifford Chance

London litigation head Jeremy Sandelson is emerging as the frontrunner for the job of London managing partner, as nominations close at 3pm today (3 October).

Sandelson, who has long been one of the favourites for the post, is understood to have sent out an email to the London partnership last week confirming that he would stand if nominated.

Under the voting rules, the three equity partners with the most nominations go forward. Other nominees are understood to have included finance partners Mark Stewart and David Bickerton, but it is unclear whether they will let their names be put forward for the vote. No voting deadline has yet been set. Sandelson and Stewart declined to comment, while Bickerton was unavailable for comment.

The London managing partner post became vacant when current incumbent Peter Charlton won the job of global head of corporate against Rome-based partner Nick Wrigley. Although dismissed by some as an administration-heavy job, it carries considerable influence within the firm. For historical reasons, the London post includes the management of the increasingly important Dubai operation and also brings with it a seat on the firm’s powerful management committee.

Last year Clifford Chance turned over £402m in London, an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year’s figure of £386m. However, Linklaters overtook Clifford Chance for the first time, posting a revenue of £410m.

The London post is the first of three management committee seats up for renewal this autumn. The roles of global real estate head and global tax head are also up for re-election.

Insiders are predicting that the current heads, Cliff McAuley for real estate and Doug French for tax, will have little serious opposition if they decide to stand again.

McAuley is currently chairing the lockstep review group as Clifford Chance moves towards a vote on the firm’s equity structure this autumn.