The London office of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) posted an increase in net profit of 39 per cent during 2005, placing London senior partner Paul Maher in a strong position for the impending succession battle for the role of firm chairman.
MBR&M chairman Ty Fahner is due to step down next year and there is widespread speculation internally about succession.
The debate centres on whether the firm should have one full-time chairman or two co-chairmen who would continue fee-earning duties.
Maher is certain to be among the leading pack after a strong performance in London, which saw turnover rise some 5 per cent to £83m and net profit skyrocket from £18m to £25m in 2005. He was also one of the architects of the merger between Rowe & Maw and Mayer Brown in 2002.
Other potential candidates will probably be drawn from the firm’s management committee, including managing partner of Washington DC Kenneth Geller, Chicago’s litigation heavyweight James Holzauer, pensions partner Herbert Krueger and corporate rainmaker Frederick Thomas.
Campaigning is likely to intensify over the next few months, with an election possibly taking place as soon as May.
The election process will see MBR&M’s executive committee take soundings from the partnership on favourite candidates.
However, the deciding vote is left to a 12-person committee.