Herbert Smith has drawn up a shortlist of candidates to fill the newly-created role of chief operating officer (COO).

The Lawyer understands that around six candidates, drawn from commerce and professional services firms, will be interviewed for the post at the end of June. It is believed that the headhunters being used by Herbert Smith met up with at least 17 candidates before drawing up the shortlist.

The successful candidate can expect to land a salary of between £250,000 and £400,000.

One source close to the process described the role as the biggest non-legal job currently in the legal market.

Senior partner David Gold created the role of COO when he overhauled the City firm’s management structure earlier this year. As part of the new structure, which came into force in April, Gold also established a six-strong executive committee, which will include three divisional heads and the COO.

As first reported in The Lawyer (7 March), Herbert Smith’s former executive partner Iain Rothnie is acting as a temporary COO until the firm finds someone to fill the role permanently.