Freshfields retains dual head strategy

However, for the first time, the firm is likely to use a committee system to handle candidate selection in next year’s senior partner elections.

Freshfields is consulting the partnership on a review of the practice group heads who were appointed for a three-year term in the wake of the Bruckhaus merger. The process will be complete by the beginning of August.

Crucially, the joint Anglo-German system will be retained, although as with the current arrangement, each co-head will have globally rather than regionally delineated responsibilities. Senior partner Anthony Salz told The Lawyer: “The system works well for the stage we are at.”

The firm looks set to use a partner committee proposed by Salz rather than the usual informal partner soundings system to assess candidates for next year’s senior partner elections. It is understood that the firm is now considered too large and unwieldy to rely on partner soundings. Partners will vote this week on whether to proceed with the committee system.

Sources at the firm said Salz, who shares the role with German senior partner Christian Wilde, has yet to decide whether to stand. At Freshfields, the candidate selected by soundings traditionally stands for election unopposed. The dual Anglo-German system is almost certain to continue.