Mayer Brown & Platt's London senior partner is to become head of legal at GEC – threatening the estimated u10m of legal work that the multinational currently hands out to UK magic circle firms.
Jeff Gordon, who is also head of the firm's international practice, begins his new role at the end of August.
While Mayer Brown has a long-standing relationship with GEC in the US, the firm has yet to touch on the higher profile work that the multi-national giant carries out from the UK.
A source close to Mayer Brown says: “While Mayer Brown has been able to do a lot of US work and has the capability in the UK to be able to do the work here, it is difficult for Mayer Brown to win the work when they are competing against the likes of Freshfields and Clifford Chance.
Gordon says: “After 27 years with Mayer Brown & Platt I did, of course think long and hard about it but the challenge of GEC – one of the top in-house roles for a lawyer practising today was just too tempting.”
Mayer Brown & Platt's partner-in-charge Ian Coles says: “Whilst we are of course very sorry to lose Jeff, who has spent all his working life with Mayer Brown & Platt, it gives us enormous pleasure to see him move to GEC, who are an important client at the firm.
“This is an immensely prestigious appointment which says a great deal for the quality of the work, which the team here, led by Jeff, has been doing for GEC.”
Gordon moved over from Mayer Brown's Chicago office in 1997 to London. Earlier this year he worked on the US$4bn acquisition by GEC of US telecoms firm Fore Systems.
Gordon is taking over from Michael Lester. Lester is leaving to become head of legal at British Aerospace.
He moves over with Marconi Electronics Systems, sold to BAe, earlier this year.
see Leader, page 1