Freshfields puts Peck retirement plan to the vote

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

partners are to vote this month on whether long-serving chief executive and all-round enforcer Alan Peck can step down early.

Peck has been chief executive since 1995 and was managing partner prior to that. He reaches Freshfields’ UK retirement age this year and has long planned to step down.

Freshfields sources said he wants to go a month early for tax reasons. Under Freshfields’ constitution, Peck’s early retirement requires two-thirds of the partnership to approve it, but it is thought to be a foregone conclusion.

Outside the firm, Peck is best known for his off-the-cuff comment about assistant salary freezes, when he told the Financial Times: “The little darlings still get socking great pay rises, so don’t weep for them.”

Peck will be remembered at Freshfields for the many successes of leadership.

On rejoining the firm from investment bank Warburg in the 1980s, he spearheaded Freshfields’ drive to get close to the investment banks and was a key figure in its global expansion.