Serious about Asia? Committed to the region? Then why isn’t your top management there?
The news that Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) senior partner Richard Crump is relocating permanently to Singapore may raise some questions in law firm boardrooms today.
For all the protestations by top UK firms that Asia is at the heart of their strategy, and that lawyer mobility around the international network is vital, you don’t see management at many firms calling up Pickfords. On the contrary, UK leaders are firmly implanted in London.
Some managers have tried a bit of ad hoc relocation. Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley did a two-month tour of his firm’s Asia and Middle East offices rotated around the offices while in 2005 Clifford Chance managing partner Peter Cornell moved to New York to shore up relations between the troubled US practice and London, but both were temporary moves.
HFW’s move is a first. It makes the ambassadorial role of the senior partner considerably more international, puts the firm’s management in the same time zone as a quarter of its staff and underscores its ambitions for the region.
It could be a win, win for HFW. We hear the food’s pretty good too.
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