Travers Smith’s Paris chief David Patient is set to become firm-wide managing partner when incumbent Andrew Lilley steps down from the role at the end of 2014.
Patient, who trained at Travers Smith and is a member of the firm’s management committee, has headed the firm’s Paris office since its establishment in 1999 (19 April 1999). He is a member of its corporate finance and private equity practice groups, and also leads the firm’s international committee.
He previously ran for the firm’s managing partner position in 2009, but was ultimately beaten into the role by Lilley (28 May 2009).
In the past Travers’ senior partner, currently Chris Hale, has overseen a sounding of partners’ views prior to the appointment of a new managing partner, rather than holding elections. However, this time the firm declined to comment on the appointment process or if there were other candidates in the running for the position.
When he was appointed into the managerial position for the second time in September 2012, Lilley announced his intention to return to fee-earning in the firm’s employment practice after two years rather than completing a standard three-year term (17 September 2012).
Patient will work alongside the firm’s senior partner Hale, who stepped into his leadership role in July 2013 following the retirement of Chris Carroll from the partnership last year (6 February 2013).
Patient said: “Andrew will be a hard act to follow. I’m proud to have been appointed to build on the success we’ve already achieved. I hope to build the firm’s profile nationally and internationally but there’ll be no fundamental changes.”
While Patient has been based primarily in Paris since 1999, he has spent about half his time in London over the past five years and intends to relocate permanently to the City this summer before taking up his new role on 1 January 2015.
Corporate partner William Howard, the remaining full-time partner in the firm’s Paris office, will take over the running of Travers’ French outpost. The office is also home to two associates and one trainee.
Hale headed the firm’s corporate practice for a decade before taking up the senior partner role.