Clyde & Co senior partner Michael Payton is to stand down next year after leading the firm for 28 years, triggering senior partner elections at the firm.
The vote for his replacement will take place on 28 February with candidates announcing their candidature early in the new year.
Payton has transformed Clydes from a 16-partner firm with £6m turnover in 1984 into a worldwide firm with turnover of £287m and 285 partners at the latest year end (5 July 2012).
Payton will stand down in November next year, when he will become chairman of the firm to oversee the transition to the new management.
The firm said it had consulted partners on whether to adjust its current management structure of a senior partner and chief executive working with an elected board, with day-to-day operational management handled by regional boards and practice committees.
The elected members of the main Clydes management board are James Burns, Robert Hill, Ben Knowles, Simon Konsta and John Morris.
Partner John Whittaker, who led the consultation process, said: “From our soundings, partners showed a desire to continue with strong leadership exercised by a senior partner. The soundings also endorsed a wish to retain Michael’s valuable knowledge and experience to provide continuity.
“Both we and the board felt the need to deal with this decisively and early and to allow an adequate period of time for a measured transition.”