New Milbank chair tells partners: London was highlight of 2012

Newly elected Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy chairman Scott Edelman listed London as a highlight of 2012 during an annual partners’ meeting in Miami, his first speech to the US firm since replacing former chair Mel Immergut earlier this month.

Scott Edelman
Scott Edelman

Litigator Edelman, who was voted in by partners after being elected as vice chairman in 2009, told The Lawyer that the firm’s London office was something he listed as an “exciting story for us” in his first speech as chief, the first time Milbank has had a new chairman in 17 years.

Among those highlights, Edelman mentioned the firm’s involvement in the $23.3bn (£14.9bn) takeover of Virgin Media by US group Liberty Global (6 February 2013), led by London finance partner Timothy Peterson and corporate partner Mark Stamp, who recently joined the City base from Linklaters.

A number of magic circle partners have joined the US firm’s London office in the last year, including Linklaters projects partner Clive Ransome (24 August 2012) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer competition partner Nicholas Spearing (6 June 2012).

Outside of London, the firm recently poached the head of Allen & Overy’s US financial services regulatory practice, Douglas Landy, for its New York office. Edelman told The Lawyer no major changes in strategy were due to take place as he has already been vice chairman for four years.

The new chairman joined Milbank in 1994 after serving for four years as an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York. He took on the new role on 8 March, although the firm formally announced the change today (19 March).

The announcement follows a string of management changes at US firms in recent weeks, with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (15 March 2013) and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (8 March 2013) both announcing the election of new leaders this month.

Immergut is retiring after 17 years in the top job, while Akin Gump’s Bruce McLean will step down in April after 20 years in the role.