Simpson Thacher puts corporate partner into chairman seat

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has elected partner William Dougherty as chairman of the firm, taking over from incumbent Pete Ruegger who has been in the lead role since 2004.

Corporate partner Ruegger, who joined the firm in 1974, will remain a member of the firm’s executive committee until he retires later this year. Much like Ruegger, Dougherty is a veteran of Simpson Thacher and joined the firm in 1986. He was base in the London office between 1996 and 2002.

A spokesperson for the firm said that there were no disagreements surrounding the election, which was voted for by the firm’s executive committee.

The new leader is not expected to make any radical changes to the firm’s London office, which has made a number of high-profile hires in the City in recent years.

These include that of private equity expert Derek Baird from Allen & Overy (A&O) in November (8 November 2012), while in 2009 the firm took on Clifford Chance corporate star Adam Signy (5 May 2009), a move that signalled increased UK law capabilities in an office that up until then had focused purely on serving its US clients.

Dougherty will take up the top post with immediate effect.