Freshfields appoints Marchant to replace Long as City corporate chief

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Simon Marchant and Simon Priddis as its new corporate and competition heads.

Marchant today (1 May) replaces former corporate chief Julian Long, who is stepping down to take up the new role of Freshfields’ London managing partner (4 March 2014). Meanwhile, Priddis is succeeding competition head Rod Carlton who has served two terms in the post and is returning to full time fee-earning.

The pair were appointed following a consultation process conducted over the past month.

Former Asia managing partner Simon Marchant emerged as an early frontrunner to succeed Long, who was elected into his new position in March.  Marchant’s two-year stint as Freshfields’ London M&A co-head, which saw him work closely with Long, came to an end last month.

He previously spent two years as the firm’s Asia managing partner from 2009, and previously held a position on the corporate practice’s business management team.

Marchant’s high-profile clients include G4S, and he led the firm’s advise on Amec’s $3.2bn (£1.9bn) purchase of Foster Wheeler earlier this year.

Other partners thought to be in with a shot of winning the corporate head mantle included highly regarded corporate partner Julian Makin, corporate partner and financial investors sector group co-head David Higgins, and London Stock Exchange partner Andrew Hutchings (24 March 2014).

The firm’s other new management promotion falls to Simon Priddis, an established partner in Freshfields’ antitrust, competition and trade practice, with particular expertise in financial services and healthcare. Prior to joining the magic circle firm, Priddis spent five years working at the Office of Fair Trading.

He formerly headed up the firm’s global healthcare group, and has recently helped to successfully obtain clearance on matters including Zipcar’s acquisition of Streetcar and the London Stock Exchange’s acquisition of Turquoise.

Freshfields isn’t the only firm to unveil a new London corporate chief today. Linklaters appointed corporate partner Sarah Wiggins to head up its City corporate practice (1 May 2014), while Slaughter & May welcomed Andy Ryde as to its top corporate spot (5 March 2014).