Hogan Lovells is gearing up for a change of leadership as co-CEOs Warren Gorrell and David Harris prepare to step down next June and the firm abolishes its dual-headed management structure.
They will be replaced by US co-head of litigation Steven Immelt, who will become the firm’s sole CEO. Global head of finance David Hudd will step up to become deputy CEO. They will serve a term of four years.
Gorrell will return to practice in the US but Harris will be retiring from the partnership.
Harris said that in his view management boldness has paid off for the firm. He said: “I wouldn’t presume to give Steve advice, but what worked for me was keeping in touch with people and secondly taking a few risks – obviously, calculated ones. I’ve tried to move the firm from being the archetypal Lovells partnership in 04 to create a major global player. We’re seen as more dynamic, progressive and determined.”
He dismissed suggestions that the appointment of a US partner as firm leader might be viewed askance by the legacy UK partnership. “There’s less of that than you might imagine. We’ve moved forward since the merger.”
Harris said that he had not yet decided his next move on leaving the firm: “If it doesn’t work out, there’s always that rock band I wanted to join.”
Harris was originally elected managing partner of legacy Lovells at the end of 2004 and was re-elected four years later in a contested election (17 November 2008). Immelt and Hudd have been appointed by the firm’s board after a consultation process with partners and are expected to be ratified on 16 December. Hogan Lovells scrapped contested elections following their combination.