Bakers picks Hughes as fifth London-based practice group head

Baker & McKenzie has announced a raft of leadership changes, including the appointment of City partner Simon Hughes as chair of its global private equity group.

The management changes were announced at the firm’s annual meeting, held in New York at the end of last week.

Hughes is the fifth London-based partner to be appointed as one of the firm’s global practice heads. M&A head Tim Gee, banking and finance chair Bernard Sharp, competition chair Sam Mobley and global technology head Harry Small are all also based in London.

Hughes has headed the firm’s European private equity group since 2006. He replaces Sydney-based Mark McNamara in the global role.

He said: “This is an exciting time to be taking on this role. The private equity industry has been going through a period of significant change globally. We want to be in the very best position possible to help our clients navigate through those changes and to capitalise on the opportunities available to them. Being able to help shape our strategy for doing that, and having an unrivalled global platform from which to do it, makes this a great opportunity.”

The firm also made a number of other leadership changes. Singapore partner Ashok Lalwani takes over from Sydney-based David Jacobs as chair of the India focus group, Jeremy Pitts will chair the newly formed global financial institutions group from Tokyo, and Amsterdam-based Erik Scheer replaces Richard Weisman as chair of the global tax group.

Meanwhile, Sydney partner Bruce Hambrett and Toronto-based Jim Holloway were elected to serve on the firm’s executive committee. Hambrett replaces Pitt, while Holloway replaces Dallas partner Alan Harvey, as Pitt and Harvey’s terms of office have ended.

Existing executive committee member Winston Zee, who is located in Hong Kong, was elected chair of the Asia Pacific regional council.