In a first for the offshore sector, Walkers has elected Cayman partner Ingrid Pierce as its new global managing partner in a management shake-up.
Pierce is the first female managing partner of a top 10 offshore firm. She replaces Diarmad Murray who will remain on Walkers’ global management committee.
The firm announced in December that global chairman Grant Stein was stepping down after less than a year in the role (9 December 2011). Stein moved into the chairman role from managing partner in early 2011 (9 May 2011).
The global managing partner role was first created in 2006, with Stein its first holder. Stein was previously senior partner from 1999, following the retirement of firm founder Bill Walker.
However the firm undertook a review of its management structure in July this year, resulting in Pierce’s election as managing partner and the decision not to replace Stein in the chairman role. Walkers’ management structure will now be focused on office and practice group heads.
Pierce said there would be no radical change in the firm’s strategy. “We’re really just focusing on two things – growing and developing our business in our key markets and trying to exceed client expectations,” she told The Lawyer.
“I think our growth has been fairly strategic and we’ll continue to look at that,” she added, saying the firm’s launches in Asia and Ireland in recent years had been successful. Asia in particular had become a key market for the firm, with little impact from the financial crisis.
Pierce joined Walkers in 2002 from the bar and was made up in 2007. She also heads up Walkers’ Cayman Islands investment funds group and will continue to do so.
The firm sold off its fiduciary business earlier this year in a bid to focus on law (6 March 2012).