But there is neither a cowardly lion nor a rusty tin man in this story. When US-born Burke steps down from his role early next year, the yellow brick road will take him to Boston private equity firm Arclight Capital Partners where he will be general counsel and COO. As the longest-serving managing partner Freshfields has ever had, Burke left some hefty ruby slippers to be filled by replacement David Aitman.
What can we tell you about Aitman? He joined Freshfields in 2001 from Denton Hall and has steadily worked his way up the hierarchy. Right now, he is the senior elected member of the firm’s governing body, the partnership council, and also co-chairs the partnership recommendation committee. What’s more, he’s a concert pianist on the side.
There was no contested election for Freshfields, Aitman was first choice for senior partner Will Lawes and his nomination for the position was endorsed by the partnership.
So as Burke clicks his heels three times and vanishes, Aitman’s adventure has only just begun.
PS. On Thursday 28 November, Lawyer2B will run its annual careers evening for mature students and career changers who wish to pursue a career in law. The evening at the University of Law’s Moorgate branch will include a series of informative seminar sessions, interactive workshops and informal networking with law firms and barristers’ chambers. The event is free to attend, but places are limited. For more details and to apply, visit www.l2bnottoolateforlaw.co.uk
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