Herbert Smith Freehills COO defects to Minter Ellison

Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) COO Janet Young has left for Australian firm Minter Ellison, two years after being appointed to the newly merged firm’s global executive team. 

Young was named joint COO with David Robinson following the tie-up between Herbert Smith and Freehills in 2012 and was key to the integration process (20 July 2012). 

HSF has named Nicole Bamforth as its new global head of business services. Bamforth held the role of chief integration officer at the firm for two years between 2012 and 2014.

Young’s exit comes months after the firm revamped its leadership again, naming disputes head Sonya Leydecker as join chief executive officer with former legacy Freehills managing partner Mark Rigotti (19 December 2013). The two took up the roles in May 2014.

It also follows the firm’s decision to implement a new partner remuneration system with legacy Herbert Smith abandoning its former rigid eight-year lockstep in favour of a global merit-based system (9 December 2013).

At Minter Ellison Young will take on management of the firm’s non-legal functions including finance, technology, business services and people. 

The firm recently appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Australian senior partner Tony Harrington as its new senior partner and chief executive to succeed outgoing chief John Weber (24 March 2014).

The firm is mapping out a 2020 plan alongside all the firm’s partners and is now the third-largest Australian firm behind Clayton Utz and Linklaters ally Allens, which turned over A$436.7m (£247.9m) and A$430m respectively in 2012/13 (29 August 2014).