Lee, who has been in the role of senior partner since 2003, will resume a fee-earning role at the firm and continue as a member of the international committee.
Lee commented: “After more than 12 years as senior partner, I believe this is the right time for a change. Today’s announcement allows for an orderly succession plan to be implemented.”
He added: “We’ve agreed the firm’s strategy for the next five years, and it is appropriate that the implementation of this strategy rests with Paul Devitt, our new managing partner, and the next generation of partners who’ll take responsibility for leading the firm through the next important and exciting stages of its growth.”
A nominations committee has been established with a view to consulting partners on possible candidates to replace Lee.
The committee is chaired by non-executive board member Margaret Salmon and includes board member Philip Johnson and partners Simon Kamstra and Richard Lee.
Whoever wins the election will begin their new role on 1 May next year and will serve a three-year term. A spokesperson said that the focus would be on finding somebody with the appropriate “personal qualities” rather than a candidate who has occupied a particular role.
Lee became managing partner of Addleshaw Sons & Latham in 1991 and senior partner of Addleshaw Booth & Co in 1997, before the firm’s merger with Theodore Goddard in 2003 created what is now Addleshaw Goddard. He specialises in corporate finance.
There was change at the top at Addleshaws earlier this year when Mark Jones became the firm’s first chairman after 17 years in the role as managing partner of Addleshaw Goddard and legacy firms Booth & Co and Addleshaw Booth & Co. Jones was succeeded in the position of managing partner by Paul Devitt.