Childs (pictured), who has been a partner at Clifford Chance for 28 years, took up his post in May 2006 when he succeeded Peter Cornell in another uncontested election.
He has presided over a tumultuous period for the magic circle firm.
This year the firm lost 130 fee earners through a combination of voluntary and forced redundancies. It also laid off 115 support staff.
At the end of the last financial year the firm’s turnover fell 5 per cent to £1.26bn, meaning it lost its crown as the UK’s largest firm by revenue. At the same time, average profit per equity partner (PEP) almost halved, dropping from £1.15m a year earlier to £733,000 (1 July 2009).
Childs is understood to be keen on continuing his drive to restructure the firm through his second term as managing partner. His vision includes stripping down the management structure to enable a more streamlined decision making process.
It is understood that at least one international office, most likely in Eastern Europe, could face closure in the coming year.
Childs’ election will be confirmed once voting closes in mid December. He will begin his second term in May 2010.
Earlier this month, capital markets head David Bickerton was elected as the firm’s London managing partner following a contested election (9 November 2009).
Bickerton will replace Jeremy Sandelson, who is to take over as global litigation head (7 October 2009).