Herbert Smith hires former E&Y partner as chief operating officer

Herbert Smith has appointed a new global chief operating officer to replace John Mullins, who will leave the firm at the end of the financial year after more than three decades of service.

David Willis
David Willis

David Robinson, who joins from Vision Capital, will replace Mullins as global chief operating officer. Robinson was a partner at Ernst & Young for 20 years, serving as COO for Northern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa before joining private equity house Vision in 2008.

Robinson will report to managing partner David Willis and be responsible for managing and directing the firm’s business service functions. He will also be a member of Herbert Smith’s executive committee.

In a statement, Robinson said: “This is a unique opportunity and I’ll relish the challenge of helping Herbert Smith develop a best-in-class global offer. I look forward to working with John Mullins over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition as he approaches his retirement. I’m extremely grateful for his support and generosity and wish him all the best.”

Mullins, who leaves at the end of the 2011-12 financial year, has been at Herbert Smith for more than 30 years but only took over as global COO when Norman Green left 18 months ago. Green is now COO at the Conservative Party.