Locke Lord welcomes City partners to management boards

Texan firm Locke Lord has voted to change its partnership agreement to allow London partners to sit on its management boards following a seven-partner City launch.

Stephen Finch
Stephen Finch

Banking partner Stephen Finch has been elected to the global executive committee, while Paula Howard, another banking partner, has been voted onto the board of directors. Both committees previously consisted of US-based members only.

Finch and Howard joined the US firm as part of a six-partner banking, consumer finance, real estate and restructuring raid on Salans, with a further partner joining from West End firm Rochman Landau (7 November 2011). The launch had been anticipated for several months (8 August 2011).

The Houston-based firm, which opened in London at the start of the year, also hired two Salans consultants, one as a partner and one as a consultant, as well as Salans of counsel and former global managing partner Roger Abrahams. Abrahams spearheaded the launch and joined as a consultant and London chief.

Salans restructuring associate Marc Abrahams and restructuring and litigation associate Simon Cohen have moved to Locke Lord in the same role, while legal adviser Joyce Moore has transferred to the firm from Salans as a real estate specialist.

A seventh Salans partner quit to join the upstart, but ended up joining CMS Cameron McKenna instead (13 February 2012).

The firm, which held merger talks with legacy Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2006 and 2007, is planning further expansion in London, including in energy and insurance, its traditional focuses.

Earlier this year the firm moved out of its space in the Lloyd’s building, where it had an office without permanent lawyers for several years, and took up rooms in Mayer Brown’s Bishopsgate premises.

Firm chair Jerry Clements said in a statement: “We’re confident that Locke Lord is better positioned than ever to move to the next level in global service to our clients around the world.”