Passmore triumphs in Simmons senior partner election

Second round of voting sees star litigator come out on top; rival Dawkins to return to fee-earning

Colin Passmore
Colin Passmore

Colin Passmore has won the senior partner election at Simmons & Simmons, beating former managing partner Mark Dawkins in the final round of voting.

Passmore, who is head of litigation at the top ten firm, will take up the position at the end of June when current incumbent David Dickinson steps down.

As revealed by The Lawyer five weeks ago, (The Lawyer, 28 March), six candidates put their names forward for the job and all presented their cases at a partnership-wide hustings on Thursday 31 March.

After the first round of voting, litigation partner Philip Vaughan, corporate partner Charles Mayo, corporate partner and Paris head Thierry Gontard and energy partner Patrick Wallace were eliminated and the second round commenced on 21 April.

Passmore’s victory will be seen as a new era for the firm’s management; by contrast, Dawkins was seen by many internally as the continuity candidate.

Understood to be keen to broaden the firm’s international reach, Passmore will join new managing partner Jeremy Hoyland on the management team. Hoyland was elected at the end of last year (The Lawyer, 10 December 2010).

It is thought that Passmore is keen to continue client work as senior partner. One of his key clients is Barclays, which instructed him to act in the bank charges litigation, when six high street banks and a building society successfully batted off an attempt by the OFT to investigate overdraft fees.

Dawkins is understood to be returning to practice in the firm’s core financial markets group.