Clifford Chance partners have until next Wednesday (7 October) to vote for one of the two partners.
Jeremy Sandelson has been Clifford Chance London managing partner for four years while former Hong Kong-based partner Denis Brock led the Asian litigation practice since 1997 until 2006.
Sandelson said: “As managing partner of the London office I would like to feel that I have contributed to the stability of the firm during these challenging times. If elected I’d like now to try to build up our capabilities so we are recognised as the global leader in litigation and arbitration.”
Typically the role of global litigation head has been held by a US partner. Earlier this year The Lawyer reported that New York-based litigation head Mark Kirsch defected to US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (The Lawyer, 10 June). Kirsch joined Gibson Dunn with partners Joel Cohen and Christopher Joralemon.
Since then, Clifford Chance has held fire on Kirsch’s replacement while it sought to redefine the global role.
Brock said: “My firm view is that emphasis of the role should be on leadership rather than managing the practice. Litigation is very different from other practice areas which have a different structure. This is an opportunity for us to prove we have a very strong global litigation practice.”