Seconds out at Clifford Chance

In the blue corner is London managing partner Jeremy “Smooth” Sandelson, the favourite for the job.

In the red corner is Denis “The Bull” Brock, who despite a stint as head of litigation in Asia is definitely considered to be the underdog.

There are several things to note here.

Both men are UK partners, underlining the fact that the global litigation job is no longer an American sinecure. This is no coincidence; the US, which was traditionally a bedrock of the global litigation practice, has been politically sidelined within the firm.

That said, there are some eyebrows raised at the omission of London litigation head Nick Munday from the list.

Whether it’s the Smoothie or the Bull who is the undisputed champion, whoever takes over the practice has got a big job. Global litigation revenues dipped from £199m to £189m this year, having stalled at a mere 15 per cent of turnover.

The winner will have to revitalise a practice which has lost the top spot to Freshfields in The Lawyer UK200 litigation revenue table.

That would be a bigger comeback than Rocky VI.


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