Locke Lord global chair Jerry Clements has stepped down after over a decade at the helm of the US firm.

Clements home
Jerry Clements

Clements, who was appointed in 2006 and led the firm through the cross-Atlantic Edwards Wildman merger in 2015, announced plans to step down last year. She will become the chair emeritus of the firm and will be an adviser to the new leadership.

She will be replaced by Houston office managing partner and Locke Lord lifer David Taylor, who will take over officially on 1 January 2018.

Taylor is currently a member of the firm’s executive committee and chair of the firm’s finance committee. He joined the Houston  office after graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1988.

Clements said: “David is a very well-respected leader and a talented lawyer who has instilled confidence from all of our lawyers and staff in his ability to lead Locke Lord into what I know will be a bright future.

Locke Lord launched in London at the end of 2011 after hiring a team of eight partners from legacy Salans as well as Mayer Brown reinsurance litigator Ian McKenna  and Fox Williams corporate finance specialist James Channo. McKenna has since exited the firm.

This year, the firm hired Pinsent Masons partner Sean Page, K&L Gates partner Sean Donovan-Smith, Bird & Bird partner Ben Henry and KWM Europe partner Andrew Shindler.

Aside from the Edwards Wildman combination, under Clements’ leadership partners voted in favour of a merger between Locke Liddell & Sapp and Lord Bissell & Brook, a union that formed the firm’s current name.

The firm also entered into merger talks with legacy Patton Boggs before the latter merged with Squire Sanders. The talks, which failed in December 2013 after just a month, were unable to overcome branding and identity issues, as well as an ongoing legal battle between Patton Boggs and Chevron.