Wim Dejonghe

Allen & Overy

This year, Wim Dejonghe has just four months left at the helm of A&O, a firm that he has transformed into a truly transatlantic beast following the vote to merge with Shearman & Sterling. The fact that the merger was negotiated in a matter of weeks was testament to Dejonghe’s ability to play the long game, spending many years getting to know key players in the US. Having made sure he got partner buy-in to investigate a US tie-up following the collapse of the O’Melveny talks, he was able to swoop on Shearman after its negotiations with Hogan Lovells fell through and execute a game-changing deal.

From May, Dejonghe will have a few months break while he considers his next move. But up till then he will be focusing his attention on A&O’s innovation offering as well as the firm’s diversity efforts, and working with his soon-to-be elected successor to ensure a smooth handover. And after that? Well, Dejonghe will be the first on any headhunter’s list to run a global professional services firm.