Ropes & Gray has named private equity partner Julie Jones as its first female global head as long-serving chair Bradford Malt confirms plans to step down at the end of 2019 after 13 years at the helm.

The firm has also made changes to its policy committee (which is equivalent to the firm’s senior board). The firm has appointed London partner and global co-head of finance Jane Rogers to join the committee, making her the third female partner alongside Jones and government enforcement and white collar partner Joan McPhee, and the only representative from the London office.

London partner Mike Kazakevich will take over the global finance co-head role from Rogers with immediate effect, sharing it with Boston-based Byung Choi.

Rogers and Kazakevich’s new appointments come amid a string of exits from the firm’s London office, starting with the departure of former City senior partner Maurice Allen to DLA Piper. Mark Wesseldine joined Wheeler to King & Spalding, while restructuring partner James Douglas started at Linklaters.

Chris McGarry also joined White & Case’s finance group, with Kirkland picking up a series of partners globally including funds lawyer Anand Damodaran and a five-partner team from the investigations practice in London, the US and Hong Kong.

Funds partner Michelle Moran was the latest lawyer to leave, to K&L Gates last month.

In its last promotions round, Ropes promoted two lawyers in London for the third year in a row.

In the interim two years until Malt officially steps down, new chair Jones is expected to “collaborate closely” with the firm’s managing partner David Chapin and the governing board, as well as the firm’s worldwide partnership in the US, Asia and London.

Malt said: “Julie’s experience navigating complex deals with the world’s largest investors and companies, combined with her leadership abilities and legal acumen make her the perfect person to lead Ropes & Gray into the future.”

Jones has been at the firm for over 23 years, and has a book of business that includes private equity clients such as TPG Capital, Silver Lake Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners, and public company clients such as AMG, The Hanover Insurance Group, LPL Financial, J. Crew and Party City.

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