Slaughter and May corporate finance partner Roland Turnill has been named as the firm’s head of M&A, replacing Steve Cooke who will become senior partner in May.

Turnill joined Slaughters in 1996, becoming a partner in 2004. His recent work has included advising on Vodafone’s joint venture in Holland with Liberty Global and Royal Dutch Shell’s £47bn takeover of BG Group.

He also represented Banco Santander on the proposed combination of Santander Asset Management and Pioneer Investments last April.

The leadership changes follow former M&A head Steve Cooke’s appointment as senior partner in January. Cooke has led the M&A group for the past 15 years and will replace Chris Saul, who is retiring, as head of the firm.