THE CONSULTATION for the next managing partner at Travers Smith is entering the final stages, with a decision expected at the end of this month.

Current managing ­partner Chris Carroll has served two terms, having taken over from Alasdair Douglas in January 2001. Under his watch the firm grew its revenue by 87 per cent to £81m in 2008, while average profit per equity partner has grown by 46 per cent to £755,000.

Unlike many of its City peers, Travers does not go through an election for the post. Instead Douglas, now senior partner, takes soundings from the partnership.

The frontrunners are currently understood to be Paris managing partner David Patient and London head of employment Andrew Lilley, with support also for London litigation partner Andrew King.

But the firm could reach down to a younger generation of partners, with the hotly tipped candidates being corporate partners Philip Cheveley and Andrew Gillen and private equity head Philip Sanderson.

However, it is believed that several individuals in the firm have approached Carroll to serve one last term as managing partner, although such an outcome is considered unlikely given his public avowal to stand down.