US lawyer returns to manage London office

David Smalley, former head of US firm Debevoise & Plimpton's London office, has returned to the branch as managing partner.

Smalley returned to the New York head office in September 1993 after three months as head of the London operation.

“The way we tend to run our foreign offices is to staff them with people who have recent experience with the head office in New York,” he said.

The purpose of the previous short stint in London was to fill in between the previous departing head and the arrival of George Adams, the outgoing head who is now being replaced by Smalley.

Smalley commented: “This time I will be over here for at least three years, perhaps longer, because we are now going more towards longer assignments.”

The London office, which splits its work between capital market transactions and work for multi-national clients, is staffed by three partners and five associates.

Two former London partners, including outgoing head George Adams, will be dividing their time between London and New York to support the London branch.

There are no plans to recruit in London.