Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co partners have re-elected Andrew Witts as chairman two months before it is set to merge with Canadian firm Gowlings.

Witts originally served as chairman of legacy firm Lawrence Graham before it merged with Wragge & Co in 2014. After the merger he remained in the position at Wragges but his term was set at an initial two years.

The latest election saw Witts stand against one other candidate and the win means he will serve another four years as the firm’s chairman. His new term starts on 1 May 2016 several months after the the formation of Gowling WLG on 18 January.

The re-election follows the news that Gowlings CEO Scott Joliffe is stepping down ahead of the merger. He will be replaced by co-managing partner Peter Lukasiewicz who is currently responsible for managing client relationships.

Joliffe led Gowlings for 20 years and following his exit as CEO he will take up a role as one of three Gowlings representatives on the newly formed Gowling WLG global board. Joining him on the board will be Lukasiewicz and Wragges chief executive David Fennell.

The merger is set to create an international firm with locations in 18 locations and a turnover in excess of £400m. Wragges has proved it can make the most from its mergers. A year after its last merger Wragges managed to increase its turnover by 5 per cent during the 2014/15 financial year when compared to the combined turnover of both legacy firms.