Linklaters appoints finance head as new firmwide managing partner

Magic Circle law firm Linklaters has appointed its head of finance Paul Lewis as its new managing partner.

Lewis will succeed former banking head Gideon Moore who has held the role since January 2016. Lewis will take up the role on 16 July.

His appointment means that Linklaters will have an all-new top management team following the election of corporate head Aedamar Comiskey to the role of senior partner in May.

Comiskey took up her role as Linklaters first female senior partner on 1 July, succeeding former corporate star Charlie Jacobs who has left the firm to join JPMorgan as co-head of UK investment banking.

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“I’m looking forward to us leading the firm together to foster ambition, creativity and excellence from our high-performing teams across the world, to deliver outstanding results for our clients,” Comiskey said.

“The firm has a simple formula — exceptionally talented, high-performing teams delivering outstanding results for clients,” Lewis said.

As managing partner, Lewis will take on a chief executive-type role, while Comiskey’s job will be similar to that of a chair of a public company.

Lewis was head of Linklaters’ finance division and co-head of its innovation group. He is a capital markets lawyer with a specialism in derivatives and structured securities.

READ Linklaters’ new senior partner Aedamar Comiskey faces battle to reform pay

He joined Linklaters in 1997 as a trainee and qualified in 1999 before entering the partnership seven years later aged 30.

Lewis and Comiskey will face the tough job of holding onto Linklaters’ top performing partners and junior lawyers in the face of a talent war in the market amid pay inflation driven by big-spending US law firms.

READ‘Find time to breathe’: New JPMorgan UK investment bank head Charlie Jacobs on what he learned from a career in law

When Comiskey was elected as senior partner in May, multiple partners and ex-partners of the firm told Financial News they expected the next management team to overhaul the firm’s seniority-based lockstep pay structure for partners.

“If you had a Magic Circle with no competition [lockstep] works,” one partner said at the time. “Now the Americans are here and people are transferring out, it doesn’t work. It is as simple as that really.”

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth

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