Paul Rawlinson, the managing partner of Baker & McKenzie’s London office since 2013, has been elected as the next chair of the 4,200 lawyer firm.
Rawlinson, 54, will take the position on October 23, succeeding Eduardo Leite, 65, who has been chair for the past six years, the firm said in a statement on Monday.
Four candidates had been reported to be in the running for the position : Alongside Rawlinson, others considered were Gary Senior, EMEA chair and former London office managing partner, Claudia Prado, the firm’s Latin America chair, and Eric Lasry, an M&A partner who oversaw the growth of the firm’s Paris office.
Baker & McKenzie said that the election follows a vote of approval from the firm’s partnership.
Rawlinson joined Baker in 1986 and made partner in 1996. He serves on the firm’s policy committee and also led the firm’s global intellectual property practice group from 2004 to 2010, the firm said. His election marks the first British chair of the firm.
“We had a group of outstanding candidates for our next Chairman and the partners had an exceptionally difficult decision to make,” said Leite, in a statement. “In choosing Paul we have someone who can take this great Firm to the next level.”
The firm said that Rawlinson helped establish the firm’s global services centers in Belfast and Manila, which are essentially legal operations management units that consolidate back-office functions.
The firm said that Rawlinson is not taking media interviews until he takes over in October.