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Three senior Eversheds Sutherland partners are set to go head to head, to succeed Leeds litigator Paul Smith as chair of the firm’s non-US business.

According to partners within the firm, the three candidates are: joint UK financial services head Pamela Thompson, Manchester senior partner Michael Clavell-Bate, and joint head of energy and infrastructure Robert Pitcher.

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James Booth

James joined Legal Week in June 2015. He reports on leading UK law firms, as well as covering the African legal market. He previously worked for legal directory Chambers & Partners as a deputy editor.

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  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Slaughter May

/uploads/sites/378/2016/10/Eversheds-office-two-Article-2016101005001.jpg" alt="" width="616" height="372" /> Three senior��Eversheds Sutherland partners are set to��go head to head, to succeed Leeds litigator Paul Smith as chair of��the firm's��non-US business. According to partners within the firm, the three candidates are: joint UK financial services head Pamela Thompson, Manchester senior partner Michael Clavell-Bate, and joint head of energy and infrastructure Robert Pitcher. The election process has not yet kicked off, but it is expected to start in the next few weeks and to conclude before the end of the year. Thompson, who was <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/06/27/eversheds-sutherland-makes-more-post-merger-leadership-appointments/">senior partner of the firm���s London office</a> between 2014 and 2017, is a funds and��financial services regulatory specialist. She has been at��Eversheds for almost 20 years, joining��in 1998��when it acquired the bulk of City��firm��Frere Cholmeley Bischoff. ���She is well respected, well known in the financial space and the City, and well known as a leading woman in the City,��� said��one��partner of her prospects. Pitcher, meanwhile, is a London corporate lawyer and��former��head of the firm���s nuclear energy practice, who one partner at the firm describes as ���very City���. He has been an Eversheds partner since 1996 after��joining from Slaughter and May, and his clients include Adidas, Reebok, mining giant Anglo-American and chemical company Dow. The third candidate, Clavell-Bate, has led the firm���s Manchester office since 2007 and also��heads up the dispute resolution team in that office. ���He is extremely popular, a great character, very well known and well liked,��� a partner said. One��ex-partner said factors likely to��influence the outcome of the election would include��how the candidates��would balance��the importance of London in relation��to��the firm's regional��UK offices, as well as��their intentions with regards to the US, following this February's combination <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/12/19/this-isnt-the-end-of-the-journey-eversheds-sets-sights-on-further-us-tie-ups-after-sutherland-merger/">with US firm Sutherland Asbill &amp; Brennan</a>. ���There might be some impetus for there to be a London-based chair, and Pamela and Rob are both London through and through, but I can see��Michael��getting a lot of votes because of his pedigree and popularity,��� the partner said. ���One dynamic will be who has the most interesting proposition in relation to Sutherland in the US, which is the biggest thing going on in the world of Eversheds,��� the partner added. Smith, who was��voted in as chair��in late 2013 in a two-horse race against Pitcher, has strong connections��in the US market, which he is expected to make the most��of after��stepping down. One partner described his��likely future role as ���staying in touch with clients at the highest possible level ��� global general counsel-type level ��� and looking to move into the c-suite of clients; trying to make sure that the firm's links into clients��are not just through GCs���. An ex-partner said: ���He is probably one of the most valuable assets the firm has in terms of building connections between legacy Eversheds and legacy Sutherland.��� The election for the chair role comes a year after former managing partner��<a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/10/03/eversheds-lee-ranson-becomes-new-chief-executive/">Lee Ranson succeeded Bryan Hughes</a> as co-chief executive of the firm, following a managed succession with Ranson the��sole��candidate. Ranson is the key figure in a UK��<a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/10/10/eversheds-duo-in-line-for-key-management-roles-under-new-chief-exec-ranson/">leadership triumvirate</a>��alongside managing partner Keith Froud and executive partner Ian Gray. The US side of the business is led by co-CEO Mark Wasserman. Eversheds combined with��Atlanta-based firm Sutherland to create Eversheds Sutherland in February. The two firms retain separate profit pools and are jointly governed by a board that is co-led by Ranson and Wasserman. Eversheds declined to comment. <

  • Eversheds Sutherland
  • Slaughter May

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