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British firm Clifford Chance has poached a legal and corporate services director with a major building materials group to become its first regional chief operating officer. Amanda Burton, 41, who will be responsible for the elite firm’s day-to-day operations in London and Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates) offices, is leaving after the takeover of Meyer International. Burton will now work with London regional managing partner Peter Charlton on strategic initiatives and will ensure the co-ordinated support of technology, recruitment, information services and financial control systems across the two offices. She joins from Aldwych, London-based Meyer International plc, which employs more than 10,000 people, where she was legal and corporate services director. Burton qualified with Slaughter & May in 1984 before holding a number of in-house positions in the container and jewellery businesses from 1986 to 1992, when she joined Meyer. She left Meyer after the company was taken over by French building group Compagnie de Saint-Gobain in March. She says: “As a main board director it is usually better in those situations to bow out. This position with Clifford Chance is a superb opportunity.” Charlton says: “The significant contributions our regional chief operating officers in the US, Europe and Asia are making underlines how important it was for us to secure a similar capability in London.” The firm has had regional chief operating officers since its three-way merger at the beginning of this year. The new roles were created to assist regional managing partners, many of whom handle significant amounts of fee-earning work in addition to management responsibilities. Doug Benson is Regional Chief Operating Officer for the Americas, Laurence Porter for Asia and Tjardo Siemens for Continental Europe.

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