Mayer Brown has appointed London-based real estate partner Jeremy Clay as its global managing partner.

Clay succeeds litigation and dispute resolution partner Kenneth Geller, who has stepped down after nine years as managing partner, a role created by Mayer Brown in 2009 when the firm revamped its management structure. Geller will remain with Mayer Brown as a disputes partner in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

“Jeremy’s broad experience in the firm brings a positive dynamic perspective as we continue our evolution as a world-class, global law firm,” said Mayer Brown’s Paul Theiss, chairman of the global legal giant since 2012. “In addition, all of us at Mayer Brown appreciate and recognize the countless contributions of my friend and colleague, Ken Geller.”

Clay, who is based in Mayer Brown’s London office, will split his time between the firm’s offices in the city and New York. Despite his new administrative duties, Clay will continue in a fee earning role and work with some of Mayer Brown’s major real estate clients.

Jeremy Clay

“While the market for legal services is more competitive than ever, our commitment to client service, professional excellence and the continued strengthening of our client relationships is the key to the continued development of Mayer Brown as one of the leading international business law firms,” said Clay in a statement.

Clay previously served as head of property at Rowe & Maw, a British firm that merged with Mayer Brown in 2002. He joined Rowe & Maw in 1983 and was promoted to partner six years later. Clay would go on to serve as global head of Mayer Brown’s real estate practice from 2002 to 2013 and serve as executive partner of the firm’s London office.

Last year Clay advised LKK Health Products Group, a unit of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Lee Kum Kee International Holdings Ltd., on its purchase of 20 Fenchurch Street, a London office tower nicknamed “The Walkie Talkie.” The $1.7 billion deal set a record for a transaction involving a single U.K. office building.

Mayer Brown, whose previous leadership machinations have been the subject of magazine feature stories, enjoyed a record financial year in 2017. The 1,571-lawyer firm saw gross revenue rise 4.2 percent, to $1.313 billion, while profits per equity partner jumped 8.8 percent, to $1.575 million.