Dechert international trade co-chairwoman Miriam Gonzalez will be leaving the firm as part of her family’s move to the United States, where husband Nick Clegg, the former leader of the United Kingdom’s Liberal Democrats party, is taking a top role with Facebook.
London-based Gonzalez joined Dechert from DLA Piper in 2011 and took the helm of the firm’s EU trade and EU government affairs practice. At the time, Clegg was serving as the U.K.’s deputy prime minister, as the Liberal Democrats were junior partners with the Conservatives in a coalition government.
He was ousted as deputy prime minister and lost his leadership position in the party after parliamentary elections in 2015, and he lost his seat in Parliament in the 2017 general election. Clegg will start next week as Facebook’s head of global communications and policy, and the family will move to Silicon Valley in January.
A seasoned trade negotiator who served as the lead EU negotiator for the World Trade Organization’s telecoms agreement and also handled WTO negotiations on e-commerce, energy, postal and construction services, Gonzalez later became the co-chairwoman of Dechert’s international trade and government regulation practice.
Her role in the leadership of the practice became complicated in May when Dechert brought in Hughes Hubbard & Reed IT practice chairwoman Amanda DeBusk to become the new chairwoman of the practice. A Dechert representative explained at the time that while Gonzalez and Washington attorney Jeremy Zucker were co-chairs focused on the EU and the U.S., respectively, DeBusk would be the global chairwoman.
Dechert has offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco that would have served as potential landing places for Gonzalez, but instead she elected to leave the firm.
“Miriam has made a significant contribution to the firm and we wish her and her family all the very best for her new life in the United States,” said Camille Abousleiman, chairman of Dechert’s London management committee.
Gonzalez was on a flight returning to the U.K. on Friday and was unable to respond to an inquiry about her next professional move.