Womble Bond Dickinson will have its first new U.S. leader in nine years when finance lawyer Merrick Benn succeeds chairperson and CEO Betty Temple early next year.

The trans-Atlantic firm on Wednesday announced Benn, who is based in the firm’s Baltimore office, will begin his term on Jan. 1, 2025, following his election by the partnership on May 9. Temple was limited to three three-year terms as chairperson, she said, adding she is remaining at the firm for “strategic opportunities” after Jan. 1 but will not be actively practicing.