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Leading Leeds firm Walker Morris has appointed corporate partner Peter Smart as chairman, as part of a wider shake-up of its management. Smart takes over from head of litigation Chris Caisley, who will step down at the beginning of May.The announcement comes just weeks after managing partner and banking partner Philip Mudd opted to step down to return to full- time fee-earning as head of insolvency. Head of banking Michael Taylor has filled his position.Taylor, who will assume his new role at the beginning of next month, confirmed that both he and Smart were the only candidates for the roles. This meant that, under the partnership constitution, an election was not called.“We are not planning any major changes,” Taylor said. “Just because the hands have changed on the tiller does not mean our direction has altered.”As managing partner Taylor is responsible for the firm’s internal management as well as its overall strategy. The chairman’s role is to run partnership, management and strategy meetings. The firm also has a strategy board made up of two elected partners, the managing partner and the chairman.Commercial property partner Richard Innes and corporate and commercial partner Ian Gilbert, are currently elected to the board, but both posts are due for re-election.

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