Tom Shropshire of Linklaters.
Tom Shropshire of Linklaters. (.)

Linklaters corporate partner Tom Shropshire has been appointed to lead the firm’s U.S. practice, as current incumbent Scott Bowie retires just two years into a four-year leadership term, becoming the third partner exit to emerge at the firm’s New York office this month.

Shropshire, a U.S. corporate specialist, has been at the firm for almost 20 years, making partner in 2006. He currently co-leads the firm’s operational intelligence group, a multidisciplinary team that helps clients deal with risk, regulatory and governance issues. He also sat on the firm’s international board from 2011 to 2014.

As head of the firm’s global U.S. practice, he will split his time between London and New York, while continuing to work with clients. He will also take Bowie’s seat on the magic circle firm’s executive committee.

Bowie, who is retiring from the firm effective immediately, was appointed to the newly created role of global U.S. head in 2015 for a four-year term. Between 2010 and 2015 he was head of the firm’s investment management group, having joined the firm in 2005 from Latham & Watkins.

Speaking to Legal Week, Shropshire said that over the course of his four-year term, the firm would look to strengthen its U.S. capabilities.

“We need to ensure we have really high quality energetic U.S. lawyers in our important financial centers—that includes New York, Washington, D.C., Paris and London—and we need to make sure we continue to strengthen our offering in the states in areas we think we can make a difference for our clients,” he said.

In terms of targets for growth, Shropshire said: “We continue to be focused on dispute resolution, corporate, making that a strong offering. We are still focused on banking and restructuring and capital markets work. We are looking to make sure we bring in people that will be accretive to the overall performance of the business.”

In 2015, Shropshire was one of six partners shortlisted for the firmwide managing partner job, eventually losing out to Gideon Moore.

One Linklaters partner described Shropshire as a “very impressive guy” adding: “It’s a pity from a non-management perspective to take someone like him to spend more time on management and less time on the client stuff.”

Key roles Shropshire has taken in recent years have included advising engineering company Amec on its £1.9 billion acquisition of Foster Wheeler in 2014, while he also advised the banks underwriting Standard Chartered’s £3.3 billion rights issue in 2015.

“Tom is ideally placed to take our global U.S. practice forward,” managing partner Moore said in a statement. “He has a unique mix of legal and commercial skills and I am confident that he will do a tremendous job ensuring we continue to build and retain a best-in-class global U.S. practice.”

Shropshire’s appointment and news of Bowie’s exit come after several senior exits from Linklaters’ U.S. practice. Last week former U.S. co-managing partner Jeff Norton left to join Dechert in New York, while fellow New York banking partner Sabrena Silver left to join White & Case. Other recent U.S. exits include Washington, D.C., tax partner Jasper Howard, who left in February for Hogan Lovells.

However, the firm recently hired litigator Matthew Axelrod from the U.S. Department of Justice, which followed its hire last year of ex-Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft partner Adam Lurie to head its litigation and government investigations practice in Washington.

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