Travers plumps for Paris chief as next managing partner

Travers Smith has named Paris-based M&A partner David Patient as its new managing partner, succeeding Andrew Lilley, who will stand down at the end of the year.

Patient, who joined Travers 1990, is head of the firm’s Paris office, which he established in 1999. He will relocate to London this summer ahead of the start of his three-year term in January.

He currently chairs the firm’s international committee and is a member of its management committee, and ran for the managing partner role in 2009, when Lilley secured the first of his two terms in the top job.

Upon his re-election in 2012, Lilley told the firm he would return to fee-earning at the end of his second term, when he will also step down from the management committee.

Speaking to Legal Week about choosing to stand down from the committee, Lilley said: “That’s what I think is the right thing to do. It’s very important for my successor that I am not sitting in the same room; it’s important to give him that chance.”

Lilley, an employment partner, will return to full-time fee-earning from 2015.

Travers senior partner Chris Hale said: “I am delighted that David will succeed Andrew. David possesses the energy, drive and commitment to take Travers Smith to the next stage of development. He has the support of all and we wish him well in the role.

“Andrew has been an exceptional managing partner and will continue in office until the end of the year, working with David to ensure an effective transition.”

Hale took up the senior partner role on 1 July last year, succeeding the long-serving Chris Carroll. Carroll, who became senior partner in July 2010 after a nine-year stint as managing partner, has continued to work for the firm in an international consultancy role.

Patient added: “It is a huge honour to be the firm’s next managing partner and I am very grateful for the support of all of my partners and excited by the opportunities ahead. I very much look forward to working with Andrew in the coming months while still continuing to serve my clients.”

For more on Travers, see Two sides of the coin – can Travers and Macfarlanes still be classed as City bellwethers?