Herbert Smith Freehills votes in James Palmer as new senior partner

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has named City corporate partner James Palmer as its new senior partner following a four-partner race.

Palmer (pictured), who is a former global head of corporate at legacy Herbert Smith, fought off competition from Australian current deputy senior partner Mark Crean in a second round of voting that closed on Friday (7 November).

Palmer and Crean were the two candidates left standing after EMEA head Allen Hanen and dispute resolution partner Tim Parkes were knocked out of contention in the first round earlier in the week.

Palmer will take over from incumbent senior partner Jonathan Scott for a three year term beginning on 1 February next year.

He will chair HSF’s firm’s 11-strong partnership council and will lead the firm alongside joint chief executives Sonya Leydecker and Mark Rigotti, who were appointed to three-year terms taking effect at the start of May.

As Legal Week revealed earlier this month, Scott will stand down three months before the scheduled end of his term.

Addressing Scott’s departure, Rigotti said: “Herbert Smith Freehills is in a much stronger position as a result of Jonathan’s contribution, and we are hugely appreciative of his unstinting dedication to the firm over the past 35 years.”

Palmer joined legacy Herbert Smith in 1986 as a trainee. He became a partner in 1994, and held the role of equity capital markets co-head from 2005 to 2010. He later became global head of corporate, holding the post for two years from 2010. From 2002 to 2006 he was also a member of legacy Herbert Smith’s partnership council.

He has held roles on several high profile mandates recently, including representing AbbVie on its proposed $55bn takeover of Shire PLC and advising TSB Banking Group on its initial public offering and separation from Lloyds Banking Group.
Palmer joined legacy Herbert Smith in 1986 as a trainee.

Related: Dealmaker- James Palmer