Baker McKenzie hires former Linklaters COO in London

Baker McKenzie has recruited Linklaters’ former global chief operating officer (COO) Simon Thompson in its London office.

Thompson will start the role of London COO in August. He will also join the firm’s London management committee, led by managing partner Alex Chadwick.

He joins from Change Harbour, an independent management consultancy firm he co-founded in 2011.

Chadwick said: “Simon is extremely highly regarded and has an impressive background in operational management and business strategy. His experience and expertise are an excellent fit as we continue to implement our growth strategy.”

Previously, Thompson began his career at British Petroleum (BP), where he spent nine years working in IT management. He joined Linklaters in 1994, where he developed Linklaters’ information systems technology, organisation and governance strategy, and became global COO in 2007.

He will be responsible for London operations and supporting the implementation of the firm’s strategy in the capital.

Legal Week reported in March that the firm plans to add an additional 20 to 30 partners in London to build on the 95 partners already based in the capital. In June, the firm promoted five new partners in the City.

Thompson is the latest in a number of recent hires by Baker McKenzie, which saw its London revenue grow by more than 20% during the last financial year.

In April, David Duncan and Melanie Howard joined from magic circle firms Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance respectively. Ropes & Gray private equity partner Alex Lewis also joined Bakers that month.