Bird & Bird's long-standing CEO has been re-elected and a new Non-Executive Chairman voted in following Bird & Bird's 2007 leadership elections. David Kerr will be starting a further 3 year term as Bird & Bird's Chief Executive Officer, having occupied the firm’s lead role for 11 years. Reflecting the firm's international nature, Swedish Managing Partner Michael Frie has been elected as the new Chairman following Hamish Sandison’s decision to step down from that role. Both candidates were elected unopposed. Michael will officially become the firm's Chairman on March 1st.
Both announcements follow on from an election process which the firm undergoes every three years. David Kerr first took over the leadership of the firm in 1996. Since then Bird & Bird has transformed from a UK firm into an international business with 14 offices across Europe and Asia - the majority of which have been opened in the past 6 years and over which time the firm has seen double-digit growth. Over half of the firm's lawyers are now based outside the UK.
The election of Michael Frie as the new Chairman following Hamish Sandison's decision to step down, reflects the firm’s international expansion. Michael joined the firm in 2000 and was head of Swedish firm Gedda & Ekdahl which merged with Bird & Bird to launch a presence in Stockholm. The merger was also the first UK and Swedish alliance of its kind in the legal sector. Michael has been managing Bird & Bird’s Swedish office since this launch.
Commenting on the results, David Kerr said:
"I'm delighted that Michael is to be our new Chairman and it is of course pleasing that my fellow partners would like me to continue as CEO. We are very grateful for Hamish’s contribution over the past 6 years as Chairman during this important period of expansion – chairing the Global Board and promoting the values of the firm. Michael has been an active voice on the firm's Global Board since he joined us and I think he will be excellent in the role."
Michael Frie commented:
"I feel very honoured to be entrusted with this important responsibility and I'm thoroughly looking forward to working with David and the rest of the Board in developing our strategy".
Outgoing Chairman Hamish Sandison added:
“It has been a great privilege to serve as the Bird & Bird’s Chairman for the past 6 years, but I believe the time is now right for the firm to appoint a non-UK Chairman to reflect the international character of the business – with more than 50% of our lawyers and our revenues coming from outside the UK. I wish Michael every success in his new role, and I look forward to continuing to develop my busy client practice.”
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Notes to Editors
About Bird & Bird
Bird & Bird is a full service international commercial law firm with an in-depth knowledge of chosen industry sectors. We focus on aviation & aerospace, communications, banking & financial services, e-commerce, information technology, life sciences, media and sport.
With offices in Beijing, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hong Kong, London, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome and Stockholm, we offer our clients local expertise within a global context helping them to realise their business goals both domestically and internationally.
Bird & Bird was identified as one of the Top 50 Law Firms in the world that has “taken the greatest strides towards globalisation while maintaining quality”, in a recent survey carried out by researchers for the PLCWhich Lawyer? Yearbook.