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Lisa Mayhew elected BLP’s next managing partner

Will be the first female managing partner of a top-20 UK law firm 

3 February 2015

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Lisa Mayhew has won the first contested managing partner elections at Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) in 16 years.

She will succeed Neville Eisenberg on 1 May 2015 and become the first female managing partner of a top-20 UK law firm.

"Everyone recognises that a change in leadership creates opportunity to drive positive change," commented Mayhew.

"When I take up the role in May, I want to build on the innovative, high performing and inclusive culture that we already have to help ensure that our great people work collaboratively across the globe."

Mayhew, an employment lawyer, was elected to BLP's board in 2012 and has led the firm's employment pensions and incentives team since 2013.

She won the election against head of corporate, David Collins, who has been at the firm since 1996. Mayhew was previously co-head of the employment practice at Jones Day and a partner at Hogan Lovells.

Commenting on the appointment, Eisenberg said: "The election process was positive and constructive, which is a credit to the candidates and our culture and I congratulate Lisa on her election.

"Since joining the firm, Lisa has demonstrated her leadership qualities as an elected board member and in leading a number of firmwide initiatives such as our inclusivity programme. Lisa's vision for the firm clearly resonated with partners and I very much look forward to working with Lisa during the handover period."

The firm's inclusivity programme includes a target to achieve 30 per cent female representation in the partnership by the end of 2018, up from the current 22 per cent.

In a recent interview with Managing Partner, Eisenberg shared the lessons he learnt from five terms at the helm.

"It's absolutely essential for a managing partner to have a real vision for the firm and of the future. If you don't have some kind of vision of where you would like to see the organisation go, then it's very difficult to inspire people and it's difficult to have a framework within which to take decisions," he said.

"Managing partners have to be able to think long term. For many people, it's difficult to get beyond the short and the medium term. However, as managing partner, you have to somehow learn to live in the future and be able to project how the organisation might evolve, because that really informs a lot of the things that you need to be doing now in order to make progress over the longer term."

Eisenberg is rumoured to be seeking BLP's senior partner position, which is currently occupied by Harold Paisner. The firm has, however, declined to confirm the rumours.

"The senior partner election will be addressed once the election for a new managing partner has taken place," a spokesperson said.


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