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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Lewis Silkin elect new chair of partnership

Lewis Silkin elect new chair of partnership


The new chair's role will commence on 1 April 2022

Lewis Silkin has announced Jo Evans, corporate partner and chair of the firm’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) board, has been elected as the new chair of the partnership.

Evans will take over the role from employment partner, Michael Burd, on 1 April 2022. Burd will continue to focus on his employment law practice, where he advises on high-level employment and partnership disputes, particularly within the financial services, legal and creative industries. Under Burd, Lewis Silkin has undergone a period of strategic investment and growth as the firm opened new offices in Dublin and Belfast and increased the number of partners from 59 to 74.

Evans joined Lewis Silkin in 1993 and made partner in 2000. She was previously head of the firm’s corporate team and specialises in working with businesses across the creative economy – including marketing, media, communications, data and digital enterprises. Evans is also experienced in advising clients on complex transactions, including business exits, mergers and acquisitions, as well as wider corporate matters.

In her role as chair of the firm’s D&I board, Evans has overseen the development and delivery of the firm’s D&I strategy and objectives, including promoting visibility and recognition across all diversity strands. The D&I board’s initiatives have included the firm becoming a signatory to the Law Society’s D&I Charter and the Women in Law Pledge, as well as being legal partner to the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion.

Richard Miskella, Lewis Silkin’s joint managing partner, commented: “I cannot thank Michael enough for everything he’s done during his time as Chair. I always describe him as being a living embodiment of the DNA of the firm – someone who encapsulates our ethos of ‘bravery and kindness’. His leadership over the last six years, and the support he has provided the wider leadership team, has been instrumental to our growth and also to the continued development of what we stand for as a firm”.

He added: “Jo is an outstanding lawyer and an inspiring advocate for Diversity and Inclusion and I know that she will bring a great deal to the role, as we embrace the challenges of the future and move to our new London home in March 2023. We are all extremely excited to work with her as she takes on this new position and challenge.”

Evans commented: “Having been part of the firm's growth and development for almost 30 years, I am very proud to take on the role of Chair of the Partnership, and to have the opportunity to build on Michael’s successful tenure.

“There are some exciting challenges ahead, and it is an honour to help lead a firm that is committed to thinking in a 21st Century way. That means not only providing the stellar advice that enables our clients to thrive, but being committed to making positive contributions in areas such as social mobility, and to ensuring that we are providing opportunities for – and gaining new ideas, experiences and contributions from – people from diverse backgrounds.

“Improving Diversity and Inclusion across the legal profession is critically important, and there is a need for everyone to shift the dial if we want to make real progress. I am looking forward to using this leadership position to challenge ourselves and the wider profession to do better.”