Respected Ashurst dealmaker Karen Davies succeeds Tidswell as chairman
Ashurst has chosen formidable M&A veteran Karen Davies to succeed Ben Tidswell as global chairwoman. This makes it the youngest major law firm to appoint a senior partner.
Davies, currently Head of Corporate in the UK and a member of the Global Board of Directors, will begin her four-year term as Chairwoman in August.
She has long been recognized as one of the most prolific and influential dealmakers in town, which was no easy feat given the historic boys’ club environment that certainly existed when she rose the ranks.
Speaking to Legal Business, Davies said, “I’m really proud, I feel privileged. I have really enjoyed being on the board of directors and serving as UK company director over the past four years. For me it is the opportunity to serve the company and lead us into the next phase of our growth which is going to be a really exciting time. We have our defining strategy and we’ve had a fantastic year and now it’s about taking us to the next level.
“I really want to keep earning with the fee – doing deals is what I love. We have a fantastic business in the corporate space, we have extremely talented senior partners, excellent junior partners that I’ve pushed through over the past few years, and some really strong senior people. We have a very strong bank that supports me with transactions. It is important that you are close to your customers and conduct the transactions in order to understand customer issues. So I definitely want to strike that balance. ‘
Commented, Tidswell, “Karen has an excellent track record of delivering to our customers, our employees and the business, and I know she will make an extraordinarily good chair.”
As global managing partner Paul Jenkins reiterated, “I have worked very closely with Karen as a UK company director and board member and her ability to combine management and leadership roles with a very successful practice is truly impressive. Her unparalleled commitment, customer focus and dedication will be invaluable to the company in her new role. ‘
For his part, Tidswell has been greatly admired for leading Ashurst through some difficult years following its merger with Blake Dawson and Jenkins in 2013. He is leaving the partnership and has accepted a judicial appointment as jury chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The board of directors will be newly appointed: Chairwoman Karen Davies (London), Global Managing Partner Paul Jenkins (London / Sydney), Partner David Jones (London), Tobias Krug (Frankfurt), Phil Breden (Sydney), Kylie Lane (Melbourne.)) , CFO Mark Herbert (London) and independent directors Wu Gang and Robin Lawther.