Allen & Overy (A&O) has made its first change in litigation leadership for over a decade, with global head Tim House handing over to Karen Seward.
The move follows House’s appointment last year as A&O’s US senior partner. House relocated to New York for the role, but said he would continue as the firm’s global litigation chief returning to London on a monthly basis.
He put his name forward in the firm’s management election race in 2016, but lost out to senior partner Wim Dejonghe.
The global litigation head role will be taken on by employment partner Karen Seward, who joined the magic circle firm in 2000 from Pinsent Masons.
She was tasked with building an employment practice at A&O, which now consists of eight partners in London.
It is the first major leadership shift at the helm of A&O’s litigation department, which has been run by House for over 10 years.
Seward, who will start her new role in May this year, said: “Tim will be handing over the reins of an incredibly successful practice.
“Tim has brought us a very long way over the past ten years, while revenues have tripled. The core values he personified, and that have underpinned that success, will remain and we will continue to seek out the most talented, diverse and ambitious litigators for even greater success.”
House said: “Karen has an exceptional practice advising boards and institutions on their most difficult senior executive and employment issues, has excellent relationships with key clients of the firm, and has a bold vision for the future strategic direction of the litigation practice.
“Karen will be a formidable leader for a changing world.”