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Herbert Smith Freehills Confirms Selection of New CEOs

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has named Sonya Leydecker and Mark Rigotti as joint Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) scheduled to run the firm from May 2014, for a three-year term. The appointments were made through formal process following a recommendation by the firm's Council and subsequent ratification by partners.

Herbert Smith and Freehills merged in October 2012 to create a legal powerhouse. The first CEOs of the merged firm are London lawyer David Willis and Sydney partner Gavin Bell. Bell was the former Managing Partner of Freehills. Currently, Herbert Smith Freehills has 2,800 lawyers placed across 20 offices in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North America.

Both Leydecker and Rigotti are members of the executive board of the firm. Rigotti has been the Australian Managing Partner for clients and has led the Australian banking and finance and corporate groups, and is currently the Managing Partner for clients and industries.

Rigotti joined Freehills in 1988 and was promoted to the position of Partner in 1996. He served as the Head of Banking and Finance at Freehills from January 2004 to November 2005 and then became the Head of Corporate. He later became Managing Partner for clients at Freehills and continued at the post until the merger. After the merger, Rigotti became the Managing Partner-clients and industries at Herbert Smith Freehills.

Leydecker has been the Global Head of Practice of Herbert Smith for nearly nine years and has also been the head of disputes. She joined Herbert Smith in 1984 and was promoted to Partner in 1991. She served as the head of disputes at Herbert Smith from April 2005 to October 2012, and after the merger, she became the Head of Disputes of Herbert Smith Freehills.

Speaking on the appointment of new joint CEOs for the firm, Senior Partner Jonathan Scott commented: "Appointing new leaders represents a further important post-merger milestone, and in Sonya and Mark we are fortunate to have two partners who will bring to the role a powerful combination of management skills, leadership ability and practice experience."

Speaking on the success of the merger and business continuity, Deputy Senior Partner Mark Crean said, "This is a terrific note on which to end what has been a strong first full calendar year for us, marked by the many opportunities we have been given to show how our enhanced capability can benefit clients."
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

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