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Pinsent Masons London managing partner David Ryan has stepped down after 16 years in management, with head of pensions Carolyn Saunders set to take over in London from May.
Ryan was Pinsent Masons’ managing partner for 14 years, handling the high-profile merger of Pinsents & Co and Masons in 2004 and the more recent addition of Scottish firm McGrigors in 2012. He stepped down from the managing partner role in 2014, taking over from Martin Roberts as head of the London office.
Ryan was first elected managing partner at legacy Pinsent Curtis ahead of his opponent, the firm’s Birmingham head of litigation, Carl Garvie.
He ran uncontested at the end of 2008 and was elected to serve a further four-year term from March 2009. But after a contested election in 2014, Ryan decided to step down from the role, which was later won by John Cleland.
Saunders has specialised in pensions for over 20 years, having previously worked at Taylor Wessing as partner and head of pensions from 1994 to 2010.
Pinsent Masons managing partner John Cleland said: “Carolyn is very well equipped to help us take it from strength to strength as part of a growing and cohesive international law firm. She has an excellent reputation among clients and colleagues alike, and was a natural candidate to take over this role.”
Saunders said: “I’m extremely excited to be taking up this position and look forward to working with clients and colleagues during an unprecedented period of change for the City. I am confident that our firm’s track record in innovation resonates with our clients and will stand us in good stead for what lies ahead.”
Pinsent Masons recently surpassed its diversity goal of a 25 per cent female partnership by 2018 with 68 per cent of its 16 new partners promoted this year being female.
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