Slaughters appoints first managing partner in boardroom shakeup

Magic circle firm Slaughter and May has appointed its first managing partner as part of a major boardroom shake-up.

Deborah Finkler will take up the role of managing partner on 1 May 2022, replacing practice partner David Wittmann and executive partner Paul Stacey, both of whom are due to retire. Finkler said the new role marks a ‘significant change’ for the firm.


The managing partner position will take on the functions of the practice partner, together with the strategic elements of the executive partner’s role. Meanwhile a chief operating officer (COO) – who has yet to be appointed – will take on the managerial and operational aspects of the executive partner’s role.

Finkler joined Slaughter and May in 1986 and became a partner in 1991. She specialises in banking and commercial litigation and regulatory investigation and has worked for clients including Santander, JP Morgan and WPP.

Senior partner Steve Cooke said: ‘I am delighted to announce Deborah’s appointment. Her reputation as a practitioner is outstanding and she combines this experience with great knowledge of the firm from her time as head of our disputes and investigations group and as a previous member of the partnership board.’

Finkler added: ‘The creation of the managing partner role marks a significant change for the firm. It is an exciting challenge for me, and I am grateful for the support of my partners as I step up. I am looking forward to shaping the role of and hiring the COO over the coming months, but my focus will remain on fee earning work until I begin a handover period with David and Paul early next year.’

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