Osborne Clarke announces new senior partner to replace veteran Andrew Saul

Peter Clough will take up the mantle next January after Saul completes second term

Incoming senior partner Peter Clough Image courtesy of Osborne Clarke

Litigation specialist Peter Clough has been elected to take over from Andrew Saul as senior partner at Osborne Clarke.

Clough's four-year term will begin on 1 January 2022, following the end of Saul’s second term at the helm of the top 30 UK firm.

Clough has served in a number of roles at Osborne Clarke over his 25 years with the firm, including head of the disputes and risk practice group and head of the Bristol office, as well as being a member of the partnership council.

He is currently a partner in the firm’s litigation practice and specialises in large-scale disputes involving Asia, Russia and the CIS, with a focus on the energy, tech, media and comms sectors.

Clough commented: “Andrew has done an excellent job and I would like to thank him for his contribution to the firm’s success over the last eight years. It will be a privilege to undertake the role and I look forward to continuing Andrew’s work in making Osborne Clarke an outstanding business.”

Saul, who has overseen significant growth at the firm during his time as senior partner, was elected for his second term unopposed at the end of 2017. He and Clough will have a handover period until the end of the year, after which Saul will continue his fee-earning work, which a firm spokesperson said will focus particularly on the tech and workforce solutions sectors.

Saul joined Osborne Clarke as a partner and head of corporate in 1996, leading the practice for the next seven years. He has spent the entirety of his career advising clients in the tech, media and comms sectors and is currently a partner in the firm’s business transactions group, handling matters including M&A, IPOs and joint ventures.

Osborne Clarke saw its overall revenue grew 7% to €341m over its financial year to 30 April, which according to the firm represented a 55% increase over five years. UK revenue rose by 8% to reach £166.4m and UK net profit grew by 14% to hit £67.9m. 

A 16% surge in PEP to £714,000 contrasted with the previous year’s 12% drop to £614,000, which the firm chalked up to significant investments in infrastructure and partners.

Osborne Clarke’s international CEO Omar Al-Nuaimi described the results as “the outcome of a lot of dedication and hard work” and highlighted the firm’s international business, which he said had grown 9% year-on-year since 2015/16. The firm has also increased the number of its multijurisdictional clients (served in five or more jurisdictions) by 83% and upped its cash resources by 14% to £41.1m.

The firm announced in April that it was to close its two-partner Hong Kong office, citing ‘considerable challenges since summer last year, with the disruption and uncertainty triggered by the lengthy political protests compounded by the coronavirus pandemic’.

Omar Al-Nuaimi took over from longstanding leader Simon Beswick in July. Beswick remains a consultant at the firm.

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