Travers Smith names new senior partner

Corporate M&A and ECM head Andrew Gillan to succeed acting senior partner Siân Keall in January

Andrew Gillen Image courtesy of Travers Smith

Travers Smith has announced today the election of Andrew Gillen as the firm’s new senior partner.

Gillen will take over on 1 January from Siân Keall, who has served as acting senior partner since January. His appointment follows the decision by Kathleen Russ, who was re-elected for a second term as senior partner last year, to step down from the role in June after a period of leave for exceptional family reasons. 

Gillen joined Travers more than 20 years ago and currently serves as head of the firm’s corporate M&A and ECM group. The firm noted that under his leadership complex cross-border M&A has become a core focus of its strategy. He previously sat on the partnership board, including throughout the Covid pandemic years, and is head of the firm’s international board. 

Travers said Gillen had played a “pivotal” role in formalising the firm’s approach to international work, including the launch of its international secondment programme, and has developed a strong international client base, regularly advising non-UK companies on cross-border transactions and on investments into the UK. 

He is ranked Band 1 for corporate M&A valued from £100-800m by Chambers and Partners, while his equity capital markets practice has seen him advise clients including US biotech company MaxCyte and Auction Technology Group on their London IPOs. 

Gillen’s election comes as part of a wider leadership shuffle that has also seen Heather Gagen appointed as head of dispute resolution, Tim Gilbert as head of employment and Susie Daykin as head of pensions, effective 1 January 2024.

They succeed Rob Fell, Ed Mills and Daniel Gerring respectively, all of whom have come to the end of their maximum terms as head of department, Travers said. 

Travers’ managing partner, Edmund Reed, commented: “I am very much looking forward to working with Andrew to push forwards with our plans for the future.

“I would also like to thank Siân for taking up the role of acting senior partner earlier this year – she has done an outstanding job and the firm is in a much stronger position as a result of her sage counsel.”

Keall, who will continue to be a member of Travers’ partnership board until her term ends in June 2024, added: “Andrew will do a fantastic job as senior partner and I look forward to seeing him working alongside Edmund to spur the firm forward in our strategic ambitions.”

Gillen said he was “proud and excited” to lead the firm alongside Reed, who took over as managing partner in 2021 from David Patient. 

“As senior partner, one of my first priorities will be to retain and enhance our position as a leading independent UK law firm operating internationally,” he said. “We will continue to develop our core areas of international asset management, complex transactions and global disputes and investigations, whilst seeking to further develop our corporate and institutional client relationships. I look forward to working with all of our partners to further strengthen our business and in delivering outstanding results for our clients.”

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