Respected Ashurst dealmaker Karen Davies succeeds Tidswell as chairman

Ashurst has chosen formidable M&A veteran Karen Davies to succeed Ben Tidswell as its global chairwoman.

Davies, who is currently UK director and member of the Global Board, will begin her four-year term as Chairwoman in August.

She has long been recognized as one of the most prolific and influential dealmakers in town, which was no easy feat given the historic boys’ club environment that certainly existed when she rose the ranks.

Speaking to Legal Business, Davies said, “I’m really proud, I feel privileged. I have enjoyed being on the board of directors and serving as UK company director over the past four years. For me, it’s an opportunity to serve the company and lead us into the next phase of our growth, which is going to be a really exciting time. We have our defining strategy and we’ve had a fantastic year and now it’s about taking us to the next level.

“I really want to keep earning with the fee – doing deals is what I love. We have a fantastic business in the corporate space, we have extremely talented senior partners, excellent junior partners that I’ve pushed through over the past few years, and some really strong senior people. We have a very strong bank that supports me with transactions. Proximity to customers and the conduct of transactions is important for you to understand customers’ problems.

Commented, Tidswell, “Karen has an excellent track record of delivering to our customers, our employees and the business, and I know she will make an extraordinarily good chair.”

Paul Jenkins, the global managing partner, confirmed this assessment: ‘I have worked very closely with Karen as a UK company director and a member of our board of directors and her ability to combine management and leadership roles with a very successful practice is truly impressive. Her unparalleled commitment, customer focus and dedication will be invaluable to the company in her new role. ‘

For his part, Tidswell has been widely admired for guiding Ashurst through some difficult years alongside Jenkins after merging with Blake Dawson in 2013. He is stepping down from the partnership and has accepted a judicial appointment as panel chair of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The new configuration of the Board of Directors is: Chair Karen Davies (London), Global Managing Partner Paul Jenkins (London / Sydney), Partner David Jones (London), Tobias Krug (Frankfurt), Phil Breden (Sydney), Kylie Lane (Melbourne)) , CFO Mark Herbert (London) and independent directors Wu Gang and Robin Lawther.

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