Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has elected Giles Kavanagh as its new Global Senior Partner as the firm seeks to accelerate growth across its industry groups, legal services and international network.
Giles is currently head of HFW's leading global aviation practice and a member of the firm's Management Board.
He will become Senior Partner on 1 April 2022, when incumbent Richard Crump will stand down at the end of his fifth term, after 15 years in the role.
It will be the first time in HFW's 139-year history that the firm's Senior Partner has not been from its market-leading shipping practice.
Giles joined HFW in 2011, when the firm hired the entire aviation practice of Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert (now Clyde & Co), which he led. HFW's aerospace group has subsequently grown from 27 lawyers in four countries to 80 lawyers in 10 countries, with revenues increasing by 250%.
As Senior Partner, Giles will work alongside Managing Partner Jeremy Shebson and the rest of the Board to fulfil the firm's vision and drive the strategy for the business, which comprises more than 1,000 lawyers and business services professionals across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
Giles will also continue to lead the firm's sustainability strategy, having been appointed in April 2021 as its first sustainability partner.
Jeremy Shebson, Managing Partner, HFW:
"On behalf of the Board, the partnership and everyone at HFW, I'd like to thank Richard for his immense contribution to the firm as senior partner over the past 15 years.
"I've known Giles for a long time, and I know he will prioritise communication and teamwork. Giles is extremely capable and will put our people and our clients first. He will want to develop the significant opportunities we have at HFW. I look forward to working with him."
Giles Kavanagh, Global Senior Partner elect, HFW:
"I am incredibly proud to have been elected by our partnership to become HFW's new senior partner. We are all grateful for Richard's significant contribution as senior partner over the past 15 years. During that time, HFW has changed significantly, branching out from our roots as a shipping firm to establish a multi-sector focus that sets us apart in a crowded legal market, and building an international network that enables us to help our clients in key markets around the world. This included bringing the aerospace team to the firm, which I have been proud to lead and develop.
"I am looking forward to working with Jeremy and the Board to continue to strengthen and grow our business – across all of our sectors, services and offices – and to make sure that we continue to meet the changing needs of our clients in order to provide them with the best possible service.
"The legal market is more competitive than ever, but I passionately believe that, working with our clients and the talent we're fortunate to have at the firm, we can together build a bold, bright future for HFW."
His election follows HFW's recruitment of one of Latin America's most experienced insurance industry executives and a front-end construction expert in Melbourne – the latest of a series of hires for the firm in Australia.