17 December 2021

Meet Charles Adams: Clifford Chance's next Global Managing Partner

Leading international law firm, Clifford Chance has recently announced that its partners have elected Charles Adams as the firm's next Global Managing Partner. Charles will commence his four year term on 1 May 2022, when he will succeed Matthew Layton.

Charles has been Regional Managing Partner for Clifford Chance in Continental Europe since 2018, and sits on the firm's top strategic decision-making body, the Executive Leadership Group. He previously served as Office Managing Partner for the firm's Italian offices from 2007 to 2014. Charles has been a partner in the firm's Global Financial Markets practice since 2000, and is widely recognised as one of Italy's leading banking and finance lawyers. He has advised on some of the most significant Italian and pan-European financings and restructurings of recent years, as well as on infrastructure financings across Latin America. Charles is based in Milan and has also worked in the firm's offices in Rome, London and New York. He joined Clifford Chance in 1992.

Charles Adams comments, "It is an absolute privilege to have been elected by the partners to take on this role, and I would like to thank all the other partners who stood for their contribution to an important discussion about the firm's future. At Clifford Chance we have all the ingredients to continue to shape the legal industry: an outstanding global platform, deep and broad market-leading expertise and a strong, dynamic and ambitious culture. The past few years have shown what we can achieve, and I see many opportunities to work with partners and all my colleagues across Clifford Chance to build on that success. At the heart of all we do will be ensuring that we are the absolute first choice for our clients and for the best talent in the market."

Matthew Layton, Clifford Chance Global Managing Partner comments, "I know Charles' priority is ensuring Clifford Chance remains in the vanguard of our industry. Charles has an innate appreciation of our special culture and is hugely motivated to ensure that this continues to set us apart as the global law firm of choice for our clients and for our people." 

Jeroen Ouwehand, Clifford Chance Global Senior Partner comments, "Charles is strongly placed to lead the firm as we head into this next phase. He is passionate about our clients and client service, has a deep understanding of the firm's global capabilities and extensive international experience, as well as being a proven leader. I know how passionate and ambitious Charles is for the firm.  Matthew has been an outstanding leader for our industry, as well as for Clifford Chance and it has personally been a real privilege for me to work so closely with him over the years. Matthew will hand over the firm in a strong position: with a phenomenal client base, a deep bench of legal and professional talent, robust finances and a resilient, supportive, inclusive culture. This is a legacy that any leader should be proud of and means we are extremely well positioned when Charles takes up the reins in May of next year."

Matthew Layton will complete his second four-year term as Global Managing Partner at the end of April 2022. Under Matthew's leadership, Clifford Chance has experienced significant growth. Following the introduction of a new strategy in 2015, the firm has rebalanced its client base, extending its reach amongst the financial investor community where the firm has a stellar client list, and invested in high priority areas including advising clients on Tech and ESG-related matters. As a result, global revenues have grown by 35%, partnership profit by 59% and profit per equity partner by 65%, with particularly strong progress in the Americas and Asia Pacific. This same period has also seen the firm put significant focus on nurturing its culture, on becoming a more inclusive and innovative organisation, and in advancing its responsible business and sustainability agenda.

Matthew concludes, "It has been and remains an honour to serve as Managing Partner of this great firm. I am immensely proud of what we collectively continue to achieve thanks to the energy, dedication, teamwork and phenomenal expertise of so many colleagues."

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