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Range is assured within the Linklaters Senior Companion Race, as Jacobs takes on the function of JP Morgan

Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner, Chairman and Rainmaker of Linklaters, has stepped down the path for outgoing law firm leaders and secured the role of Co-Head of Investment Banking at JP Morgan.

The bold move will result in Jacobs (pictured), who announced in January that he will be leaving the Magic Circle firm in October after 30 years, to replace Ed Byers, who will take on the exclusively customer-facing role of Vice-Chairman for UK Investment is promoted banking. Jacobs will join the existing co-chair, David Lomer, in the dual role.

Jacobs was elected Senior Partner and Chairman of Linklaters in 2016 and moved from the position of one of the most famous M&A lawyers in the city to the management. He has gained great respect from colleagues and partners alike for a dynamic management style that focuses on team building, cooperation and customer relationships.

According to an internal memo to JP Morgan employees, Byers – a leading corporate broker who led the integration of Cazenove into wholly owned JP Morgan in 2010 – was actively involved in hiring Jacobs to replace him. Byers, Jacobs and Lomer all report to Dorothee Blessing and Conor Hillery, Co-Heads of EMEA Investment Banking.

In the meantime, Linklaters will hold a hotly contested election in May to replace Jacobs and it is becoming more and more likely that he will follow in the footsteps of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, who married his first wife as a senior partner in the form of Georgia Dawson, last September, Head of Asian Disputes.

Company director Aedamar Comiskey, a true M&A heavyweight and one of the most influential partners on the Square Mile, is alongside London corporate partner Sarah Wiggins, Milan-based Western European managing partner Claudia Parzani and Tom Shropshire, a former London corporate partner and now director of US practice.

The election is likely to usher in a vote for diversity no matter which way the vote goes.

Jacobs’ entry into the diluted world of investment banking may not exactly open the floodgates for law firm leaders to change the common course of advisory and non-executive director positions for an industry shift, but it will be interesting to see if other grandees try.

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