Incumbent Palmer keeps dual HSF chair, senior partner roles

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James Palmer is still the top official at Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF).

The two-partner race for senior partner and chair of the global council of the Anglo-Australian firm has ended with the corporate partner ahead of disputes partner Mark Shillito after the partnership vote. Palmer begins his second three-year term on 1 May.

Palmer said he is greatly honoured to be acting as senior partner for a second term and looks forward to working with his colleagues and the firm’s leadership team in pursuing the firm’s strategies and ambitions.

“The firm continues to perform well in our markets globally and remains superbly placed to strengthen still further,” he said.

Mark Rigotti, HSF CEO, said the senior partner has an integral role to play in externally representing the firm with clients, as well as working with the global council to ensure the firm’s ongoing success.

“James has done a fantastic job to date. The re-election of James will bring a degree of stability and continuity to the implementation of our strategy,” Rigotti said. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with James in our vision to become a world class professional services business bringing together the very best people to achieve the best results for our clients.”

The election pitted two HSF lifers vying for the top post. Palmer began his career at the firm in 1986, becoming a partner in 1994. He was the global head of corporate from 2010 to 2012. Shillito became a partner in 1996 and is the firm’s global IP head and its disputes head in the UK and the US.

James Palmer and Mark Shillito
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