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Michael Davison to Become Hogan Lovells Deputy Chief Executive

Hogan Lovells Chief Executive Miguel Zaldivar has nominated, with the Board’s full support and unanimous approval, London-based litigation partner Michael Davison as the firm’s proposed Deputy Chief Executive Officer from 1 July 2020.

Hogan Lovells is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington, D.C. It was formed in 2010 by the merger of the American law firm Hogan & Hartson and the British law firm Lovells.

An international arbitration lawyer by background, Michael is qualified in England, France and the Republic of Ireland. He currently heads our Litigation, Arbitration, and Employment practice and is involved in the TMT and ENRG industry groups.

His clients include AES, Koch and Transocean.

Michael has been described by The Legal 500 as “undoubtedly one of the leading practitioners in Europe” and by Chambers and Partners as “absolutely brilliant.”

Michael has been a member of the International Management Committee since 2013 and, alongside his client and management commitments, he has been a major supporter of and contributor to the firm’s pro bono work and diversity and inclusion commitments.

He has a strong interest in the use of technology including AI to support our clients and is leading a number of projects in this area.

The recommendation of Zaldivar to become the firm’s CEO is subject to a confirmation vote by partners, the results of which are expected to be announced later in December.

His appointment would make him the only current Amlaw 50 law firm leader of Hispanic American origin. Michael Davison’s appointment as Deputy CEO is conditional on Miguel Zaldivar’s appointment being agreed by the partnership.

Former KPMG Adviser Makes Exit from Kier Group

Kier Group has seen its Chief Executive Officer step down with immediate effect, following a coup in the construction company’s boardroom. Haydn Mursell, an accountant who began his career with KPMG, has been ousted as the company looks to commence a new era of growth, amid a United Kingdom construction sector that has struggled in the last year.

The British construction sector has endured a tumultuous 2018. Despite obtaining a sequence of lucrative public sector contracts throughout 2017, Leicester-based firm Carillion collapsed at the beginning of the year, sending shockwaves through the outsourcing sector as a whole.

Amid the chaos which ensued, Capita saw its share value slump repeatedly, while the first quarter of the year saw Serco suffer a 3.9% fall, alongside G4S and Interserve. This was particularly unhelpful for the beleaguered Interserve, as the group – also best known for its work in construction – was already grappling with poor trading and climbing costs. Kier was also impacted, and the first quarter saw a similar -1.3% fall.

The infrastructure services, buildings and developments and housing group bounced back after that, however. Recent key contract awards included the renewal of a three-year £70 million utility services deal in the South West and being appointed to three lots on the North West Construction Hub three-year £1.5 billion framework. More than £500 million of regional building projects were also secured during November and December, such as a major office development for Argent at King’s Cross in London, a research facility for the Pirbright Institute in Surrey, and a new hospital for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The firm’s balance sheet was further strengthened on December 31 after the receipt of the £250 million net cash proceeds of the recent rights issue, and Kier remains on track to report a net cash position at the year-end. Despite this, however, board discontent has reportedly led to the exit of the firm’s long-standing CEO Haydn Mursell.

A chartered accountant, Mursell commenced his career with KPMG in 1995, before working at Bovis Lend Lease and then moving to the construction sector firm Balfour Beatty. He joined Kier in 2010, initially as Group Finance Director, before being confirmed as Chief Executive Officer just two months later. During his time in the role, he took on operational responsibility for the company’s property division.

With his exit from the firm, Kier has commenced the search for its new Chief Executive Officer, in a bid to steer the company into a fresh era of growth. Until this search is completed, Chairman Philip Cox will act as Executive Chair on an interim basis, working closely with the Chief Operating Officer Claudio Veritiero. They will jointly oversee operations for the time being.