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By Alex Taylor 29 November 2018

With Britain’s exit from the European Union scheduled for four months to the day, Clifford Chance’s continued refocus on Continental Europe has taken another step with its third leadership change on the mainland in 2018.
The firm has appointed new co-managing partners for its Amsterdam office. Global head of innovation and business change Bas Boris Visser and Amsterdam head of financial markets Titus de Vries will replace the firm’s senior partner-elect Jeroen Ouwehandas the office’s new leadership from 1 January.

This is the third change in leadership on the European mainland; the Luxembourg office also changed hands earlier this year, while the firm elected Charles Adams as its new regional managing partner for Continental Europe, succeeding Yves Wehrli.

Visser was previously at the helm in the Dutch capital for six years between 2009 and 2015, while de Vries is new to management in this vein having made partner five years ago.

The magic circle firm’s galvanised focus on the continent has been conspicuous this year with the senior partner election yielding its first winning candidate from outside the London headquarters and an April promotions round that had Europe firmly at its core, with eight new partners slightly edging out London’s seven.

Clifford Chance managing partner Matthew Layton, himself a strong believer in Continental Europe’s role in the firm’s future, said: “I am delighted that Bas Boris and Titus will take on the joint leadership role in Amsterdam. Working closely with our dynamic local partner group, I am convinced they will be a great team. By sharing the responsibilities, they will also both be able to continue with their other important roles in the firm.”

Visser will continue his role as global innovation head working alongside Oliver Campbell, Jeroen Plink and Ester Albers who each head up divisions of the firm’s innovation strategy.

In his first comment since winning the senior partner race, Ouwehand said: “I am confident that I leave the office in very capable hands with Bas Boris and Titus. We have a phenomenal group of partners, lawyers and professionals in Amsterdam; we have an ambitious strategy and an enviable platform. I look forward to continuing to watch our practice here go from strength to strength.”

The firm’s Continental Europe platform generated £535m of its £1.62bn overall revenue for the 2017/18 financial year, falling just short of the UK’s £540m and making it comfortably the firm’s second-highest regional generator with Asia Pacific in third place with £280m.