Slaughter and May announces first Managing Partner

Slaughter and May, the leading international law firm, today announces that Deborah Finkler has been elected as the firm’s first Managing Partner. Deborah will take up the role on 1 May 2022, following the planned retirement of Practice Partner David Wittmann and Executive Partner Paul Stacey.

Today’s news follows the announcement in June detailing the rationale for a change in structure of the executive function at Slaughter and May, given the growth of responsibilities in this area.

The new role of Managing Partner will take on the functions of the Practice Partner, together with the strategic elements of the Executive Partner’s role while a Chief Operating Officer (COO) will take on the managerial and operational aspects of the Executive Partner’s role. A process to appoint a COO is ongoing

Deborah Finkler joined Slaughter and May in 1986 and became a Partner in 1991. She is regarded as one of the UK’s leading lawyers in the field of banking and commercial litigation and regulatory investigation. Clients she has worked for include Santander, JP Morgan and WPP.

Deborah will work closely with David, Paul and Senior Partner, Steve Cooke on the appointment of a COO, but will continue in a fee earning role until early 2022.

Steve Cooke says, “I am delighted to announce Deborah’s appointment. Her reputation as a practitioner is outstanding and she combines this experience with great knowledge of the firm from her time as Head of our Disputes and Investigations Group and as a previous member of the Partnership Board. These were roles to which she brought great drive and integrity and make her ideally equipped to be the firm’s first Managing Partner”.

Deborah commented, “The creation of the Managing Partner role marks a significant change for the firm. It is an exciting challenge for me, and I am grateful for the support of my partners as I step up. I am looking forward to shaping the role of and hiring the COO over the coming months, but my focus will remain on fee earning work until I begin a handover period with David and Paul early next year”.


Deborah was the Head of the Disputes and Investigations Group from May 2013 to April 2017. She served on the firm’s Partnership Board from May 2005 – April 2008 and then again from May 2014 to April 2017.