Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has appointed partner Nick Barwood to succeed Simon Richardson as UK Chair, taking up the role on 1 March 2021 for a three year term. Simon Richardson has retired from the firm after almost 30 years.

Nick has been with the firm since 1998, and sits on both the UK and Global Board. As part of his Board remit, he is responsible for business efficiency, technology and innovation initiatives and is the lead partner for WBD Advance, which brings together innovative technology and commercial services that complement legal advice. He also has Board responsibility for the strategic direction and overall performance of the firm's 100+ strong Legal Solutions Centre which is a key part of the WBD Advance offering. The Legal Solutions Centre forms an integral part of helping deliver efficient, high-quality business solutions for a large number of the firm's major clients.

Nick Barwood commented:

"Simon made an enormous contribution to the firm, not least in his tenure as UK Chair over the last three years, and we wish him all the best for a relaxing and rewarding retirement.

"It is a real privilege to take on this position at a critical point in the firm's development. We have built a strong platform with huge potential and as we come out of the coronavirus pandemic, we need more than ever to reflect on what it is that our clients will want and how they will want it delivered. The legal sector is currently undergoing a revolution - not triggered by COVID but definitely accelerated by it. My priority is our clients and our colleagues, to build on our success with an outward facing, bold and ambitious, client focused programme.

"I am passionate about how we support and develop all of our colleagues, wherever they are in their careers and whatever their background, and will continue to promote an open and inclusive culture in which all our colleagues can flourish."

Nick is the Supplier Relationship Manager for Crown Commercial Service clients under the RM3786 General Legal Advisory Services Framework, which encompasses all our work for central government and arm's length bodies. Nick's role as UK Chair includes being Board sponsor for a number of the firm's programmes and initiatives, including: Ethical thinking; the Independent client partner review programme; and Health and wellbeing.

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise across a range of sectors including financial institutions; insurance; public & government services; energy & natural resources; healthcare; manufacturing; real estate; retail & consumer; transport, logistics & infrastructure; pharmaceuticals, biotechnology & life sciences; technology; and private client. The firm has 26 offices across the UK and US and has a growing global network in over 120 countries through its exclusive relationship with Lex Mundi, the world's largest association of independent law firms.

WBD was ranked in the Top 30 most innovative law firms in Europe in the 2020 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers report. WBD is committed to supporting social mobility and creating new routes into the legal profession. The firm is a gold status member of the Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter and holders of the Investors in People Silver standard. WBD is considered a pioneer in the introduction of legal apprenticeships and was amongst the first to launch a solicitor apprenticeship programme