DLA Phillips Fox chief executive, Tony Crawford, has announced he will step down after more than 10 years in the top job and almost 30 years at the firm.
Crawford will leave the role in December, tie up any loose ends and formally leave the firm in March. DLA Phillips Fox has not announced a successor.
A merger with DLA Piper will likely be on the agenda of the new chief executive. Crawford himself has pointed to it as a possibility for the firm in the next year.
"The question of whether or not we will ultimately take the step of full financial integration or full complete merger is on the table and we’re looking at that,” Crawford said in The Australian.
“Clearly both parties would need to be satisfied of a number of things before that did happen, but I would like to think it’s a likely prospect within the next couple of years.”
Crawford led Phillips Fox into the alliance with DLA Piper in 2006.
The firm's chairman, Martin Wiseman, said Crawford's successor will commence shortly and that he feels confident about the options the firm Board has for his succession.
The new chief executive will likely focus on moving the firm forward in a new economic and legal services market.
“The firm has a very clear view of where it wants to be when the economic recovery is well underway and my successor will have a great platform to realise these opportunities when I step down from the role," he said.
Crawford, meanwhile, said he will consider a number of options but that his next move would be to a leadership position in another organisation.