Allen & Overy has elected its managing partner Wim Dejonghe to take over as its senior partner from the start of May.

He succeeds David Morley who is retiring at the end of April after holding the senior partner position for the past eight years.

Dejonghe (pictured), who has been the global managing partner at the firm since 2008, has been given an initial four-year term.

He beat head of dispute resolution Tim House, co-head of banking Stephen Kensell and competition partner Michel Struys to the role.

Dejonghe joined Allen & Overy as a partner in 2001, and prior to becoming the firm’s global managing partner, was the managing partner of its Antwerp and Brussels offices and co-head of the global corporate department.

Morley, who will leave after 36 years at the firm, said: ‘I am confident that, with the support of the partnership and everyone at Allen & Overy, the firm will continue to thrive under his leadership.’