City firm Addleshaw Goddard has announced the early election of a new managing partner to allow for ‘a constructive discussion about the next phase of the firm’s strategy’. 

John Joyce, head of business support and restructuring, began his three-year term on Friday. He replaces Paul Devitt, who was managing partner for five years. 

The firm said it brought forward the election process by a year to coincide with the beginning of its May 2014 strategy. A spokeswoman from the firm said more details of its strategy would be revealed shortly.

In May 2013 the firm posted revenue down 2% from £170m the previous year.

Former real estate division managing partner Adrian Collins also stood as a candidate to succeed Devitt.

Monica Burch, senior partner, said the firm has focused on developing sector expertise in its established areas such as financial services and in new areas such as energy and rail. It has also ‘significantly’ increased its international capability.

‘Our thanks go to Paul Devitt for his leadership over the past five years and for his significant contribution to all of this,’ she said.

Joyce has been a partner at the firm since 1998 and was head of business support and restructuring since 2007. 

He said: ‘We have great clients and great lawyers and it is a privilege to have been given the responsibility to lead our continued progress and to help the firm fulfil its potential.’