National firm Eversheds has elected Paul Smith as chairman for a four-year term. He will replace John Heaps in May. 

Smith (pictured), admitted in 1982, is a partner, environmental lawyer and litigator and has defended multinational companies in relation to criminal investigations in the UK, continental Europe and North America. 

Bryan Hughes, chief executive, said: ‘The combination of his intimate knowledge of the firm, wide international experience and client relationship expertise, makes him an ideal person to take on the role of chairman as the firm continues its global development.’