Richard Foley, head of construction advisory and disputes at City firm Pinsent Masons, has ousted nine-year incumbent Chris Mullen in a contested election to become the firm’s next senior partner. 

Foley (pictured) will replace Mullen in October to begin a four-year term. The pair were the only candidates.

Mullen was responsible for leading the 2012 merger with national firm McGrigors, which resulted in a 39% increase in the firm’s 2012/13 profits to £87.3m. Revenue increased by 38.7% to £305.7m the same year.

In 2008 Foley opened Pinsent Masons’ energy division before moving on to lead its projects practice. Prior to that he was head of the firm’s Asia practice based in Hong Kong for seven years. 

Foley said the election process was an opportunity for partners to discuss ‘aspirations, challenges and plans for the future’. He said: ‘I’m enormously grateful to Chris for running a spirited and positive campaign. Under his leadership, the firm has achieved so much over many years and I have an impressive track record to build on.

‘I’m looking forward to working closely with Chris as I transition into the role and thereafter and to working with my partners and all our staff as we continue to develop a business that responds to our clients’ needs in this ever-changing commercial environment.’

The election process was undertaken by an independent organisation and the split of votes was withheld from the firm and its management.