East, who was senior partner and regional managing partner, is returning to the UK after a three-and-a-half stint in Hong Kong to take up a senior position within Clifford Chance as chairman-elect of the partnership selection committee.
Baird was selected as the new regional managing partner following a partnership vote. He has been with the firm for 16 years and has managed Asian corporate practice since 1995.
"My aims over the next few years are to reinforce the firmÆs dominant position in the Asian market, uphold the core values of the firm across all practice areas, and to ensure our regional and worldwide clients secure full advantage from the integrated full-service capability of our Asian operations,ö says Baird.
Michael Bray, chief executive of the firm says: ôHe [Baird] has the experience and credibility, both as a manager and as a senior client handler, to build on the significant progress that the firm has made under John EastÆs guidance over the past three and a past years."