Stephen Swabey, senior partner at law firm Thomas Cooper, will retire at the end of April. Tim Kelleher has been appointed as his successor.

Swabey has been with the firm for 35 years as a partner and nine years as senior partner. His experience has ranged from physical commodities and dry shipping work to financial and commodities futures, banking and company law.

Kelleher joined the firm in 1982 and sat with Stephen as an articled clerk for over a year before qualifying into the shipping group. Kelleher has been a partner of the firm for over 22 years. His main areas of expertise are in dry shipping, particularly the sale and carriage of international goods and commodities and the transportation by sea of containers.

Commenting on his new role, Kelleher says that he is grateful to his fellow partners for entrusting in him the “stewardship of the oldest shipping law firm in London for the next four years”.

He adds: “Stephen has presided over a period of considerable growth in the firm during his tenure as senior partner. During this period the firm has grown into one of the major shipping, finance and international trade firms in the world, with four exceptional overseas offices. Stephen’s contribution to this development has been immeasurable.”