International law firm Pinsent Masons has named employment law specialist Katie Williams as the next head of its Aberdeen office.

Ms Williams, who joined the firm in 2014, will succeed Roger Connon who steps down from the role next April. Mr Connon will continue as a partner of the firm, focusing on promoting the firm's regulatory compliance business, Cerico, and freelance lawyer service Vario.

The first woman to hold the post, Ms Williams has advised leading energy and other companies on a range of complex employment issues. She has championed the firm's efforts to promote diversity both within and outwith the business, and as a mother of two, combines a successful legal career with a flexible working pattern.

Among recent instructions, Pinsent Masons has advised on the Aberdeen West Peripheral Route, the £410m Aberdeen Harbour project, and acted for Total on its £585m disposal of the St Fergus gas terminal and North Sea infrastructure.

Its Aberdeen office includes 10 partners and 25 lawyers, and works closely with the firm’s international network including energy-focused hubs in Dusseldorf, Singapore, Qatar, Melbourne and Dubai.

John Cleland, managing partner at Pinsent Masons, said: "Aberdeen is a critically important market for us given its position as a true global energy hub, so leadership and a well-executed succession plan is important.

“Roger has done an outstanding job and we were fortunate enough to have a deep pool of talent from which to select a successor. Katie stands out as an individual who is respected massively by our clients. She is a first-class lawyer but also a role model in terms of championing the firm's culture and values."