Laurence, who has been UK deputy chairman and chairman of EMEA practices for around three years, assumes responsibilities that have formerly been handled by global chairman and CEO Paul Taaffe.
Laurence will oversee 27 wholly owned and 11 affiliate offices across the region, which is understood to contribute almost 50 per cent of the WPP-backed agency’s annual turnover.
He said he would continue to focus on the agency’s largest clients, such as computing giant HP, food firm Kellogg’s and Boots Healthcare International.
Laurence joined H&K as an account director in the corporate practice almost 15 years ago from the London Docklands Development Corporation, where he was press and PR manager.
He has held various positions at H&K in London, including a two-year spell as joint-CEO.