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Addleshaw Goddard’s Collins and Joyce go forward for contested managing partner elections

Addleshaw Goddard partners have nominated Adrian Collins and John Joyce as challengers for the managing partner role in the forthcoming elections after incumbent Paul Devitt announced he is stepping down almost a year early.

Real estate partner Collins and business support and restructuring head Joyce were widely predicted as forerunners in the contested election. Voting is due to close in mid-May following a period of hustings.

Adrian Collins joined the LB100 top 25 firm in 2000 as a partner in the real estate division, has served on the firm’s governance board and held the role of real estate managing partner from 2009 until 2013.

A partner since 1998, Joyce has been head of business support and restructuring since 2007, and is also a serving member of the firm’s governance board.

The new managing partner will serve a three-year term beginning mid-May, almost a year earlier than planned after Devitt stepped down long before his term expired in April 2015.

The firm said in a statement today: ‘The board, Paul Devitt and partners are in agreement that bringing forward the managing partner election process to coincide with the next iteration of our strategy (from May 2014), allows for a constructive discussion about the next phase of the firm’s strategy, helps to build momentum entering that phase, avoids a drawn out hustings, and provides certainty over our managing partner for the next 3 years, from the beginning of the coming financial year.’

Speaking to Legal Business after Devitt’s move from management was confirmed, senior partner Monica Burch commented: ‘We have had a strategy that we’ve focused on until 2014 and now it’s time to look at the macro as well as the micro environment to see what will be the kick-start for the strategy for the next five years. With the managing partner election coming up, it’s a great time to do that.’

The firm recently confirmed it is reviewing the administration of its partner remuneration system following an error in calculations at the start of the current financial year, which related to the number of points by reference to which profit is distributed to partners, which will result in a slightly lower than forecast end-of-year pounds per point.

It also emerged last month that the firm has decided to write off a large success fee on the basis that it would be extremely difficult to collect. That fee is understood to relate to litigation brought by the late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

For further commentary on Addleshaw Goddard see Comment: Democracy and half measures are not delivering for Addleshaws and ‘We’ll see who wants to step up’ – Burch on growth, ambition and managing partners