Legal Business Blogs

Clydes senior partner Konsta to step down as firm grows revenue 11% in 2018/19

Clyde & Co senior partner Simon Konsta (pictured) is to step down from his role in October just over half way into his five-year term.

The firm announced today (10 June) that Konsta will hand over to arbitration co-chair Peter Hirst, as it reported its 21st consecutive year of revenue growth to £611m in the year to 30 April, up 11% on £551.3m last year.

The firm will not disclose profit figures until next month, although Konsta said they too have increased on last year.

Konsta, who had been elected to the role in October 2016 following an uncontested election, told Legal Business: ‘My decision is, in my mind at least, relatively straightforward: I have been in a leadership role for the best part of 11 years now.’

He pointed to the firm building a £600m+ business with offices all over the world and to the fact that there was ‘so much more to be done to unlock the value within that infrastructure’. ‘As senior partner, you have a huge amount on your plate – whether it’s board meetings, travel, remuneration [review], year closing. The challenge to myself was: professionally and personally, how can I operate most effectively for myself and for Clyde?’

He concluded that the best way forward for him was to now focus on the firm’s insurance practice and professional liability defence capability: ‘There is something to drive home now and that’s where I want to focus – drive home our effectiveness in those areas rather than the broader church.’

Following Konsta’s decision to step down, Hirst was elected to the role after a vote by the global partnership, although Konsta would not say whether others stood in the election.

Konsta was first elected senior partner of Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2008 and led the firm into its merger with Clyde & Co in 2011. He then settled for a place on Clydes’ senior management board after Clydes’ former senior partner Michael Payton took up the position at the merged entity. He was also global head of the firm’s signature insurance practice group since 2013. His election to senior partner followed his predecessor James Burns’ own resignation in September 2016.

During his three years as senior partner, Clydes grew revenue 36%, adding £160m to its top line. It opened offices in Chicago and Washington DC, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Auckland, Orange County, Muscat and Bristol. This year it launched in Hamburg and Dublin.

On this year’s financials, Konsta said: ‘For the first time we have 50% of our revenue coming from outside the UK, which has been an objective for some time; 23% of our revenue is coming from the Americas. Given our focus on growing in that region, that’s very gratifying.’