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DAC Beachcroft set for defining post-merger management election

DAC Beachcroft is gearing up for a management election this summer between both insurance and non-insurance partners as the firm looks to select its first new executive team since the merger of Davies Arnold Cooper and Beachcroft in October 2011.

Current senior partner Simon Hodson and managing partner Paul Murray have been in place since 2005 when they were elected to the roles at legacy Beachcroft and then re-elected for a second term in 2010. Neither will stand again this time around.

There are four partners being talked of as in contention for the firm’s leadership, with the heads of real estate and insurance both potential candidates.

As Legal Business went to press four potential candidates had been cited, including head of the firm’s insurance sector, David Pollitt, who is based in Bristol, and Richard Beaty, a partner in the firm’s professional and financial risk group. London-based Beaty was appointed to DAC Beachcroft’s board in May 2011 and is a disputes lawyer.

From the non-insurance side of the firm comes Bristol-based real estate head Michael Bothamley, who sat on the firm’s board from 2006 to 2011, while real estate partner Virginia Clegg is also being touted. Leeds-based Clegg was elected to the firm’s board in 2013 and is also the firm’s regional senior partner in the city.

A statement from the firm said: ‘This is an ongoing process so it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further until its completion later this summer, at which stage we will make a formal announcement.’

The new management will have work to do as the latest LLP filings at Companies House revealed an 18% drop in profits from £31.2m in the 2012/13 financial year to £25.5m in the year ending 30 April 2014 as staff costs rose and the firm booked the cost of an expensive IT project. However, the firm did see a 6% increase in revenue from £186.8m to £197.2m.

The LLP filings also revealed that the firm had extended its banking facilities by £15m to help it focus on ‘its strategic growth plans’. This saw the amount of bank loans the firm had outstanding rise from £9.2m in 2012/13 to £24.1m in the year ending 30 April 2014.