Addleshaw Goddard managing partner John Joyce is to stand for re-election for a second term at the helm of the firm.
A formal election process begins this month (December), with the result finalised by the end of February.
Joyce (pictured), who was appointed managing partner in May 2014 for a three-year term, is hoping to serve another four years as managing partner, following recent changes to the firm’s partnership deed which extended the terms of both managing partner and senior partner by a year.
At the moment there does not appear to be much appetite for a contested election at the firm. Regarding another four years of Joyce, one partner said: ‘With Brexit still out there a period of continuity and stability is probably not a bad thing.’
However another partner suggested: ‘Yunus [Seedat] would have a strong following, as the corporate side of the firm would back him,’ and that Joyce was currently determining whether anyone was likely to stand against him.
Joyce is a fan of contested elections, standing against real estate head Adrian Collins in 2014, following outgoing chief Paul Devitt’s ahead of term resignation.
His standing for re-election comes as the partnership voted through a merger with HBJ Gateley, with both firms confirming the discussions in November. HBJ Gateley, which is not part of the English PLC due to rules around Alternative Business Structures in Scotland, had turnover of £21.9m in 2015/16, making it the eighth biggest Scottish firm.
Added to Addleshaws’ top-line revenue of £201.8m in 2015/16, the deal will create a business worth around £220m. The firm has been clear that it wants to make £250m in fee income by the financial year 2017/18, which a HBJ Gateley takeover would help achieve.
Joyce’s leadership thus far has been defined by merger rumours, with well-publicised talks with Glasgow-based Maclay Murray & Spens called off at the beginning of the year. The firm is also currently in merger talks with Virginia-based Hunton & Williams.