Legal Business Blogs

Leadership: Watson Farley managing partner Michael Greville stands down

Watson, Farley & Williams (WFW) has announced that longstanding managing partner Michael Greville has stepped down from his role as managing partner, according to a statement released today (28 November).

Having been in the role for over 12 years, Greville will step down as chief in the middle of January 2014 and resume a fee-earning role, focusing on shipping, oil & gas, and energy sectors.

An election to succeed Greville is currently underway with Chris Lowe (head of the firm’s global maritime practice and former head of the Singapore office) and Lothar Wegener (head of WFW’s German offices) as coming forward as candidates to replace Greville as joint managing partners. That dual appointment is expected to be approved in the coming weeks, the firm said.

Greville said: ‘WFW is an excellent firm with a clear strategic focus and established market positions. We have come through the worst of the economic times in good shape. The firm is well set to have a good year and this is an appropriate time for me to hand over the reins and move on to the next stage of my career.’

Indeed, Greville has presided over some impressive financial growth during his tenure, with revenues rising 73% in the last five years alone, from £59m in 2008 to £102.1m in 2013. However, the story has not been as good profits-wise lately, with a 14% drop in profits per equity partner for the 2012/13 financial year to £384,000, while profit per lawyer overall was down 24% to £62,000.

Chairman Frank Dunne said: ‘Our partners want to thank Michael for all he has done over many years in building a strong platform for growth across our firm. We look forward to welcoming a new team to lead the business and develop its distinctive strategy and character.’