Nabarro has announced today (17 October) its senior partner Graham Stedman will retire from the firm next April, and an election for his successor will be held in the spring.
Corporate specialist Stedman was appointed senior partner in 2013 following a contested election against real estate partner Ciaran Carvalho. He succeeded longstanding head Simon Johnston, who stepped down three years early from the role and joined McArthurGlen as its deputy chair.
Stedman will continue to head Nabarro alongside managing partner Andrew Inkester until a successor is decided following elections expected to take place in March next year.
Stedman said: ‘This has been a difficult decision. I will be 60 next May and so I believe that it is the right time for me to leave the firm. It has been an enormous honour to lead Nabarro. Together we have achieved a lot over the last three years. We are more profitable, more focused, more international and have a new strategy in place that I am confident will deliver sustainable growth.’
He added: ‘These are exciting times for Nabarro and for the legal sector. I look forward to giving my backing and support to whoever succeeds me. They will take on a firm that is ambitious, friendly and has a clear strategy to secure a successful future.’
During his time in management, Stedman oversaw the firm’s recent move to 125 London Wall which generated property savings, office expansion in its Singapore and Dubai offices, and an office launch in Manchester. He leaves the firm in healthier stead than previous years, where it suffered from heavy dependence on high-end and commoditised property work and a slide in LB100 rankings. This year’s financials showed a 21% jump in profit per equity partner to £576,000 and an 8% rise in revenue to £126m.
The firm announced its three-year strategy in June to ensure ‘sustainable’ growth. It wants to grow the level of work won from international clients to a third of revenue by 2018 and renew focus on four key sectors, including healthcare & life sciences, infrastructure, real estate and technology. The firm is also aiming to improve business processes and deployment of IT.
Inkester said: ‘I understand Graham’s decision, but I will be sad to see him go. His dedication to the firm and to his clients both as senior partner and one of our leading corporate partners has been greatly valued and respected. He will leave the firm in robust health and has played a vital part in nurturing our culture. Simply, people will miss him.’