Legal Business Blogs

Strategic review: Eversheds introduces new sector focus as practice heads replaced

Eversheds has shaken up its sector focus as part of a series of measures introduced by management to adapt to changing client demand and the increased globalisation of legal services.

Following a three-year strategy review unveiled by chief executive Bryan Hughes in July last year, the top 10 UK firm is focusing heavily on increased integration and branding between its international offices and has this month created four new global sectors.

The Propcos sector will be headed by real estate partner Gurjit Atwal and will focus on companies, funds, investors and institutions that develop, manage, trade and invest in commercial and residential property. Key clients include Land Securities, SEGRO, Shaftesbury, Legal and General Property, Hammerson and Taylor Wimpey;

The Public sector will be led by development and regeneration partner Steve Manson and draw together public sector expertise across the firm. Key clients include a number of local government authorities as well as central government departments;

Parmjit Singh, head of the firm’s India group, will lead the Consumer sector, bringing together the firm’s food and drink; retail and leisure; and consumer goods teams. The firm’s clients include Marks & Spencer, John Lewis Partnership, Selfridges, Kurt Geiger, Holland & Barrett and Next.

The Diversified Industrial sector will be headed by M&A partner Robin Johnson and bring together the firm’s industrial engineering; aerospace and defence; chemicals; and automotive groups. Key clients include BAE Systems, Du Pont, Rolls-Royce, Tyco, Volvo, Smiths Group and Pentair.

There have been no changes to the firm’s existing sector groups: health and life sciences led by Bill Gilliam; energy and natural resources led by Paul Wootton; education led by Diane Gilhooley; and technology media and telecoms led by Charlotte Walker-Osborn.

Elsewhere, the firm has also overhauled its practice heads. Former head of real estate Julie Stobart has taken on the executive role of client services director, with responsibility for delivering the firm’s client strategy. David Watkins will take over from Stobart as real estate practice head.

Paul Worth, meanwhile, will become head of the financial institutions sector group. Worth was formerly head of the financial services dispute resolution team – a role that will now be split in two, with financial services litigation partner Matthew Allen taking a global remit for the team and partner Anthony Davies focusing on the UK side of the business.

The other new heads are:

– Transport sector group – Helen Thomas (taking over from Cornelius Medvei and Anne Harris)

– Retail sector group: James Batham (taking over from Antony Gold, who has left the firm)

– Human resources practice group: Francois Barker (taking over from Anthony Arter, who will remain as London senior partner)

Paul Moorcroft, the firm’s head of real estate litigation, is also taking up the role as head of the firm’s Edinburgh office.

Hughes said: ‘As a business, we continue to grow and evolve and these changes reflect both our sharpened market focus and the development of a new cadre of leaders, adding to the depth of senior legal and commercial talent across the firm.’

In May, Eversheds announced that 116 staff would be made redundant, following a restructuring that began in January and initially put 166 jobs at risk.