Dynamic Duo

Dynamic Duo

Clyde & Co’s Michael Payton has held the top job at the firm for 27 years and since 1997 has formed a formidable partnership with CEO Peter Hasson.

On the eve of the firm’s much-hyped union with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, LB takes a closer look at this successful management duo.

Michael Payton has presence: there is no other word for it. As one of the longest-serving senior partners in the City, when he enters the room he instantly seems to take charge.

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BLP – Ten years gone

BLP – Ten years gone

Berwin Leighton Paisner is a decade old this year, a period marked by impressive financials, a revolving door of partners and tentative international expansion. LB assesses the firm ahead of its difficult teenage years.

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) managing partner Neville Eisenberg is impeccably well prepared for our meeting. Next to his black coffee he has printed e-mails and details of the firm’s financials over the past ten years. In his soft South African brogue, his responses are polished and littered with management-speak. He gives nothing away. But one question gives him pause – when asked if he will stand for re-election next year, he hesitates before answering cautiously: ‘Obviously I’m thinking about it.’ However, he says it’s still early days.

 

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A matter of time – Simmons & Simmons

A matter of time – Simmons & Simmons

After a failed merger, a drop in both revenue and a profits, and a slew of partner departures, Simmons’ new managing partner Jeremy Hoyland certainly has his work cut out. Can his plans for change deliver?

Jeremy Hoyland’s timing has always been a little off. He qualified just before the 1990s’ recession, tried to launch a finance practice in Asia just as the Asian financial crisis hit in the late 1990s and has now taken over Simmons & Simmons at a time when the firm’s financials continue to struggle and it is being over-shadowed by several of its closest rivals. Continue reading “A matter of time – Simmons & Simmons”

A Matter of Time – Simmons & Simmons

After a failed merger, a drop in both revenue and a profits, and a slew of partner departures, Simmons’ new managing partner Jeremy Hoyland certainly has his work cut out. Can his plans for change deliver?

Jeremy Hoyland’s timing has always been a little off. He qualified just before the 1990s’ recession, tried to launch a finance practice in Asia just as the Asian financial crisis hit in the late 1990s and has now taken over Simmons & Simmons at a time when the firm’s financials continue to struggle and it is being over-shadowed by several of its closest rivals. Failed merger talks with Mayer Brown have also hardly helped the firm’s market profile.

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Two’s company

Two’s company

After getting Beachcroft fit for the modern age, senior partner Simon Hodson and managing partner Paul Murray will run the firm for five more years. Time for a progress report

Beachcroft senior partner Simon Hodson (see left) often has his tongue firmly in his cheek when commenting on the industry, but this time he’s deadly serious. ‘These pissing contests over how many hundreds of thousands people get paid are obscene and, frankly, not good for the profession.’ You might expect this from a buyer of legal services, but not from the senior partner of the 23rd largest firm by revenue in the UK. To his left, managing partner Paul Murray (see right) nods in agreement. Continue reading “Two’s company”

Management speak

Management speak

In just under two years Simon Davies has restructured Linklaters’ partnership, cut lawyers and offices and ridden the financial crisis. Time for a new strategy

Simon Davies sees his job in simple terms. ‘The most important task is developing the strategy and then implementing it,’ says Linklaters’ managing partner. Since April of this year he’s been putting a new strategy in place. The vision set out by his predecessor Tony Angel – to be the leading global law firm – hasn’t changed. It’s the means of getting there that the new plan is concerned with.

The two-year strategy places particular emphasis on client relationships and the firm’s people. Just as Davies sees his role, it’s hardly rocket science. But since he officially took over from Angel in January 2008 aged just 40 Davies and his management team have been forced to make a series of tough strategic calls.

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Front Rowe

Front Rowe

Claire Rowe took over as Shoosmiths’ chief executive a year ago, after the worst period of the firm’s recent history. Can she turn things around?

Shoosmiths’ chief executive Claire Rowe is no larger-than-life extrovert. She smiles politely; fields questions admirably; and gamely takes part in the photo shoot. But with her neat crib sheet and careful answers, it’s all a little too stage-managed. Yet she’s exactly what Shoosmiths needs right now: inscrutable, focused and serious. A year into taking on the role on 1 August 2009, Rowe is showing signs of turning things around for the firm after two years of poor financials and painful restructuring.

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The life of Bryan

The life of Bryan

One year since he became Eversheds’ chief executive, Bryan Hughes is reshaping a business badly bruised by the downturn. Can he be the firm’s new messiah?

For a moment the persona slips. The studied slouch stiffens. The I’m-the-man-for-a-crisis composure loses its gloss a little. ‘We’ve got a fairly emotive brand for some reason; we do attract views,’ he sighs, getting worked up by the web commentariat or ‘the blogs’ as he calls them. ‘I don’t know if it’s a question of whether we’ve been too successful too quickly, or whether people see us as a threat, or whether we’re just big and therefore people want to put the boot in.’

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Without a paddle

Without a paddle

The continued exodus of high-profile partners from White & Case’s City operation suggests the Global London leader still has serious management issues. It’s time someone took charge

In last year’s Global London issue, White & Case’s newly appointed London executive partner Oliver Brettle reacted defiantly to LB’s suggestion that the office had morale issues. It wasn’t correct that ‘one or two vocal former members of the team should give rise to a more general impression that there is a problem with morale in the office’, he insisted.

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Renaissance man

Renaissance man

From challenged leader to merger architect and LB Management Partner of the Year – it’s been quite a turnaround for Lovells’ David Harris

When David Harris collected his Management Partner of the Year award from Legal Business at Grosvenor House in mid-February, it wasn’t just the David Bowie soundtrack that brought a smile to his face. Though Bowie is a hero of this polo-playing guitarist, that smile was prompted by the day job, and the apparent vindication of his ambitious plan to transform Lovells from a mid-tier everyfirm into a global player.

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