Stewart, Bickerton battle for Clifford Chance London MP job

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  • David Bickerton will need to run a very strong campaign to beat someone who's willing to take a hit in his own pocket. Let the battle comence!

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  • Whoever gets the MP job actually deserves a pay rise - how an earth can you put a firm like Clifford Chance back into shape? It's a complete mess.

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  • David Bickerton is a fully paid-up member of the human race and would be a great leader. Mark Stewart would be a disaster; I'm sure that he's a fine lawyer but he doesn't know the first thing about leadership or management, as demonstrated by his comments about doing the job on a part-time basis. His arrogance is breath-taking and shows just how much work is required to turn CC around if the Partners feel that a business with a multimillion pound turnover can be managed part-time. While I have respect for many of the people at CC, it would in some respects be entertaining to see Mark Stewart get elected just so that we could watch him fail.

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  • Mark Stewert is probably the finest lawyer at CC - and he has hair!

    He's the best and he will win. Annonymous above clearly knows nothing!

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  • Whether it's Stewart or Stewert, the fact that he's a good lawyer is not the point. There is no direct correlation between legal skills and management skills. In fact, a tenacious, detail-oriented and "fight-my-corner-at-all-costs" type of lawyer is fundamentally unsuited to leading a 3,000 person organisation. It's the same analogy as in professional sport, whereby the best players very rarely become great managers.
    This is one of the problems that most law firms have failed to deal with, since Partners are promoted first and foremost for the legal skills; management skills are seen as a nice-to-have and are "bolted on" at a later stage.
    Amongst other attributes, genuine leadership requires selflessness and empathy - qualities that lawyers don't always value. There are few lawyers with the ability to step up and demonstrate genuine firmwide leadership to the extent that they inspire the whole constituency. Don't forget that around half the employees of a law firm are support staff; someone like Mark Stewart will actively alienate the 50% who are not lawyers, and will probably take great pleasure in doing so. This will be portrayed by his supporters as a sign of "strong leadership".
    There are some partners at CC who are more balanced and nuanced in their approach. David Bickerton is certainly one of them. His collaborative and engaging style will be more successful in leading the whole firm, not just the lawyers.

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  • Isn't it time that law firms woke up to the fact that electing leaders is a poor way of running a business? Especially if the candidate believes managing a business the size of CC's London business can be done part time. Amazingly naive or supremely arrogant.

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  • David B is probably too nice and too normal to get elected. A pity really as he's probably want CC needs, given the mess it's in.

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  • Some of the best law firm MPs I have ever seen in action do not come from a legal background. Better to have a CEO from an accounting background, if you ask me - that way they might have a better handle on how to keep the costs down and employees in jobs. In any case, how can you even begin to justify a basic "points" salary of £870,000 a year, then pay your support staff less than 4% of that as an average? And then say you need to make redundancies?!?! Three times in a year! It beggars belief. I say neither should be MP!

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  • When is there going to be a black magic circle MP???

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