Move On Up: Pannone
14 May 2012 | By Joanne Harris
12 February 2014
28 May 2013
10 March 2014
14 February 2014
18 October 2013
For a firm that is widely recognised as a good employer, the partner turnover at this Manchester outfit is surprisingly high
Manchester-headquartered Pannone has always prided itself on being a great place to work, regularly winning a spot in The Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For survey.
But at partnership level Pannone has had an extraordinarily high turnover in recent years, seeing the loss of 49 partners between 2006-07 and 2010-11 and a net gain of just one despite an extensive hiring and promotion programme.
The firm’s organic and lateral growth came mainly in 2006-07 and 2007-08, while the years in which it was hit hardest were 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Since 2006-07, and not including this year, the firm has made up 32 partners. Of these, 18 have been men and 14 women, reflecting Pannone’s consistently high diversity statistics (39 per cent of the firm’s partnership in 2010-11 were female, according to The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report).
2006-07 saw the highest number of promotions, with 11 lawyers promoted to partner. A further nine were promoted the following year, and four in each of the succeeding years.
A number of the lawyers promoted to partner were hired by the firm as associates in 2006-07. Of the associate hires in that year, 10 have since made partnership. Four were promoted in May 2007, two in May 2008, one in May 2009, two in May 2010 and one in May last year.
The remaining 22 promotions were all of lawyers who had been at Pannone for longer.
Pannone has focused more on organic growth than laterals, although it has done its fair share of recruitment, with 18 hires into the partnership between 2006-07 and 2010-11. Most of the laterals were partner-to-partner, although three partners were hired from associate positions at their old firms and one, Simon Foy, came from an in-house role.
In contrast to its promotion strategy, the bulk of the laterals were men. Just two partner-level hires were of women. Fiona Dillon joined the court of protection team in January 2007 from Ricksons and regulatory partner Sara Teasdale was hired from Roiter Zucker in June 2010 to launch the London office.
Sadly for Pannone, more than a quarter of the partners it laterally hired or promoted have since left the partnership, either for other firms or retirement - seven of each. Dillon spent just over six months with Pannone before leaving for Birchall Blackburn. Other partners hired by the firm have gone to destinations including local rivals Brabners Chaffe Street, Millbank Edge and Fletchers.
Losses from the group of internal promotions include property partner Paula Hamer, who moved to Trowers & Hamlins in 2010.
A further 35 partners also left the partnership between 2006-07 and 2010-11. High-profile departures included former senior partner Joy Kingsley, who left the firm in September 2010 for JMW.
One partner, Zia Ullah, features in all three lists. Ullah was promoted to partnership in May 2008, before leaving to go in-house at Barclays in July 2008. In June 2010 he was hired back by Pannone to assist in the London launch alongside Teasdale.
The departures were split equally between the salaried and equity partners, with 24 salaried partners and 25 equity partners leaving.
Move on out
Like many firms, Pannone was forced to make redundancies in the 2009-10 financial year and it recently confirmed another round as it closed its Hale and Alderley Edge offices and put its family team into consultation.
Hires, promotions and departures have all come from across the firm’s practice areas.
The firm continued hiring in the 2011-12 financial year, with the most recent lateral being WilmerHale corporate partner Catherine McLoughlin in December 2011. However, it also saw further departures.
Pannone has recently undergone a partnership restructure, introducing the role of junior equity member as a stepping stone to full equity and ditching the salaried partner role. Fixed share members will be the partnership entry point.
Promotions and senior hires
Zia Ullah, corporate
Ullah has been through the partnership cycle, rejoining in 2010 after leaving in 2008
Julianne Moore, clinical negligence
Moore was made partner in 2011 and recently moved to the London office
Chris Gawne, clinical negligence
Gawne was hired from Irwin Mitchell as an associate in 2007 and promoted to partner in 2008
57 Equity partners