Beachcroft Wansbroughs shakes up equity partnership

Beachcroft Wansbroughs has undertaken a wholesale overhaul of its internal structure.

As part of a raft of changes, all ’fixed-salary’ partners have been moved to ’full-share’ equity status. Regional senior partners for all offices have been elected and the firm has been divided into three key areas.
Beachcrofts said that the reorganisation will afford an increased focus on client development. Managing partner Bob Heslett said: “We’ve positioned Beachcroft Wansbroughs to be more innovative and responsive to client needs.”
The traditional 10-year lockstep system has been halved to just five years, but upward progression is no longer automatic. This approach brings a merit-based emphasis to the lockstep. Beachcrofts has set up a profit pool, effectively a bonus scheme, to remunerate exceptional achievements by any partner.
Beachcrofts has 122 partners. It is understood that changes to the equity structure will not reduce existing full-share partners’ earnings.
The national firm, linked traditionally with insurance work, has also realigned its practice groups to create three core divisions – commercial, litigation and the bulk claims venture Mutual Law.
Heslett said: “Mutual Law is a significant example of what this firm can achieve by paying attention to our clients’ objectives.” Mutual Law was launched last month and is Beachcrofts’ response to high-volume, low-value defendant insurance work. It will be headed by financial director Chris Charles. Claims worth less than £15,000 will be handled from sites in Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.
The litigation division will comprise 16 specialist services for insurance, health, financial services and commercial clients. Commercial work will encompass, among other practice groups, employment, property, projects, IT, telecoms and insolvency. Paul Murray and Simon Hodson will head the litigation and commercial divisions respectively.
Elections for the regional senior partner positions were open to all partners. The list of senior partner appointments is: Sara May, Birmingham; Mike Bothamley, Bristol; Glenn Miller, Leeds; Marisa Broadhurst, London (Fetter Lane); Chris Wilkes, London (Eastcheap); Iain Moore, Manchester; and Duncan Rutter, Winchester.
Heslett concluded: “With professional management and partners charged with the development of key areas of the practice, we anticipate further change and innovation across the firm.”