BLG brand to disappear as part of Clydes merger

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  • The end of a 170 year era...

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  • Back in the early 2000s BLG and Clydes were fairly similar firms. BLG had the stronger reputation in reinsurance, non marine work as well as mainstream corporate and commercial litigation whilst Clydes was pre-eminent in marine, energy and political risk insurance. The reason why Clydes has been able to pull away and swallow its bitter rival is that it has always been guided by a strong professional management team, whilst BLG has lurched from one failed managerial experiment to the next.

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  • It doesn't matter how many times they both say it, this is not a merger in any shape. It is a clear takeover.
    Thats not to say that Jabba and Konsta have done badly. Anyone who can take a firm which has lost 10+ equity partners of a short period of time and make it an attractive proposition for takeover has to be congratulated. Yes they are 15 partners going, but those are the partners who have been stopping the international growth.
    For Clydes, a great deal.

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  • What a charade. Jabbari and Konsta given token roles for 18 months. BLG partners axed. BLG's name relegated to history. This was always a fire sale. Though Jabbari will come in useful in the short term - he either executes redundancies or adds a Cafe Nero to a frim's reception...I wonder what he'll be doing during the 18 months...?

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  • Nice pay boost for the top of BLG's equity.

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  • re Anonymous @ 9.05. Totally agree with the analysis of BLG management in the last 10 years. Also add in incompetence and cronyism.

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  • In pulling off this deal and making BLG ready for takeover surely Jabba and Konsta have done good? The deal could have been a lot worse had a US firm taken them over, there would have been plenty more blood on the carpet.
    Dodgy management at BLG for the last ten years? Agreed. But some credit has to go these pair who have made it a viable option for CLydes

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  • Why so much negative comment? Forget the past. Looking forwards, the newly combined team will have excellent lawyers and a great roster of clients. Good luck to them. And keeping the Clyde & Co name is the right thing to do.

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  • Good move. It is far better to grasp the nettle and do a single rebrand than to go for the clumsy Clyde BLG for a period and then drop the BLG later.

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  • I am baffled by the attacks on Jabba who has achieved an incredible amount in one year, given the mess he inherited. Bottom line is that 10 years ago Barlows and Clydes were roughly the same size. Today, Clydes is three times bigger with offices everywhere and but for the increase in turnover during Jabba's brief reign Barlows would be hardly any bigger than it was in 2001!

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  • So not a takeover then! ROFLMFAO.
    Jabba can spin all he likes - and boy does he - but any fool can flog the family silver.

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  • Can this dark comedy get any more embarassing for BLG's management? Or do they believe their own spin? A pay rise for top partners on the back of a firesale is hardly "an incredible amount achieved".

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  • Agree totally with the comment about selling the family silver. Anyone can negotiate a sell-off. Navigating through difficult times takes skill.

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  • Don't blame Konsta and Jabba. Its Kennan Michel and Richard Dedman, and their predecessors, who were in charge when the rot set in.

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  • Loving the Lawyer's Zara Philips / Tindall comparison. Anyway, what's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or something....

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  • Completely endorse the comments re the Dedman/Michel era. That is when Clydes pulled so far ahead of BLG that the gap was unbridgeable. Hence the decision to pull in Clint Evans as an accountant CEO but that was too late and ineffective anyway because accountants can't run law firms. Jabbari was a specialist lawyer with magic circle past: they wanted one of their own.

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  • I don't understand the brain dead comments above about 'selling the family silver', nothing is being sold at all, the partners of BLG will be partners in the new firm.

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  • Are BLG keeping their regional offices because the focus seems international now?

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  • Anon @ 4:42

    I think the best description of your comment is "disingenuous".

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  • Jabba's quote above that this is a continuation of restructuring is an absolute classic!!
    Presumably the new term for demolition in the construction industry is 'ongoing renovations''...

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  • When at A&O Jabba was Hd of Kowledge Management - a well known proving ground for aspiring COOs! I pity the the business services management team at Clydes who have done a great job and now will have to report into the new COO role that Jabba has carved himself into. I am sure that there are plenty of talented people at Clydes who would have liked to have had a pop at that role.

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  • The question nobody seems to be asking is what impact will the young Turks from Barlows have on the tired old management at Clydes? Is there going to be a battle for power?

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  • Jabbari added: “It reflects a professional management team coming at the merger from a practical and robust viewpoint.” Yet another Jabbari management speak classic. Translation: BLG means diddly-squat abroad.

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  • Er, "tired old management at Clydes?". I think you must mean experienced, mature and measured (and who have, in reality, already outwitted BLG).

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  • Anonymous at 6.17am: "battle for power?". I don't think so. Surely BLG partners would do well to keep their heads down in the hope that they still have a role when the lock-in expires. For the first time in a long time, someone will be looking over their shoulders ... they will have to prove themselves rather than "milk it".

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  • The "young Turks from Barlows" clearly have a lot to learn about negotiating a deal from the "tired old management at Clydes".

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  • A clear takeover as many with a clear head can see. This just avoids a scenario akin to run-off due to poor or non existent communications, a huge lack of morale or motivation and laziness on BLGs part. The majority of the partners have sat back and lived it up bringing in no new business and playing golf! Anyone know what will happen to the general insurance practise? Surely Clydes have no use for their partners or staff?

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  • To Anonymous 4 AUG @ 12:50pm. Those who criticise the Konsta /Jabbari management record seem to be those with inside knowledge of the firm and how it has been run for the past year or so. Sometimes the figures are not what they seem and the messages are mixed. Good people have been hung out to dry and a once great firm has been broken in order to preserve financial security for others.

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  • At last the mismanagement truths are surfacing. This team have blamed those that went before them but at the end of the day they will have to live with the fact that a once great firm is no more and many of its best people are now working for the competition and would not have been if this pair were not in charge. Simple.

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  • Let's hope Peter Hasson knows what he's doing with the management team appointments. Others have been fooled in the past and regretted their decision.

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  • All going well, the politically talented but otherwise inept beneficiaries of this takeover deal will have the career lengths they deserve while the true talent will thrive at their new firms and provide clients with great legal service in a working climate free from tyranical management outbursts and doublespeak.

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  • It seems a shame to blame David Jabbari for all the recent management mistakes at BLG when at least some of the credit should go to Konsta and others. It's polite to share.

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  • Full credit to Clydes in taking out a competitor. They will have to pay the price in terms of jobs for the boys (and girls) secured as part of the sell out for a while anyhow - and they will no doubt have to pay for a few more exits on the management side and practice teams over the next year. Clydes will know that much of what they have 'bought' is not worth the money but it means less competition from old style insurance firms. Now they only have to worry about the up and coming firms with a very different culture.

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  • What must the Clydes' business support directors think of the COO appointment? Just goes to show that keeping the knives sharp and political prowess wins over management merit and hard work every time. Not to worry, it won't last long - hopefully Peter has seen through the smooth talking and created a role that has limited power and shelf life ... or else Clydes may be looking for its own white knight.

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  • How many lawyers does it take to sink a law firm? More seriously, a nice little earner for the more senior BLG partners and Mr Jabbari but no doubt there will be a lot of job uncertainty for others lower down the pecking order. Also a huge distraction for keeping clients. The more agile insurance firms like Holmans and RPC will be having a field day behind the scenes picking up disaffected clients and staff.

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  • as a solicitor from the old dowgate hill joe small & [sir] denis marshall days it seems a little sad that the name and all it represented is going.
    nostalgia is not what it used to be

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  • Accountants can't run law firms ? - Clydes has been totally run by one accountant for the last 12 or so years. But Mr Jabbari has managed to climb aboard. He is younger, hungrier and better qualified than his rival - and the old regime at Clydes will be heading towards the exit. So we going to see a bit of a battle for power in the next couple of years. Only one will survive long term.

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