BLG's aviation team defects to Holman Fenwick

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  • This is a devastating blow for BLG. Aviation is one of the firm's most profitable groups, possibly the most profitable. And let's not pretend it's not part of the insurance practice.
    Jabbar the Cut puts a brave face on it but he may have heard the death knell for BLG's City practice as we know it.

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  • The last comment is right. BLG's city practice is the legacy of Sir Denis Marshall, who gave it its pre-eminence in aviation, reinsurance and accountants and sols negligence. BLG broke up reinsurance a while ago, has long been overtaken by others on the accountants and sols neg work and now Aviation has had enough. To be replaced with what..... ?

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  • I once went for an interview for a training contract at BLG and remember being shown all the photos of aircraft on the walls and told about the firm's 'amazing' aviation practice.
    I didn't get offered a contract :)

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  • “We’re already reaping the benefits of this strategy"
    It certainly looks like it. Jabbari is an alumni of the SJ Berwin school of strategy.

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  • Interesting..."focus on core insurance and contentious practices"
    mmmm....and there was me thinking aviation is a fairly important, and often most contentious, form of insurance.

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  • Ouch! A new partner at BLG told me two years ago that the nightmare scenario was if their small profitable teams left the firm (aviation, marine, employment). Those teams have been subsidising the rest of the firm and the partners in them were angry that the profits they were generating were being used to prop up unprofitable partners. It looks like the nightmare may become a reality.

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  • Disgusted of EC3 I think you are a little harsh.

    A quick search on Legal 500 reveals BLG is ranked in the first tier for Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation and Professional Negligence.

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  • The bulk of BLG's aviation practice was acquired a few years back when they lured ex Beaumont & Son's David Johnston and his team which brought to the firm all the Chinese carriers, KAL, Asiana, CX, Dragonair and Vietnam airlines. They burned him and kept the spoils - lets see if the tables are turned this time around!

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  • a great man indeed, and someone who knew how clients and staff should be treated.

    No doubt the present management would describe him and others who held his values as something out of Jurassic Park.

    Look at the scoreboard

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  • "...reaping the benefits"? Surely a reference to the Grim Reaper as this has to be the last nail in the coffin for BLG. Equally, the outgoing aviation team is not without its own problems and Holmans should be careful what they wish for.

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  • To Anonymous 25/3 @ 5.58.
    The Legal press rankings are always a couple of years behind the curve. If you look at the Insurance and Reinsurance entry for BLG in Legal 500, it refers to Jason Bright as practice head (he left last year for RPC) and under Prof Neg, it sings the praises of Julian Randall (also left last year, for Taylor Wessing). I'm not being harsh at all.

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  • Disgusted of EC3 is spot on. The top talent at BLG has either left, announced their intention to leave or have CVs lodged in all the right places. There are now a handful of first class partners left after the peculiar series of management decisions taken in the past 12 months. To defend this position as the start of something strategically valuable and potentially profitable is brave or misguided. How long will this management team last?

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  • This has to mark the turning point towards decline for BLG - and it's probably terminal. The inside view is one of anger at how the firm's senior talent could all walk so quickly - just 12 months - under Konsta and Jabbari. My count makes it 13 of the top 20 sharpest minds having left or about to leave with five of the remaining seven looking in the market. This is not only about strategy but the clearest protest against a management approach that fiddles whilst Rome burns. Time for a management change.

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