CC to shake up West Coast office

Clifford Chance’s management is set to implement a fundamental review of its West Coast practice as the firm embarks on a full-scale push to drive up US revenue.

It is understood that management has conducted a number of meetings with its West Coast partners about a new strategy. The first occurred three weeks ago, when Peter Cornell, firmwide managing partner, and US leader John Carroll met with the Californian contingent to discuss a future strategy.

Sources said the firm’s management committee met in New York last week to agree a plan of action to bring the West Coast into line with the rest of the firm in terms of revenue and profitability targets for the coming year.

It is understood that robust budgetary targets have been put in place for the new financial year, which began on 1 May. Top of equity for the completed financial year is understood to be much lower, with estimates at between £625,000 and £650,000, compared with £734,000 in the previous 12 months.

Clifford Chance declined to comment.

Jim Benedict, head of Clifford Chance’s global litigation and dispute resolution de-partment, is stepping down after four years in the post to be replaced by Peter Chaffetz. The new practice leader will also sit on the firm’s management committee.