Eversheds goes for volume market in management rejig

Eversheds is undergoing a wholesale management shake-up in Cardiff and Bristol, with Cardiff set to spearhead Eversheds’ drive into the volume legal services market.

Insurance litigation partner Bryan Hughes replaces David Vokes as regional managing partner. He will run the regional office with new senior partner Alan Meredith, who took over the job last year after the retirement of Roger Thomas.

Meanwhile, Vokes is to launch Eversheds’ sixth national practice group, which will include volume conveyancing, mortgaging, recoveries and claims management services. The expected turnover of the combined product lines will be approximately £25m this financial year.

Vokes says: “Many of our cli-ents say that, other than complex M&A and high-level regulatory work, most legal work outsourced is a commodity. We’re trying to improve the way in which you manage the process and the delivery of the service. So we’ve grouped together the areas of the business where we’re also starting to apply a heavier management element to the process.”

Until now, the services operated separately. Cardiff has traditionally focused on volume remortgaging and debt collection, and acts for clients such as Abbey National, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Bank of Scotland and Legal & General.

The Norwich office has long had a strong debt recovery practice, with clients such as GE Capital Global Consumer Finance and Halifax. Other offices, such as Nottingham, have also been developing protocols, particularly in volume litigation.

Vokes says that the initiative will require a different skills set from lawyers. “The new practice group will mean a much greater accent on managerial skills – strategic planning, marketing, managing people and managing the client relationship,” he says. “The emphasis will change from being a pure technical lawyer to a lawyer who also manages their own business.”

Eversheds managing partner David Ansbro says: “The bottom line is that we’re fully prepared to help our clients save on legal costs, with the clear expectation that we benefit over the longer term from a more substantial relationship.”