Farrers elects new chief during strategic review

Farrer & Co has elected James Furber to succeed Robert Clinton as the firm’s senior partner in May.

The change comes as the firm conducts a cross-practice strategic review aimed at introducing ‘interconnectivity’ between departments.

“It is 10 years since we had any sort of major review – the last one marked a change of emphasis in the firm,” said Furber. “A lot of people are still here now that were here then and it’s time to look again.”

Furber said his initial priority was to implement the recommendations of the review, which is expected to conclude in mid-May. The firm will not look to axe practices or cull partners as a result of the review, he assured The Lawyer.

“The challenge for specialist firms like Farrers is to make sure all practices are working together and no one feels that they’re working alone,” he said. “We need to look at how we connect our services – for example, where does the family practice fit in?”Farrers has had a run of lateral hires in the past year and will look to build on that success, Furber added.

The firm also shook up its management board in June – dispensing with the chief executive role following the departure of Andrew Mills Baker and replacing him with chief operating officer Ben Bennett, who joined the firm from real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield, where he was European CEO.

Farrers is well known as the royal family’s adviser. At the end of the 2006-07 financial year the firm reported a turnover of £32.2m.