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It would scrap its senior partner position, revamp its leadership structure after a lengthy consitutional review, get rid of the salaried partner ranks and open in Palo Alto, all to make it a modern City firm with serious TMT capability ready for a cushy merger.
In the meantime, between the LG and Osborne Clarke talks, managing partner Matthew Lohn would go on extended sick leave, with Michael Chissick, the man he beat in a leadership election, taking on the role on an interim basis.
Then one of its biggest revenue earners, IP and IT head Mark Abell, would resign to join Bird & Bird and be suspended from the partnership. The next step would see Abell brand the firm’s leaders “ambushers” and claim to be the “highest-qualified lawyer” in the franchising market and that he had “outgrown” FFW.
Then, in a masterful and impeccably choreographed U-turn, the firm would bring back the senior partner role and hand it to the returning Lohn, while Chissick would become permanent managing partner.
Abell, who divides opinion internally, supposedly controls roughly £15m in revenue, so this isn’t over: expect more FFW lawyers to join him at Bird & Bird, and possibly a little bit more contention between him and his ex-firm. And possibly another go at a merger.
The chain of events was all foreseen when the management embarked on a constitutional revamp nearly two years ago.
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