Floating on air

Last Wednesday (5 July), Grant Thornton partner Sacha Romanovitch warned UK lawyers that they needed to “wake up” to the potentially seismic changes heralded by the Legal Services Bill.

Romanovitch was speaking at a breakfast briefing at the Savoy Hotel. It was a suitably opulent setting, because up to now much of the debate has focused on the potentially staggering amounts of money on offer to equity partners at firms that decide to float.

And at least one lawyer is definitely not snoring. Last week PartyGaming general counsel David Abdoo reminded every lawyer of the financial benefits available from being on the listed market. He reaped the rewards of his stock options, pocketing £1.97m after selling 1.71 million shares at 116.14p.

His windfall was less than that of PartyGaming finance director Martin Weigold, who made £3.18m, but more than chairman Michael Jackson, who made £304,000.

Abdoo’s move is similar to that of QinetiQ general counsel Lynton Boardman, who recently made an immediate windfall of £310,000 and had his stock options valued at £1.8m. Abdoo, incidentally, retains an unknown number of stock options.

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