Frontrunners emerge for Clyde & Co senior partner role

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  • If the last statistic is true then it is an indictment of management. Mergers should deliver profitable growth. The feeling I have is that Clydes has set itself back about 10 years by a domestic UK merger, undoing the benefits of years of international expansion.

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  • They have managed to take out one of their main competitors and cherrypicked its best people. That has to have been a good thing.
    However, it is striking to observe how BLG's culture of destructive infighting, aggravated by a decade of ineffective leadership, seems to be infecting Clydes.

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  • There is no doubt that BLG suffered from a lack of collegiality but this issue has little to with that. This is all to do with the passing of Michael P. It is like the Berlin Wall coming down. Clydes partners must decide whether to accept the 'politbureau' old guard, who are seeking to stitch up a quick transition, or to ask for a properly democratic process. That process should involve inviting candiates to come forward with their proposals without fear, and allow proper debates and hustings. That is not chaos or weakness, it is democracy. Democracy will build legitimacy in the management and ensure Clydes goes forward as the truly excellent firm we know it to be.

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  • Democracy in a law firm? Now there's an interesting concept - perhaps it will catch on. From insiders at Clydes it seems that collegiality is not high on the list of firm's values so at least the two firms had one thing in common - it's a merger triumph. Interesting that Clydes seems to be fairly successful - notwithstanding its falling PEP in real terms - despite being inherently a tough place to work.

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  • Getting back to the main issue, electing a former BLG partner as SP would clearly show that the merger has been a success rather than the emergency takeover as put about by many. Of the former BLG partners, Konsta is the only one with the experience to be credible. Most of the other leading players other than Hill (too young - sorry Rob), Clover (too valuable to her practice), and Bitmead (no international experience), left before the merger was put through. If a legacy Clydes partner gets elected it will hasten the departure of more great lawyers in search of a more appealling work culture and new clients from the ABC club.

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  • You're all dreaming if you think any BLG partner has any chance whatever, despite the obvious merits. Anyway, it's entirely academic - post-Michael, Peter H will run the place on the numbers; senior partner will likely be a titular appointment

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  • Does anyone know why Clyde's profit margin is only 25%? A few years' ago it would have been closer to mid-30's. Given some aspects of the international business are very high margin indeed (eg the Middle East), this suggests the core UK insurance business is under enormous pricing pressure and is in steady profit decline. And this will be hastened by the BLG takeover.

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  • Yes great strategy! Insurance is dragging down our business so let's fill the firm up with more of it, particularly low margin regional work!

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  • If your talking frontrunners then Rich Harrison has to be up there. He demonstrated strategic nous using his Manchester heritage to drive through the game-changing Halliwells deal at Barlow's, and combines that kind of vision with a sense of tradition that will play well with the Clydes contingent. As a regular appointee to the various BLG management boards, he's also clearly got the people's vote, at least from BLG alumni.

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  • That's a great late suggestion. Having Harrison would unite what remains of the BLG contingent yet not compromise either Konsta's or Clover's need to keep with their practices. He is also in tune with the northern practices. Being involved in the Halliwell deal is one to keep of the CV but otherwise fits the bill if an ex-BLG partner stands a chance in the SP hurdles.

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  • It was always felt that James Burns was groomed by Payton to be his successor. Having said that, the feeling that this was happening didn't seem to make him the most popular person, even amongst his fellow insurance partners.
    I still think the most likely candidates are existing or recent management board members. So Knowles, Whittaker, Burns, Konsta etc. So one of them will most likely end up victorious. Not that means they will be any good...

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  • One option is that if Hasson could be persuaded to adopt a more realistic role of FD or COO or some such, Konsta could be Senior Partner and Burns could be Managing Partner. That would be a winning combination for the market, as long as Burns maintained the upper hand.

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  • Is there any news out there on the election process and whether Konsta's hat is in the ring? If it's not it should be.

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