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Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley’s mantra is “business, business, business”.
Crossley prides himself on managing his lawyers not as part of a profession but as part of a business.
And like with many businesses in the current climate, Hammonds in the last year has gone downhill (The Lawyer, 1 July 2008)
Hammonds blames its “strategy” for its poor PEP performance - a nine per cent drop to £367,000. Well, someone has to pay for the hefty investment into the firm’s centralisation of its billing systems and refurbishing the Birmingham, Manchester and Madrid offices and it’s not going to be the clients.
So as the partners dig deep, how in-line with its strategy is Hammonds? It’s over two years since the firm started implementing the results of the strategy review, which was conducted by Crossley's right-hand man, tax partner Bernhard Gilbey.
Hammonds wanted the practice areas cut from eight to four. Check.
Next was to make the Hammonds “one firm” from a structural point of view as well as culturally. This remains a work in progress, though the heavy investment shows the firm is moving in the right direction.
The third and final key point of the strategy was to “continue durable growth into the business”.
With a global turnover increasing by 3.4 per cent to £132m - pretty much the same percentage increase as the previous year - Hammonds can give itself a cautious check for that too.
Whether it continues in this vein remains to be seen.