Hammonds launches action plan with new COO

Hammonds employment chief Sue Nickson has been appointed to the newly created role of chief operations officer (COO).

Nickson takes on the new position as strategic director Bernhard Gilbey stands down to return to fee-earning and his duties as head of national tax strategies.

Nickson, who becomes managing partner Peter Crossley’s second in command, will be handed the task of implementing Hammonds’ new strategy, which has been formulated by Gilbey over the past two years after a firm-wide consultation with partners.

Nickson said: “The strategic director role had a shelf life as it was to provide the firm with focus. My new position is not about strategy as that part of the journey has ended. It’s now about implementation.

“The firm has had its difficult periods, but we’ve reached a cornerstone and the time for talking is done, now it’s time to deliver.”

As COO, Nickson’s first task will be to ensure the firm’s support departments are fully aligned, a process that includes the centralisation of the billing system.

She will also be in charge of overseeing the firm’s ‘Client First’ project, which involves all lawyers being given relationship training.

“It will be about ensuring that the partners and other fee-earners are equipped with the tools they need, as the life of the average partner and average fee-earner will be different,” said Nickson.

In addition to her new duties Nickson will continue to head the firm’s human capital department, which includes the employment practice, and she will remain a fee-earner.