Watson Burton will no doubt have spent much of last Friday’s (17 November) partnership conference discussing the firm’s plans to expand its equity partnership.
The move will be welcomed by rivals, which have often observed that Watson Burton’s headline-grabbing average profit per equity partner results come mainly from the fact that there are just six equity partners.
That number, of course, used to be seven, but the headcount dropped by one after senior partner of 10 years Andrew Hoyle was ousted in a coup led by construction partner Rob Langley in September.
As observed by The Lawyer (2 October), the firm’s small equity group was crucial to that drama too. In an average-sized equity group an unruly partner can be a headache for the boss, but never a terminal illness. Yet in a group of just six a single dissenter has the critical mass to unseat his senior partner. One equity partner, of course, knows this better than anyone. His name is Rob Langley – the new senior partner.