Battens revamps management in bid to rival London firms

South West firm Battens has shaken up its management structure in a bid to challenge its larger provincial and London rivals.

The 26-partner firm has replaced its more traditional committee structure, overseen by a managing partner, with an executive board comprising a chairman and five directors, two of whom are non-lawyers.

Ray Edwards, chairman of the new board, said that the changes were intended to give the firm a more corporate outlook and to allow partners to concentrate on legal work.

According to Edwards, Battens' partners have delegated greater authority to the board to allow it to respond quickly to developments. However alongside this greater responsibility the individual directors will be more accountable as well.

Edwards, who replaced former managing partner William Christopher in November, said that his firm would be looking to challenge its larger rivals in the South West and London for the higher-profile commercial work in the region, while maintaining its commitment to private client work.