Eversheds reshuffles at top

Eversheds is to set up a new “national management committee” to replace its national managing partner Peter Cole, who is stepping down to concentrate on running the firm's consulting arm.

Cole is moving to head Eversheds Consulting Limited (ECL), after spending four years steering the firm through a period of rapid growth.

He will not be replaced, and, according to a statement, Eversheds chairman Keith James will be “adopting a more hands-on role, assuming overall responsibility for the management of the firm”.

But there are also plans afoot to set up a new national management committee made up of senior Eversheds lawyers, headed by James – although the scheme is yet to be formally unveiled.

Cole will now devote himself to the full-time management of ECL, which was set up last September following the firm's successful bid to market the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg to UK investors.

“Eversheds has been the first law firm in the field of commercial consulting and the potential in the field is huge,” said Cole. “We have taken on and beaten some of the Big Six at their own game – building on that success is a fascinating challenge.”

In a separate development the firm is to launch a new financial business unit. The unit is the brainchild of former legal services chief for the National & Provincial Building Society, Tony Gartland, and banking expert John Finnigan.

The new unit will focus primarily on the north of England and will offer a “proactive service” which goes beyond the traditional advisory role law firms usually provide. The unit aims to set up 'virtual' Eversheds' offices within client organisations to give full support to in-house legal teams.