Ashurst mulls reappointment of managing partner

Ashurst is kicking off a process of informally canvassing the partnership over the board’s reappointment of managing partner Simon Bromwich for a second three-year term.

Bromwich was installed in the role in January 2004 by the firm’s management board, with his current term due to end in January 2007.

The board is now understood to be considering possibilities for the next three-year term of the managing partner, based on the firm’s financial performance over the last three years and the views of the partnership.

A decision is expected before the end of the year, with the new term due to begin in January.

Bromwich, who has been a partner at Ashurst since 1999, replaced ousted former managing partner Justin Spendlove in 2004 following the collapse of the firm’s merger discussions with Fried Frank Harris & Shriver in 2003.

Ashurst has enjoyed a highly lucrative period under Bromwich’s leadership. An aggressive cost-cutting campaign and a series of partner sackings in 2005 have assisted the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) to jump 34.5 per cent since the 2003-04 financial year.

This includes a 23.6 per cent increase in PEP to £701,000 and six per cent rise in turnover to £214m last financial year, as reported in The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report 2006.

Under the firm’s management appointment process, the eight-member board, which includes Bromwich, senior partner Geoffrey Green, finance director Nigel Moorland and partners Edward Sparrow, Mark Vickers, Charlie Geffen, Daniele Raynaud and Logan Mair, directly appoints the managing partner, rather than through a partnership election.

Ashurst revamped its management structure late in 2003 reducing the size of its management board from 12 to eight, including the non-elected positions of managing partner and finance director.