Addleshaw Goddard’s search for a leader

Even before Paul Devitt was handed a second term as Addleshaw Goddard’s managing partner in an uncontested election back in January 2012 he had a big job getting the partners on side.

Could he ease the tensions arising out the firm’s north-south divide? Could he secure a foreign merger to make up at least some of the ground lost to DLA and Eversheds?

It appears not. Today we learn that Devitt has decided to call it a day a year before his tenure was due to end.

Little coincidence perhaps that this comes alongside the news that partners were wrongly appraised of their remuneration packages at the half-year after the number of equity partners was miscalculated. There’s nothing like a shrunken pay packet to bring old gripes to the surface.

Addleshaw’s ‘sleepy’ partnership, as one former partner put it recently, will vote on a new leader next month – but who’s in the running?

John Joyce and Adrian Collins bubbled up to the surface as potential candidates last month, while litigation chief Simon Kamstra is expected to sit tight for Monica Burch to vacate the senior partner position having missed out last time round.

There’s little sense of fierce competition for Devitt’s title. Perhaps the ‘sleepy’ partnership needs a leader to wake them up.

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