Bevan Brittan shakes up management with CEO departure

Bevan Brittan is to revert to a legal management structure following the exit of chief executive Andrew Manning at the end of the financial year.

The firm has appointed Duncan Weir, who has sat on its board for past four years, as managing partner. The firm will also elect a new senior partner, it said. Manning is assisting with the transition to the new management structure.

Bevan Brittan appointed Manning as chief executive in September 2008 after it ousted its former managing partner Stuart Whitfield, who was blamed for falling profitability at the firm (1 September 2008). At the 2007-08 year end net profit tumbled to £6.05m, down 37 per cent from the £9.6m reported in the previous year.

Since then Manning has refocused the firm on servicing the public sector, reducing the partnership from 62 at the 2007-08 year end to 43 at the 2010-11 year end and the equity partnership from 33 to 20. Net profit at the last year end stood at £6m.

Manning said: “I became involved with the legal sector by chance rather than design, and I’m glad I have been able to apply my broad experience of taking service businesses through considerable change to assist my friends and colleagues at Bevan Brittan to transform the firm’s fortunes. 

“The firm now has a clear direction for the future and a really solid foundation for the new management structure. Having achieved what I set out to do here, I now plan to take a rest, spend some time at business school – I am attending a long course at Harvard in the spring – and then seek my next challenge in the summer.”