Cobbetts revamps management around three core practices

Cobbetts has streamlined its management structure to create three new business practice groups and an executive team.

Managing partner Nick Carr said the firm was looking to focus on its core strengths by reshaping the practice into three groups: business services, dispute resolution and real estate.

Partner Guy Jackson has been made practice group leader for business services, which will consist of the firm’s corporate and commercial teams, including charities and private client, banking and business restructuring services, employment and pensions, and the corporate aspects of the housing team.

The dispute resolution business practice group will be headed by partner Richard Webb, who will look after banking and finance, dispute resolution and debt recovery business Incasso.

Partner Paul Inman has been made group leader of the real estate practice group, which will include the firm’s real estate teams, projects, property management and telecoms and energy.

Jackson, Webb and Inman will form part of the executive management team alongside financial director James Boyd and Carr.

The restructuring includes changes within each of the firm’s regional offices. Graham Muth remains as head of the Birmingham office, but Andrew Flounders will succeed Jackson as head of the Leeds office. The Manchester office will be led by Paul Johnson, while Chris Ramage will head the firm’s London office.

Carr said: “The creation of three distinct business practice groups will help to streamline the strategic and operational management of the business, while also enabling us to focus on our core strengths as a firm.”

The news comes during a transitional year for the Manchester-headquartered firm. It announced at the start of the year that it had called off merger talks with DWF because of “uncertain market conditions” (31 January 2012).

Then long-standing managing partner Michael Shaw announced that he would be stepping down to be replaced by head of dispute resolution and board member Carr (21 May 2012).

Despite the uncertainty, Cobbetts still managed to post a marginal increase in turnover for 2011-12, up 1.6 per cent to £45.2m (18 May 2012).