KLegal's Holt to woo clients as firm rejigs management

KLegal's head of corporate Colin Gray has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) as part of a management shake-up that will allow managing partner Nick Holt to handle more client-facing work

Holt will hand over much of his internal-facing role to Gray, leaving him free to spend more time on winning clients. Holt will also develop the firm's embryonic hedge fund practice.

Gray will handle day-to-day budgeting, strategy, administration and infrastructure issues, although Holt will retain an overall strategic role. The management structure now reflects that of the wider KPMG firm, in which all divisions operate with a head of group and a COO.

The appointment marks the end of a long and often painful integration process following last year's merger between KLegal and McGrigor Donald. Around half of the legacy KLegal partners have left the firm since the merger. Many were axed, but the firm has also lost some it would have liked to keep, including IT partner Michael Sinclair, who left for Simmons & Simmons, and property partner Bruce Dear, who went to Eversheds. The firm also made associate and administrative staff redundant as part of KPMG-wide cut-backs.

Gray's appointment seals his place in the merged firm, where he has a significant Scottish powerbase. He will be replaced as head of corporate by Philip Rogers, a legacy KLegal corporate partner. Gray will retain key client relationships, including Tom Hunter's private equity firm West Coast Capital.