New Eversheds chief Gray in charm offensive on partners

The Lawyer can reveal that Leeds and Manchester managing partner Gray effectively conceded his defeat by Michael Brown just 24 hours before the election result was announced to the firm. Gray sent a personal email to the partnership as voting closed on Tuesday 1 October, thanking them for their support.
The email said: “If Michael Brown is chosen for the next Eversheds managing partner, then we all need to get behind him to realise potential and help in any way we can to drive the business forward so that we can all be proud of it.”
However, he then went on to say that if he were successful, Brown would be part of his executive team. “I very much want to work with him in taking this business forward,” the email stated.
Gray is now expected to come up with a revised management structure for the national firm. The top roles of head of client services and head of operations, currently in the hands of Geoff Harrison and Colin Brown respectively, are expected to be subsumed into one role.
Gray's running mate, Cardiff managing partner Bryan Hughes, is hotly tipped for a key role.
Both the Gray and Brown camps are understood to have predicted a 10 point win for Brown, based on their talks with the firm's 182 equity partners. Rumour is now rife within the firm that Gray scraped to victory on a similar 10-vote margin. The process was carried out by an external consultant and the figures will not be disclosed.
Gray is now leading a firm whose practice group heads – Eversheds' business leaders – were overwhelmingly in support of Brown. Of the seven practice group heads, Martin Issitt (corporate), David Vokes (commodites services), Cornelius Medvei (real estate), Kevin Doolan (e-strategy) and Viv Du-Feu (employment) are all understood to have nominated Brown.