Simmons votes for strategic overhaul as three groups face downgrade

Simmons & Simmons has launched a revolutionary strategic review that has threatened the future of several sector groups after they were deemed non-core.

Simmons & Simmons has launched a revolutionary strategic review that has threatened the future of several sector groups after they were deemed non-core.

At a meeting on 8 October, the global partnership endorsed proposals to refocus Simmons’ core strategy along three lines: financial markets and institutions; energy, utilities and infrastructure; and technology and life sciences.

The bold move could trigger an exodus, as lawyers advising non-core clients inevitably consider their positions.

The firm will continue to act outside the areas, but the trio of groups will now become the focus of all major international investment and recruitment.

Simmons’ prioritising revolution is not expected to lead to any immediate redundancies, while certain jurisdictions, notably Middle East offices such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, are likely to see a ramping up of recruitment. However, in the run-up to Christmas, the partners will be asked to perform what one partner called a “bottom-up and top-down” examination of their clients to identify the sectors in which they fit.

The catalyst for the review was the end of the firm’s last three-year business plan this year and the start of Mark Dawkins’ tenure as managing partner. Dawkins announced in March that the board would review the practice groups globally. It concluded that approximately 75 per cent of the revenues from the firm’s top 50 clients were generated by the three core groups and those correspond with the fastest growing sectors in the economy. Dawkins is currently touring Simmons’ global network to sell the new strategy to the firm as a whole.