Three KLegal rebels quit McGrigors ahead of lock-in

The London office of McGrigors (formerly KLegal) is reeling after the resignation of three corporate partners, including executive board member Philip Rogers, which has slashed the corporate department from six to three.

All three partners resigned within the last two weeks ahead of a crucial partnership meeting last weekend (20-21 March). This was the dead-line for partners to sign McGrigors’ contentious new partnership agreement, which signals its rebirth as an independent firm.

The new agreement was designed to relaunch the firm after the collapse of its alliance with KPMG last year. A key plank of the deal is a two-year lock-in for partners. It is also believed to double the level of capital contributions, from approximately £75,000 to £150,000. The three departing partners, all former KLegal lawyers, refused to sign.

The measures are to be introduced partly to help McGrigors survive the end of its profits-guarantee deal with KPMG in the autumn, by which the accountant underwrites profits if they fail to hit an agreed level. The firm will also need to invest heavily in IT and premises after the split. A best friends relationship with KPMG is expected to continue, although McGrigors’ chopped-down corporate team raises significant credibility issues in London.

Scottish managing partner Shonaig MacPherson said it was not the firm’s policy to comment on internal arrangements. She added that it was the intention of London head Philip Burroughs to grow the London corporate team.