Beachcroft ready for cull to up profit

Beachcroft is to axe its London-based private client team as it embarks on a review of underperforming practice groups.

The firm has begun consultations with partners, lawyers and staff in the three areas under threat. These are understood to be the firm’s professional risks team in Birmingham, projects in London, and the tax and trusts private client department.

The news comes just a week after Beachcroft announced record half-year results, with turnover up by 18 per cent to £53.1m at the six-month mark. It is part of a profitability drive at the national firm, which posted average profits per equity partner of £270,000 in 2006.

The consultations affect seven partners and around 20 lawyers and support staff at Beachcroft, which has over 150 partners and 576 fee-earners in total.

It is understood that the professional risks and projects teams are likely to be moved to other offices in Beachcroft’s national network.

Work from the professional risks department could go to Manchester or Bristol, while projects is also heading to Bristol.

Meanwhile the one-partner private client team led by Julian Korn is to leave Beachcroft entirely. The small department has diminished in size in recent years, and lost tax and trusts head Paul Solon to Mills & Reeve in January 2003.

The moves follow a restructuring of the partnership’s modified lockstep earlier this year to focus more on merit and less on seniority.

Beachcroft also converted to LLP status in May, and formed a new seven-partner management board led by senior partner Simon Hodson and managing partner Paul Murray, both of whom were elected to their roles in 2005.

The firm declined to comment on the discussions.