Beachcroft’s profit drive kills off private client team

Beachcroft is set for a revolutionary restructuring in a bid to boost profit.

The firm’s private client team is the first to be axed after a review of underperforming practice groups. London’s unremunerative projects team will be moved to Bristol and Birmingham’s professional risks department could go to Manchester or Bristol.

The firm has begun consultations with partners, lawyers and staff in the three areas under threat.

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 an average profit per equity partner of £270,000 in 2006.

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

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, losing 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.

Beachcroft also converted to limited-liabilty partnership 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.