Dibbs appoints managing partner for Leeds office…

Dibb Lupton Alsop has appointed a new managing partner for its Leeds office as it announced record profits.

Neil McLean is currently head of the property and construction group at the Leeds office and is replacing John Winkworth-Smith, who retired at the end of April after 37 years with the firm to start a new career as a novelist.

McLean, who joined Dibbs in 1993 from Walker Morris, is promising a restructuring of the firm and the way it handles client portfolios.

He says: “The Leeds office is very well placed for steady growth. We are in the middle of a very detailed review of what we do and how we are doing it.”

The firm has also hired a former partner from Sydney.

John Cutler, who was a partner at Alsop Wilkinson before the merger, left Dibbs in 1997 to work for major Australian law firm Blake Dawson Waldron.

However, the acquisition finance specialist has now decided to return to Dibbs to boost its eight-partner banking department.

A spokesman says that his return was completely unexpected.

“We were delighted to receive a call around three months ago from John. It was an unsolicited return but one which fits exactly with what the firm is trying to achieve at the moment.”

The news comes as Dibbs announced its end of year results, showing a 12.8 per cent increase on last year.

According to Dibbs, this is the biggest increase in revenue since the firm was created in October 1996 and brings the yearly total up to u126.1m.

Managing partner Nigel Knowles says that for the next year the target has been raised to between u136m and u140m and the firm expects to take on another 111 staff. Dibbs refused to say how many of those would be lawyers.

In the regions the percentage increases have been greater, with Birmingham's income growing by 20 per cent, Bradford's by 23 per cent and the North West by 18.5 per cent.

With the announcement of the results, Knowles reiterated the firm's intention to become a top 10 City firm and number one firm in each of its regions within the next three years.

It is also considering the spread of work it takes on. “We have done studies that show 80 per cent of our income comes from 1,000 clients,” says Knowles.

“We want to move from the second to the top quartile of FTSE companies.”