Dickinson Dees retains Braithwaite as leader

Neil Braithwaite has seen off a challenge from litigation partner Jen Smurthwaite to secure a third term as managing partner of Dickinson Dees following the first contested election at the Newcastle-based firm in more than seven years.

Braithwaite, who has held the post since 1997, was voted in for a further three-year term following last month’s elections, after beating off a challenge from Smurthwaite.

Tees Valley-based litigation partner Robin Bloom has won a separate contested election against company/ commercial partner John Flynn to become the firm’s newly elected senior partner.

He will replace Graham White as senior partner when he retires on 30 April next year following a 15-year period within the firm’s management, first as managing partner and then senior partner.

Braithwaite said he and Bloom would continue to focus on growing the firm’s national presence as a full-service firm, although the responsibilities of the senior partner had also been expanded to place higher importance on client care and general business development.

Dickinson Dees’ turnover increased by almost 200 per cent during the seven years of Braithwaite’s leadership, most recently rising by
10.1 per cent to £39.4m in 2003-04.

However, average profits per partner recently dropped back to 2001-02 levels of £280,000 after declining by 6.6 per cent last financial year.