Eversheds announces a five-year plan

Eversheds is about to unveil to its 287 partners a five-year strategy that will include a streamlined management structure and new profit-sharing.

Chair Keith James would not reveal the details, but it is understood one option could be the merger of the current seven regional profit-sharing centres into one.

There is speculation that if this happens the number of equity partners at Eversheds would have to be reduced from 190 to 100 to avoid the equity of some of the more profitable offices being diluted. However, James said he was unaware of this and there was no “magic number” of equity partners.

He said: “Our key priority is business planning for the next four or five years, second is getting the right management structure for a firm of our size, and third, we looked at what change might be needed in the way we share profits to ensure that management can take the business forward.”

The firm's current executive committee is comprised of the managing partners of the seven regions plus James. The same people plus the seven regional senior partners meet quarterly on a supervisory board.

James said: “It is not a case of making the management smaller, but of getting the right people there.” He said he would not rule out a non-lawyer chief executive for the firm within the next year or two.

Some critics of Eversheds say that it is only a truly national practice for marketing purposes, because it has regional profit centres rather than a national profit-share.

But James said that every multi-office national firm had an element of regional profit sharing. The aim is to get the balance right, he said.