Garretts reeling after flurry of top brass resignations

GarretTS is reeling after losing its senior partner, two department heads and a partner – three of whom are joining Addleshaw Booth & Co.

Sean Lippell, Leeds senior partner and former Northern managing partner at the Arthur Andersen associate firm, quit last week to become senior corporate finance partner at Addleshaws.

Garretts' head of corporate, Andrew Kay, moves to Addleshaws with Lippell as does partner Simon Pilling, also from corporate.

“I was offered a fantastic opportunity by Addleshaws,” says Lippell, who had been at the firm for two years. He adds that Kay, Pilling and himself had joined forces at Pinsent Curtis before joining Garretts and says Addleshaws' made its offer to them as a team.

Richard Bonnar, head of communications and technology at Garretts, and who replaces Lippell, says the departures are disappointing.

But he denies the resignations will affect the firm's alliance with accountancy giant Arthur Andersen.

“Arthur Andersen is also disappointed but it is and will continue to be very supportive,” says Bonnar.

He adds: “Andersens is committed to its strategy both in London and in the regional legal practices. There has been growth in all the offices.”

However, a source says: “I suspect that Andersens may look at its model, in terms of using the London office for the bigger deals and whittling down the regional advice.”

The other resignation at Garretts is of Mike Sleath, head of property in Leeds, who has been replaced by partner Dean Copley.

A spokeswoman says his leaving is unconnected with the other departures. “His was a lifestyle decision,” she says.