Bircham chief retires to launch consultancy

Bircham Dyson Bell‘s managing partner Michael Wood has announced his retirement just days after revealing ambitious plans for the firm to enter The Lawyer’s top 50 league tables within five years.

Wood, who has been with the firm for 30 years and has been managing partner since January 2003, is to retire from the firm in May next year in order to launch a management consultancy firm.

An election for the role of managing partner will now be held in September, leaving a lengthy period for Wood to hand over his client relationship and firm management roles.

Wood has seen Bircham’s turnover increase by 30 per cent during his reign, from £18.8m in 2002-03 to £24.6m last year.

The firm, which ranked 77th in last year’s The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report, is now targeting exponential growth in order to nearly double its turnover and enter the top 50 league table in the next five years.

As part of the firm’s growth strategy, as revealed by The Lawyer last week, Bircham is searching for further bolt-on firms similar to its merger with niche social housing practice Jenkins & Hand in April. It also plans to convert to a limited liability partnership by the end of the year.

Birchams has also overhauled its management structure, replacing the previous executive committee with a two-tier management and elected partnership board structure. The new managing partner will sit on both committees.