BLG focuses on growth as partner exits continue

Barlow Lyde & Gilbert is preparing itself for another spate of partner exits as the firm restructures in a bid to kick-start a fresh phase of growth.

David Jabbari
David Jabbari

Last week BLG litigation chief Julian Randall became the latest to quit the firm, joining Taylor Wessing with litigation partner Andrew Howell. This came just weeks after financial institutions head Tim Strong also joined ­Taylor Wessing.

Under plans to shake up the firm to create greater alignment between groups, chief executive David Jabbari will drive through the merger of BLG’s commercial litigation and arbitration practice with its professional and financial disputes group under the leadership of partners Sarah Clover and Neil Jamieson.

The firm also plans a renewed focus on its non-contentious group under newly appointed corporate head Simon Gamblin, who replaces Mike Munro.

Jabbari confirmed that the firm is negotiating the exits of “four or five” corporate partners and said it would also reduce the number of associates to balance the leverage within the group.

“We want to grow in the right way,” said Jabbari. “This firm’s committed to its non-contentious capability, but historically it’s been a hedge to the litigation practice.

“Frankly, that’s silly. We’re not out there to do big ticket M&A work, but we do think there are some obvious areas to do good quality work in our core markets.”

Senior partner Simon Konsta has assembled a top level group to examine “strategic opportunities” for future growth in London and globally.

Up for consideration are possible mergers or the ­creation of an international referral network.

It has been a year of change for BLG with a number of high-level exits, including international arbitration head Peter Flint to Wragge & Co in September and regulatory head Ian Mason, who left in March to join Baker & McKenzie.