Macfarlanes rejigs top tier as heads stand down

Macfarlanes is to overhaul its top-tier management when its senior and managing partners both step down next year.

Prominent corporate partner Charles Martin will take over from Robert Sutton as senior partner, while corporate partner Simon Martin is succeeding Paul Phippen as managing partner, as first revealed on (10 May).

Charles Martin told The Lawyer: “We don’t foresee any major changes, just an evolution of the model in response to the market, building on the capabilities of the fantastic group of lawyers that we have here.

“Having said that, things have never been more competitive and an important part of our job will be making sure that internally we do what’s necessary to position ourselves best to take advantage of market opportunities. Naturally, as ever, that won’t necessarily mean running with the herd.”

By next May both Sutton and Phippen will have served three consecutive three-year terms since 1999. Sutton and Phippen both carried out fee-earning activities while in their positions and will continue to practise at the firm.

Macfarlanes had a turnover of £90m last year, while its average profit per equity partner stood at £945,000, making it the third most profitable firm in the City after Slaughter and May and Linklaters.

Rather than a formal election, Charles and Simon Martin assumed their positions through consensus, The Lawyer understands.