Succession race kicks off at Eversheds as Gray is tipped for the top

The race for the new Eversheds managing partner has started, as current nati-onal managing partner Dav-id Ansbro’s term ends in May 2003, when he will retire

The Lawyer understands that an internal letter has recently been sent to all Eversheds equity partners asking for their individual nominations. For a nomination to be accepted as viable, an individual requires at least 10 equity partner votes.
A source close to Eversheds told The Lawyer that so far there are three serious candidates: Leeds and Manchester managing partner David Gray, a corporate finance specialist who took over Ansbro’s role when he became managing partner in 2000; Birmingham-based senior partner Adrian Bland, a commercial property partner; and managing partner of the London office Michael Brown, a partner in the commercial litigation group. Also said to be possibles are Cardiff managing partner Bryan Hughes (although he is an ally of Gray and would not stand against him) and Cardiff head of employment Viv Du-Feu.
Once nominations are proposed in the next few weeks, the candidates will have to issue a platform report outlining their strategy for the future of the firm. Voting is then likely to take place in September. The move is also likely to have an effect on the current head of client services Geoff Harrison and the head of operations Colin Brown, as they were individually picked by Ansbro.
There are around 200 equity partners in Eversheds nationally. The bulk of these – around 50 – are based in London, with the rest spread over the remaining UK offices, which could give Brown a head start. The source told The Lawyer: “In an election campaign there’s always a deal to be done. An individual may not stand and do a deal with another candidate and promise votes. It’s often a personality issue about whether people stand, even though they’d be brilliant for the job.”
Eversheds was unavailable for comment.