Cobbetts chief targets post-expansion PEP hike as three partners make tracks

Cobbetts managing partner Michael Shaw has vowed to raise average profit per equity partner by 20 per cent to £230,000 in this financial year as news comes of three partner losses at the firm.

Equity partner Tim Cross is set to leave Cobbetts for Leeds firm Gordons at the end of this month, while salaried partners Julian Bond and Ian Worthington have already departed for Leeds-based Glaisyers and Sheffield’s HLW respectively.

Shaw denied market rumours that 15 partners are set to be de-equitised, saying instead that he expected a number of both equity and salaried partners to leave Cobbetts “over the next 12-24 months”, both of their own accord or after being encouraged by the firm to go.

“As you manage performance as the business settles down, you’re bound to reach the point where some individuals aren’t going to make the contribution which is necessarily required by the firm,” Shaw said.

He added that the firm’s recent aggressive growth policy, which has seen it take on four smaller practices in Birmingham and Leeds over the past two years, was responsible for a 5 per cent drop in profit last year to £190,000.

On Cross’s departure, Shaw said: “We continue to hold Tim in high regard. He’s decided to pursue an opportunity at Gordons.”