Dickinson Dees in shake-up

Dickinson Dees in shake-up” />Newcastle’s Dickinson Dees is shaking up its management in what could be the firm’s first contested election in over seven years.

Managing partner Neil Braithwaite has held the post since 1997 and was re-elected unopposed three years ago. It is understood that Braithwaite is intending to stand for re-election, although this time he may face competition.

Likely candidates for the September ballot include company/commercial partner John Flynn and litigation partners Robin Bloom and Jen Smurthwaite.

Under Braithwaite’s leadership, Dickinson Dees’ turnover has increased year on year, most recently rising by 10.1 per cent to £39.4m for 2003-04.

However, average profits per partner for the last 12 months have dipped back to the 2001-02 levels of £280,000 after declining by 6.6 per cent from the previous year’s showing.

Braithwaite welcomed the prospect of a contested management election. “It would be a good position to be in if a number of candidates come forward, because it will give partners greater choice,” he said.

It is understood that senior partner Graham Wright, who has also been in his current role for seven years, has decided not to stand again. Wright is retiring from the firm on 30 April next year.

Bloom and Smurthwaite, based in Tees Valley and Newcastle respectively, are currently members of the firm’s management board.

As well as handling the management of the firm, the board also comprises the managing partner, senior partner and four department heads.

The successful candidates will serve three-year terms.