Double fudge

Farrers continues with ’compromise’ senior partner solution

Jim Edmondson
Jim Edmondson

It seems only natural that the Queen’s favourite solicitors, Farrer & Co, should enjoy an appointment ceremony. True to form, the firm has made its second senior partner appointment in two years and plans to make another next year.

It was not always so at Farrer & Co. Previous senior partner James Furber stepped down on 30 April 2011 after serving the usual three-year term. Before Furber, Robert Clinton reigned for six years.

But when Furber stepped down last year the firm took the unusual step of appointing joint senior partners, with family law specialists Jim Edmondson and Richard Parry taking on the mantle in May. After the announcement a commentator on The Lawyer’s website voiced the opinion that the move “smack[ed] of compromise” and questioned how long the arrangement would last. The Lawyer, likewise, has previously opined that the move was a fudge to appease various constituencies within the firm (TheLawyer UK 200 Annual Report 2011) 

The fact that the firm only pencilled in Edmondson and Parry for a one-year term seemed to suggest that Farrers too had decided that the arrangement was best kept short-term. Yet, in a strange twist, this year the pair were voted in to keep going with the job-share for another one-year term.

Regardless of how qualified Edmondson and Parry are for the role, this double fudge must surely be a hindrance – after all, senior partner is a role that demands stability and continuity – however tasty it sounds.