Langley departure sees Watson Burton searching for new leader

WATSON Burton has been left without a leader after ­former senior partner Robert Langley left the firm despite vowing to stay until his replacement was installed.
Langley stood down from the role, which he had held since 2007, in April. He is believed to have been placed on gardening leave earlier this month, ahead of his move to North East rivals Muckle later this year.

A source familiar with the situation said: “The firm is leaderless at the moment. There are hard decisions to be made and no one there to make them. Rob has a good client portfolio and I wouldn’t be surprised if several partners followed him.”

The departure comes after a difficult period for the firm. Accounts published last month revealed that fee income fell in 2008-09 from £23m to £19.8m, and operating profit dipped from £6.8m to £4.1m.

A statement released by the firm said: “Watson ­Burton LLP is in the process of electing the firm’s new senior partner and will shortly be announcing who’ll be moving the firm forward for the next phase in our long history.”

Employment partner Christopher Graham is believed to be among the frontrunners for the senior partner vacancy.