Will DAC recover?

So Nick Sinfield's reign of terror has finally come to an end. Davies Arnold Cooper's managing director has turned his one-year tenure into a spectacle so bloody that it is hard to imagine how the firm has retained an ounce of credibility within the profession.

Since February, 90 people were made redundant from the Manchester office. There followed a steady stream of high-level departures, including the loss of two heads of corporate within a nine-month period.

But what went wrong? Sinfield will argue that in order to return the firm to profitability, drastic changes needed to be made. And he will maintain that he has achieved this, but to what cost?

When Sinfield took over he said that the firm would be run more like a business and less like a firm. But after consultation with its partners, DAC has decided to change the title of the new head of the office, Daniel Gowan, lead partner in construction and engineering, to executive partner. Apparently this is to reflect that the firm is a partnership and not a corporate entity. Maybe what it really reflects is that members of a partnership want to be treated as such rather than be dealt with as the minions of a business dictated to by an autocrat.

How long will it take DAC to recover from possibly one of the worst years any firm could have experienced? Gowan says he is looking forward to taking on his new role but it is mind-numbing to think of the work he will have to do to try and mend the irreparable damage done to the firm's image. But apparently it's all been worth it – the firm is profitable again. If only there were enough lawyers left to enjoy it.