Bevan Brittan moves to reverse exodus

Bevan Brittan chief executive Stuart Whitfield has moved to defend the firm’s strategy following an exodus of partners and associates.

Beachcroft is the latest to raid Bevan Brittan with a move for a Bristol-based litigation team led by partner Ben Daniels. Since May 2007 at least nine partners have quit the Bristol-headquartered firm, with more exits anticipated.

Whitfield said the firm had realigned its priorities following the demerger from Bevan Ashford in November 2004.

“We’re reshaping the practice since the demerger and it takes a while to build things back up,” he conceded.

Last week LG snared two IP associates, including former department head and senior associate Georgie Collins and assistant Harry Karalou.

Earlier this month (21 January) Milton Keynes-based Kimbells hired Bevan Brittan associate Andrew Davidson as head of its employment team.

Whitfield added that the firm has made a series of lateral hires and would invest in making associate hires in 2008.

Sources close to the firm said exiting partners had been disappointed with the firm’s profits per equity partner, which fell by 1 per cent to £166,000 in 2007.

One source said: “Profits are being shored up by an astute property deal they did [when the firm demerged from Bevan Ashfords]. That can’t last forever and partners are beginning to realise it.”