Landwell has made up its first equity partner since the firm’s launch in 1996.
A confidential strategy document prepared by Landwell in autumn 2001 identified the failure to make up equity partners as a key issue. Sources inside the firm claim that it has inevitably harmed morale among salaried partners.
The Pricewaterhouse-Coopers-tied law firm has now made up salaried corporate partner Shirley Brookes, who joined the firm in 1998. She also becomes head of corporate.
Landwell UK managing
partner Leon Flavell said: “Shirley is in our mid-market corporate and M&A practice, and we’ve set our stall out to make this one of our key markets.”
Until last summer, Landwell had just three equity partners: Flavell, who was previously head of corporate; Chris Arnheim, the former managing partner; and Paul Downing, who is involved primarily in Landwell’s global umbrella organisation.
Of the three, only Flavell did any fee-earning. It is understood that Downing was a partner of Landwell UK primarily for Law Society regulatory reasons. Arnheim subsequently resigned as managing partner and left the firm.
Landwell took two lateral hires into the equity last summer, although one of them, Nigel Frudd, left the firm last month.