The long tale of Lovells, lockstep and leavers

It was never a question of ‘if’, but of ‘when’. Lovells’ protracted lockstep review has claimed its first US victims.

As we report today, the head of the firm’s US restructuring practice Gary Lee and fellow partner Karen Ostad have quit to join Morrison & Foerster.

Lee is understood to be one of the highest-billing partners at the firm. He is one of the partners who has put Lovells’ management under pressure to introduce more flexibility at the top of the firm’s lockstep. US partners want the firm to break the lockstep so they can pocket more cash.

The firm is planning to put some proposals to partners next month. But it’s too late for Lee. He’s seen two reviews come and go, and it seems he couldn’t wait for a third.